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Model, broadcaster and fashion devotee Camerone Parker shares a space in her Tucson home that holds secrets, stories and fond memories.
“Most clothes closets today are made for oompa-loompahs. Not everything is cropped. So I had this closet [in my guest bedroom] remodeled, with a rail high up to hold my couture gowns and coats. You can turn the lights up towards the ceiling and onto the clothes. It’s important to look at the clothes at the beginning and middle of the day, and at night, to see how the colors are going to change. The ladder is on casters. It’s from an old shoe store in Chicago. I bought two of them on eBay.
“I call this Camerone’s Couture Closet. It’s the keeper of past, present and future secrets. There’s a lot of life that has lived in here, a lot of stories that evolved before I was even born.
“I have a dress that Ann Hathaway wore in The Devil Wears Prada, bought at auction. There’s a black gown by my friend Bert Keeter. There’s a swing coat from circa 1940 from Saks Fifth Avenue, with hand-beaded pearls, Swarovski crystals, and dupioni silk.
“I have a House of Dior cocktail dress from 1948, bought at a vintage store in Silver City, New Mexico. I was in the store and the owner said, ‘What a cheap party dress!’ I knew that it was probably Dior. He was known for these intricate lace details. I kept my mouth shut and I got her for $75. I drove her to California to have her authenticated by Dior and they wanted it. I said ‘No way!'”
“Some people have a passion for collecting cars. I can come in here and no matter how I’ve been feeling, I slip into here and get lost.
“The things from Paris are hand-sewn couture. No machine has touched them. Every single thing is hand-sewn. That’s a lost art.
“I’ve worn probably 90% of the clothes in here. Some of them are archive or collector pieces, some are waiting to be worn, still with their price tags on.”
* Camerone Parker is a FORD agency model and has walked the runways for Vera Wang, Donna Karan and Georgio Armani. She also takes to the airwaves in a syndicated radio segment as The Fashionista.
* Camerone is a sponsor of Tucson Fashion Week. Expect to see her at the Runway Wrap-Up and Awards Party, Sunday October 19th.