Jimi Hendrix Fashion
HOST: (Hendrix playing The Star-Spangled Banner) His sound is unmistakable. Jimi Hendrix's music has inspired and amazed generations of rock-'n'-roll fans. But it wasn't only his music that was influential. His style and fashion sense made a great impact as well. Seattle claims Hendrix as a native son. And here at the EMP Museum, we explored some items from the rock star's wardrobe and discussed collecting celebrity clothing with appraiser Laura Woolley. Laura, when we talk about celebrity clothing, it's a tricky area for collectors because there's a big difference between clothing that they just wore and clothes that are documented.
Correct. And the two pieces we have here are the perfect example of incredibly well-documented pieces that were worn during stage performances. The first piece here, a kimono that was worn by Hendrix numerous times, but most importantly during the Newport '69 Festival that took place in Devonshire Downs in California. And he was the headliner at that show. It was also important because it was among the last shows that the Jimi Hendrix Experience played together as a band. About a week later they broke up. HOST: And the velvet pants, he also wore with this kimono at that concert.
He did. He wore the pants with this kimono, but these pants most importantly were worn at Woodstock. Dawn's breaking on the last day of Woodstock. People are slowly starting to trail off. The lighting was great because it was early morning. And he comes out with that amazing The Star-Spangled Banner solo, which perfectly showed off his use of distortion, and all the things he was really well-known for experimenting with. What's really important for collectors is looking not only for documentation on provenance, but what moment in their career were they wearing it. And Hendrix, the closing performer there, makes it one of the top pieces that you could possibly own from Hendrix. The market for Hendrix has shifted pretty tremendously in the past few years. In today's market, I would expect a similar piece to the kimono to sell in the $75,000 range. HOST: And then when we talk about the pants, we're in a different class altogether, aren't we?
Yeah, there really is no comparable for something that is this iconic. We'd have to go to a different market and look at the Hollywood market. And I think the most comparable thing might be the Marilyn Monroe Seven Year Itch dress, the white halter dress that she wore in the subway. Great with the skirt blowing up, which sold for in excess of $4 million. The rock-'n'-roll market's not quite where the Hollywood market is, but in the world of rock-'n'-roll, this is kind of an equivalent. So we would expect something similar of that kind of status to sell in excess of six figures. HOST: In fashion, Hendrix was a trendsetter. But that is sort of a metaphor for what he did in his whole life, musically, culturally, artistically. Thanks so much for sharing this.
Thank you. HOST: These are great examples of documented costumes on stage. But there's a big difference in value when we talk about wardrobe worn by the star that was in their everyday wardrobe, that wasn't a documented piece. And let's talk about that a little bit.
Well, I love Hendrix for this exact reason. If you were to look at these in a line-up, you wouldn't be able to tell which one he wore on stage and which one was everyday clothing. HOST: That's his casual vest.
Yeah, I mean he wore clothing like this every day, which is what we love about his flamboyant style. He had such an influential look back in the '60s, it was kind of a thrown-together, gypsy style of bits and pieces, and this vest is very representational of that style. Despite the fact that there perhaps isn't a photograph of him wearing it, there's still wonderful documentation on this piece. You can back up where it came from and its association with him. A piece almost identical to this sold in 2004 for $7,000. But with that shift in the market, I would expect a similar piece to sell probably more in the $15,000 range today. HOST: Thanks for sharing this.
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