On Friday, April 26, a fashion show at Colony Woodstock will celebrate styles of the 1970’s fifty years later, predominantly created by a mother-daughter team of seamstresses, and curated by the surviving daughter, Molly Farley.
A hundred years back a style of home-stitched “Woodstock dress” was proudly worn hereabouts. Fifty years later personally tie-dyed blouses and tees became the rage. In town today, shopping on-line has nearly eclipsed a tradition of creating one’s personal wardrobe, once passed from mother to daughter. Until, that is, you figure in the potent influence of Minnesota-born Molly Farley, who came to town 33 years ago — her Singer sewing machine zip-zapping out garments day and night.
Molly — who indeed learned to sew at her mother’s side — first sold a line of her own hats in Woodstock (patronized, for one, by Kate Pierson of the B-52’s.) It wasn’t until 2014, in the historically important building catty-corner from Colony Woodstock on Rock City Road, where she opened “Sew Woodstock,” that her contribution became, well…so Woodstock.
Naturally, town has seen its share of vintage clothing stores, (and Castaways remains a wonderful establishment) yet the moment Molly began to actually teach sewing, something downright ancestral stirred in a half-closeted community of seamstresses who began pouring through the doors of what had once been The Purple Elephant Café in the early 1970’s (and the legendary SS Seahorse well before that.)
To hedge the truckloads of alterations piling up at Sew Woodstock while concentrating more on classic threads, Molly’s business morphed two years ago into Rock City Vintage, and it will soon downsize again when moving a few doors up Rock City Road in September. But because of the skilled re-creation of period clothes within, Rock City Vintage will remain the locus of a cult invisible to the uninformed eyed.\
As a for instance, Lauren Conrad contacted Molly last fall saying, “I have boat loads of fabric.” It turns out Lauren’s parents, Jon and Jeanne Forster, ran a Woodstock shop in the 70’s called “Elegantique.” Among Lauren’s treasures were found Dutch hand-blocked fabrics in bright 70’s colors, and roll after roll Abraham Zurich creations, who sold to Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent at $250 and more per yard. While wishing her own recently deceased mother/mentor could have run her hands and eyes through the trove, an idea took root in Molly’s mind. These Classic threads would be transformed into her own line of “Fresh Vintage” garments; Molly’s Mom, Karole Farley’s, period creations would have a segment all her own; and a third tier would showcase originals between 40 and 50 years old.
The models will be clotheshorse enthusiasts of the area moving to groovy 70’s grooves provided by Dave Leonard. And wear your dancing shoes for the party to follow the show.
The Rock City Vintage Fashion Show and Dance Party will be at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Friday, April 26 at Colony Woodstock, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock.
Tickets are $12 at the door in $10 advance at colonywoodstock.com, or by calling 845-679-7625.