A fashion trunk show at the Green Closet has the buzz of an art opening. I was barely in the door when owner Xmas Maxon-Alley descended and offered me a glass of wine. Not to mention cheese, crackers and dried cherries. Eighties music played from somewhere. The goldenrod-colored walls were artfully lined with a mix of vintage and indie-designed dresses and shirts, secondhand cowboy boots, pillbox hats and very cool jeans.
Maxon-Alley’s free-form fashion sense was something to behold. Her short, layered haircut was dyed red, with a shock of blond across the forehead. Fake pearls were wound around her throat. She wore a military-green jacket over an angry-colored tee and a long, silky negligee, flowing culottes and heeled sandals. This was, after all, her trunk show. She pointed out a rack of skirts, shirts and dresses bearing her label, Post-Decadent Reconstructed.
Surprisingly, more men than women popped in over the evening; all scanned the goods with open-mouthed delight. One woman, in a green velvet jacket and carrying a glittering gold purse, stopped dead at the sight of a pair of mannequins in male and female indie dress. She pulled out her cellphone and made a call. “You have to come here; these two mannequins are wearing outfits you and I should be wearing!” she commanded.
My friend pulled a strappy sundress off the Post-Decadent rack with a low “Oooh.” It was brown and cream in alternating strips, cut from two old pairs of hemp pants and sewn so that the seams showed. “That one’s from scratch. It took me days to do it,” Maxon-Alley explained. Then she grabbed a skirt, held it against her waist, and swished her hips for the folks just arriving, all the while chatting animatedly about the other designers she carries.
When my friend finally settled on a different dress, Maxon-Alley was just as happy, and praised us for “getting” the environmental and political importance of buying recycled, handmade clothing. But “Burlington is a little behind,” she added. Apparently “thinking green” hasn’t filtered down to fashion here yet, but no doubt it’s just a matter of time.