Friday, June 3, 2011


A dear friend of mine, Mr. Damon Devine, is a celebrity makeup artist who used to do the flawless maquillage of the infamously talented and glamorous Incan songbird, Yma Sumac.  When she became ill, he was there for her -- as a friend AND a makeup magician -- even painting her still-stunning face while in the hospital.  When she passed, he was put in charge of all her exotic and breathtaking worldly possessions.  Anything Yma wore in a publicity photo or on an album cover would, obviously, be put up for auction.  Some of the less famous (but by no means less glamorous!) pieces are, thankfully, making their way into the hearts and closets of myself and some of LA's most fashionable personalities and/or performers.
Miss Yma Sumac being idolized by her adoring fans.
A few pairs of tiny vintage Sling-O-Back shoes fit my gal pal, Selene Luna, like a glove.  An amazing purple ensemble consisting of hot pants, matching long hostess jacket (open in the front a la Lucille Ball) with rhinestone buttons and a corresponding belt (with uber chunky rhinestone belt buckle!) was adopted by funny lady (with a body of DEATH!), Nadya Ginsburg.  A black and turquoise mod geometric costume jewelry necklace went to the oh-so-chic Jonona Amor.  And a string of iridescent black beads are now sitting proudly just above the cleavage of writer/actress Muffy Bolding.  Needless to say, all these fabulous ladies are thrilled to own these beautiful items and to help keep the magic of Ms. Sumac alive.
I can feel Yma's unmistakable glamour when I wear her ocelot caftan!
As is the case with most women, Yma's weight (along with her striking glamour!) increased a bit with age and as a result, there exist in her collection everything from the tiniest of form-fitting outfits to the most comfortable and forgiving diaphanous garments.  I am the proud owner of several of her muumuus or caftans, two of which are shown here on both the legendary Yma herself in photos from back in the day -- and on myself, out of drag and bearded, trying them on for size.
As a vintage clothing freak, I really LOVE the fact that Yma's garments were outrageously beautiful AND in fabulous shape!  NOTHING SMELLED OF CIGARETTE SMOKE, THANK YOU! (Just look at this Goddess!)
I, too, am simply over-the-moon to be the proud owner of some of Yma's enduring glamour.  As far as I am concerned, glamour makes life worth living!  Looking through her wardrobe, it's no wonder that V Magazine recently named Yma Sumac one of the top Muses of the World of the 21st Century!  But it is her loving spirit towards animals, her imperious diva-like star attitude and, of course, her peerless singing voice that will live forever.  Do yourself a favor and watch some Yma Sumac on YouTube and go get some of her music.  Put it on while you clean the house or run your errands.
A simple day look. Perhaps I will wear it on my next run to Trader Joe's!?
Remember, glamour makes life worth living.  And Yma was glamour incarnate!


  1. There are some black sandals at Target that would look divine with that!

  2. Amen girl!!! A life lived without glamour isn't a life worth living. <3

  3. sweet and is it a coincidence that Judy Collins - in my life is playing on my pc right now... i think not.

  4. um holy shit! i wish i was lucky enough to get some yma sumac hand me downs!!