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Aug 10, 2007
V 35 Issue 32

 
 
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Putting on the Glitz
Putting on the Glitz
Finding your inner Marilyn on Broadway

by Maggie Bloodstone - SGN Contributing Writer

Not that there aren't already a bunch of great vintage & 2nd hand clothing stores on Capitol Hill (Goddess knows I've spent enough time in all of them), but unlike Thai restaurants, the 'hood can always do with one more. Especially if that one more has something extra-special to recommend it&like, a life-size icon of an actual Icon in their front window, say. In the case of Glitz on Broadway, the Icon in question is the undisputed Blonde Venus herself, Marilyn Monroe. The proprietress, a vivacious blonde Lesbian, was divinely inspired to found Glitz, part vintage clothing shop, part Monroe monument, through the acquisition of a scarily-realistic mannequin head of Marilyn made about 15 years ago, and with the official blessing of the Monroe estate, it came to pass that the lovely platinum noggin should be enshrined in Seattle's Gayest neighborhood. And Lo, it was good.

For Glitz's owner, a former psychotherapist, one of the most gratifying aspects of owning Glitz is the opportunity to chat with the young women who stop in and find women who stop in and find themselves having a very interesting conversation about all things Marilyn, a far less glamorous part of which included toxic substances. In fact, her future plans include a biography of M.M. from the perspective of chemical dependency and its effect on Marilyn's life and (often unfortunate) choices, an aspect of the legend she feels has not been sufficiently explored. She definitely knows her Monroe-ography, and will gladly hold forth on the stories behind the lovingly framed photos on the wall: the young Norma Jeane, her mother, and hubbies Jimmy Dougherty, Miller and DiMaggio, appropriately flanked by a row of scrumptious wedding gowns from various decades hanging on the wall. Recently there have been new additions to Marilyn's monument, courtesy of a friend and fellow M.M. acolyte: the original poster the Monroe postage stamp was based on, and the promotional 'Hang on to the legend' poster that languished in the back room of the Lake Stevens post office til the nice ladies there presented it to Glitz for posterity.

Marilyn may be the primary deity in residence at Glitz, but not the only one-other photos on display include James Dean, Brando, Bogart-and Elvis, who rates a place of honor next to the plaster M.M., in the form of a handsome oil portrait and a classic wall hanging (which recently sold-but she can always make more). And, of course, there's the clothing- the stock is still being built, as the shop opened only last spring, but there are attractively priced duds from the '50's to last week, chosen for class, quality, and uniqueness (I was eyeing a pair of late-'60's flowered bellbottoms that reminded me of a favorite pair from 6th grade, but alas, they were too teensy). She's got cute shoes, vintage ties, slinky tops, and a great array of large-size dresses, which she wants to promote to transgendered and crossdressing gals who may have a hard time finding gowns that will adequately cover a 6-foot plus frame. Plus, Glitz proudly features the "best dressing room in Seattle", a pink & black space almost as big as some Capitol Hill studio apartments, with ample mirror space and a chandelier (because rhinestones are a girl's next-best friend).

Glitz is a welcome addition to a progressively more condo-fied Capitol Hill, not just a store, but a potential salon with a distinct style and personality- Lynne is already planning future events, including a birthday party for Marilyn next June. Synchronistically, I recalled just the other day that Glitz occupies a space only a few feet from another one-of-a-kind vintage mecca I frequented in the pre-gentrification days of the Hill, Dreamland. So it seems fitting and proper that the same old-school spirit be reincarnated here, with a caretaker whose fondness for the community is as obvious as the fact Marilyn wasn't a natural blonde. The owner says Glitz is an expression of "What's in my heart"-which is clearly a friendly and fabulous place. So, go soak up some glamour history, buy yourself something nice, and have your picture taken (for a mere $10) with The Goddess herself, at Broadway's own Church Of Marilyn. Glitz is located at 617 Broadway East, (206) 861-3222 (no website yet, unfortunately).

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