Monday, April 15, 2013

Vintage Fashion in California Gold Country

I drove up to Sonora to see my family this weekend, but had a very special vintage fashion trip to share with my sister, Marcee, and my mother, Fran, as navigator.  Fran can't read the GPS navigator on my cell phone, but she has a good sense of direction and knows her way around the Gold Country.  We got up early on Saturday and headed out for Amador City, which is north east of Sonora and about an hour's drive on a very picturesque country highway 49.  It is an historical place too because the highway borders 19th Century stone ruins constructed by 1840's gold miners and passes the town of Angels Camp, the setting for Mark Twain's tale about the frog jump.  Since it's springtime, the drive was even more beautiful.  Everywhere is was green and full of colorful wild flowers.

So back to the fashion trip.  We went to Amador City primarily to visit a Victorian clothing shop there.  It should be called a museum, but you can actually buy anything on display, except the antique dolls.  Victorian Closet (P.O. Box 141, Amador City, CA, 209-267-5250,,  The store is owned by Sally Knudson and it is incredible.  She also has clothes from the early 20th Century, including a black beaded flapper dress that I really liked as well as antique purses, shoes buttons and jewelry.  We even saw a man's bathing suit displayed from the early 20the Century.  Anyone interested in vintage fashion history, check out this store.

It was about lunchtime, so we headed across the street to the local diner, Buffalo Chips that advertised themselves to have the best home-made hamburgers in the area.  While all 3 of us liked the hamburgers, we thought they were a little small and didn't have french fries - oh well.  After lunch, we got in the car and drove back towards Sonora to the little town of Jackson.  This is another historical California town, as it was once the entertainment center of the miners with gambling houses and bordellos.  Now, it is an antique store town and Frank Sinatra-type music is piped out to the sidewalks.  It's a trip down memory lane.  My first stop was a consignment shop called, Heaven & Earth (126 Main St., Jackson, CA, 209-223-1900,  Heaven & Earth is owned by Blaise and had some great recycled fashion.  I especially like the purple leather jacket and the full length coat she had displaced on the wall.

After leaving Heaven & Earth, I walked down Main Street and saw a beautiful 19th Century wedding gown on a mannequin with a white satin top hat.  I asked if I could take a photo of it and the owner took me to the back of the store where he had a vintage wedding gown collection.  That store is called Treasures Mercantile (122 Main St., Jackson, CA, 209-223-3095,  He had a wedding head-dress that dated back to the 1880's as well a bridal train displayed on a wall that was amazing.  I walked down the street a little farther and saw a display of clothing from the early 1900's on mannequins.  It turned out that the owner, Dana Fallon, had a Breakfast At Tiffany's display of dresses, coats and hats in the back.  Her store is called Gingerbread Cottage (39 Main St., Suite 1, Jackson, CA, 916-849-9531) and had a great selection of quality vintage dresses from the 1940's-1960's that were all $100 or less.  Well, enjoy the photos and try to make it up there sometime to check out these stores.

 Downtown Amador City
 Fran & Marcee in front of Victorian Closet
 Jenny, sales rep at Victorian Closet
 Johnny Cash posing on my car before the vintage fashion trip
 A posh lady in black at Victorian Closet
 Wedding gown collection at Victorian Closet
 Black velvet beaded flapper dress at Victorian Closet
 Sexy black dress at Victorian Closet
 Victorian hats at Victorian Closet
 Ladies' personal section at Victorian Closet
 Cotton blouses and silk slips at Victorian Closet
Victorian summer dresses at Victorian Closet 
 Another cute dress for the ice cream social at Victorian Closet
 Beautiful lounging silk robes at Victorian Closet
 Mens' corner at Victorian Closet
 Wool bathing suit for Him at Victorian Closet
 Victorian dresses for going on the town at Victorian Closet
 Vintage buttons at Victorian Closet
 Vintage baby clothes at Victorian Closet
 Victorian children's clothes at Victorian Closet
 Victorian Closet
 Victorian Closet
 Victorian purses at Victorian Closet
 The perfect outfit for a buggy ride at Victorian Closet
 1940's silk wedding gown at Victorian Closet
 Vintage party shoes and boots at Victorian Closet
 More fun party shoes at Victorian Closet
 Lace purse with fringe at Victorian Closet
 Crocheted purse at Victorian Closet
 Amador City
 Quilts at Victorian Closet
 Across the street at Buffalo Chips
 Illustrated cowgirl boots at a flea market outside of Jackson
 Main Street, Jackson, CA
 Hot cowboy boots at a flea market outside of Jackson
 Marcee displaying dress on sale rack at Heaven & Earth
 Fran shopping at Heaven & Earth
 Blaise, owner of Heaven & Earth
 Mosaic bust & hat at Heaven & Earth
 Faux fur vest at Heaven & Earth
 Russian-style coat at Heaven & Earth
 Beaded sweaters at Heaven & Earth
 My favorite leather jacket at Heaven & Earth
 Blaise displaying beaded vintage purse at Heaven & Earth
 Ruby velvet slippers at Treasures Mercantile
 Bridal ensemble at Treasures Mercantile
 Lace/woven purse with wooden handle at Treasures Mercantile
 Bridal headdress from the 1880's at Treasures Mercantile
 Faux fur coat at Treasures Mercantile
 Bridal train at Treasures Mercantile
 Red 1960's cocktail dress at Gingerbread Cottage
 Very chic early 1900's suit at Gingerbread Cottage
 Gingerbread Cottage
 Polka dot dress with fur coat at Gingerbread Cottage
 Black mini dress with pearls at Gingerbread Cottage
 Black & white double breasted coat with velvet collar at Gingerbread Cottage
 The tea dance dress at Gingerbread Cottage
 Opera coat at Gingerbread Cottage
 Stiletto platform heels at Gingerbread Cottage
 White evening coat with crystal buttons at Gingerbread Cottage
 White day pumps at Gingerbread Cottage
 Mannequin with pearls at Gingerbread Cottage
 Hot pink 1960's velvet dress at Gingerbread Cottage
 Middy blouse & floppy hat at Gingerbread Cottage
 Dana displaying 1950's swing dress at Gingerbread Cottage
 Jackson, CA
 Early 1900's dress at antique mall on Main Street in Jackson
 Antique mall on Main Street in Jackson
 Lace dress at antique mall on Main Street in Jackson
1950's summer dress at antique mall on Main Street in Jackson