Let's talk about fashion with... Pamela Des Barres!

Let's talk about fashion with… Pamela Des Barres! Miss Pamela is a shining light and creative force, working as a writer, artist, and groupie to the stars in the 1960's Los Angeles music scene. She and her fellow GTO’s were pioneers in vintage fashion, dolling themselves in antique finery and bringing their musician muses along for the ride. Not only did she have fun with vintage, she also made bespoke clothing for herself and the musicians she loves so deeply. Through her sewing needle she tells a beautiful story, one where clothing has the power to transform, to delight, the ability to show true love and affection, and the rewarding appreciation you recieve when its cherished by the person it's made it for - (even when its yourself!)


Describe each GTO member's style in two or three words!

Sparkie - Deco Pixie
Cynderella - Rag Doll
Mercy - Gypsy Theda Bara
Sandra - Star-Eyed Earth Mama
Christine - Ersatz Dr Seuss Harlequin
Me - Velvet Baby Doll 

Out of all the rockstars you helped shape and transform the closet of, who was your favorite to dress?

I made my first western shirt for Chris Hillman, hand embroidered it with drops of my blood in a little white voodoo ritual. Then made one for Gram Parsons when they were the Flying Burrito Brothers. But the pink velvet shirt with 4 foot long fringe I made for Jimmy Page is a real humdinger. I took all my rock star friends to the first vintage clothing store in LA, the Glass Farmhouse on Sunset. I remember wrapping a feather boa around Rod Stewart’s neck. We decked out Alice Cooper and his band, and I took all of Zeppelin to Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor and they dressed cowpoke for awhile…


How has the music you have been surrounded by influenced the way you adorn yourself?

Me and my girls were forerunners of vintage chic, but I suppose Zappa and the Mothers made me want to look as wild as possible, and I cowgirl-ed it up when I was hanging with Chris and Gram.

You’ve made so many fabulous pieces for yourself and for others - hanky dresses, nudie shirts, customized 30s dresses - what is the most treasured piece you have ever made?

My purple beaded western shirt I made for Gram. His widow, Gretchen gave it back to me several years ago and told me he’d treasured it and tears poured out of me seeing it again. It has a little hole where he’d burned it with a joint. I’m leaving it to my goddaughter, Polly Parsons. 

*You can see the shirt and read more about Miss P's relationship with Gram in her blog here *

What is your personal philosophy on fashion?

Fashion should reflect what’s in your heart and soul. Doll yourself up! Deck yourself out! Be colorful, be proud. Even if you’re a little down, that’s when to pull your faves from the closet.

What are you wearing when you feel most true to yourself?

Lace, chiffon, velvet, lots of jewelry, and a great big smile.


By Kari Koty


Keep up with Miss Pamela!





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