Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Fringe Vest Pattern

I wore my fringe vest for years. It was gold suede, just like the cheesy-haired couples’ on the bottom of this McCall’s pattern, though mine didn’t have the little turquoise beads. I think the sound of them knocking together would have driven me insane. I wore that that vest religiously from about 1970 to 73 but it got so pit stained I finally had to retire it. Suede does not take kindly to pit stains. I know I still have it sitting in a box somewhere. It was too much a part of my formative years to part with forever.

Speaking of pit stains, I’m not wearing my  fringe suede vest in this 1971 photo, when such a garment frequented my body, but I certainly am exhibiting pit stains:

I had just graduated college and got a job in the advertising apartment of Columbia and Epic Records. Although I would soon go on to become a copywriter, writing ads and commercials for all of the female and black stars on the labels, and eventually recording an album there myself, here I am as a secretary getting Johnny Cash to approve some copy my boss had written to promote his upcoming album. I remember being so upset about the pit stains when I finally got my photo developed, but it makes me love it more now.

I can’t seem to find any photos of me in my  fringe vest. But here’s one taken not long after the Cash photo where I’m wearing another vest  that displays the art of macramé, another massive trend in 60′s and 70′s fashion. This was the first and last vest I ever made. You can tell by the difference in the size of the holes that something that demanded this much precision was not my forte.

But back to fringe vests. I’ve never seen anyone wear one better than Peter Carpenter, writer, producer and star of one of my all-time favorite bad movies, “Point Of Terror”.  Just look at him work the fringe in the opening titles of his 1971 masterpiece.

Should I ever have the urge to wear a Fringe vest again I can always pull out my McCall’s pattern and pray I have better luck and skills then I exhibited with macramé. I’ve definitely learned how to control the pit stains.

 


Categories: Clothes, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, video

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