THe Inez Collection
When we buy vintage clothing and accessories, we often wonder what kind of life the pieces lived before they found us. Sometimes we make up stories about the pieces, trying to give them back the life we don't know about, like the party dress that danced until dawn or the brooch that was a treasured piece, kept in a special box. And then every so often, you get lucky enough to find pieces that are passed on to you through a direct link to the owner. That is what happened with the Inez collection. We were lucky enough to meet Inez's son, David, through a mutual friend, and through him, we have gotten to meet Inez, in a way. So, we wanted to introduce her to you -- and with her beautiful pieces, you can keep her amazing spirit alive. Below is a short biography of her, written by David, her son. And find the links to her Hat Collection and Clothing Collection at the bottom of the page.
My mother, Inez Andrew Hearn, was born in 1915 as the Edwardian era was coming to a close and the Roaring Twenties were about to begin. Her earliest memory was going to the train station in her small hometown in South Carolina to see the troops return home from World War I. She remembered the loud music, the cheering crowd, flags waving, and ladies donning lovely, big hats with lots of fluffy feathers. Her life spanned the great era of American fashion that was influenced by Hollywood. Mother loved going to the movies. Her favorite stars were Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, and Norma Shearer. She bore a strong resemblance to Miss Shearer. As a young girl living in New York City, she was stopped by strangers and asked “Would you please sign this Miss Shearer?” By the late 1960s, the autograph hunters mistook my mother for Beatrice Lillie. I do not believe my mother thought that was an improvement. Crawford, Stanwyck, and Shearer were the women who influenced her sense of style. She liked an understated look with very little jewelry; just earrings, a brooch, and a dramatic hat. "Accent your looks. Do not drown them", she would say.
I can only guess, but I do think the lovely hats at the train station left a lasting impression on my mother and contributed to a love of stylish clothing and accessories her entire life. As a child, I remember sitting in the hat department of stores while she tried on every hat within reach. All the better department stores delivered, and Mother did not have to manage any bulky boxes or awkward conversations with my father on the ride home. The deliveries would arrive the next day while he was at work. "What your father does not know will not upset him!" Mother did not just shop local. She loved to travel, collecting business cards and contact information with good sales clerks in many major cities, not to mention store charge cards to compliment them. She did "online" shopping (phone line, that is) long before the internet coined the term “online shopping”.
Now this passion for fashion did not stop in the hat department. All good hats need dresses, matching shoes, purses and, of course, gloves to keep them company. As a well brought up southern lady, Mother never left the house without gloves, a hat and the dreaded girdle underneath her prim and proper dresses. Throughout her life passed a lot of beautiful clothing. Many survived that were lost at the back of her closet or in a trunk, and I was fortunate to have inherited them. I majored in Costume and Fashion Design in college, and I, too, love beautiful vintage clothing. I have enjoyed these mementos of my mother's for many years. Now the time has come for me to downsize my life. Fortunately, I can pass these vintage treasures on to others who will truly appreciate them. I am so grateful to the ladies of Blackbird Vintage for helping me find them a second chance at life.
It is amazing to have a collection of hats from one owner -- especially a collection that spans decades. Inez had impeccable taste, and you can see it in the range of styles of hats she wore. Take a look by clicking here or the photo above to see her hat collection.
Inez's Clothing and Accessories
Inez had great style in clothing and accessories, too. We have picked a small selection of her clothing and accessories for this section, just to give a cross section of what she wore. We will be adding more in the coming months. Click here or the photo above to see her lovely pieces.