Searching for B-52’s style |

Searching for B-52’s style

Cassie Pence
Photo illustration by Preston UtleyFinding a crazy outfit at the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale shouldn't be a problem. Picking the right one might.

MINTURN ” There’s not one song in the whole world better to shimmy to than the B-52’s “Love Shack.” And it helps if you’re wearing the right outfit.

The B-52’s first made their mark in the ’80s with garage-rock dance tunes like “Rock Lobster,” “Private Idaho” and “Strobe Light,” followed up by hits “Love Shack” and “Roam” in the late ’80s. The band, arguably, is one of the first to be called “alternative” ” a pop offshoot of the punk revolution.

The B-52’s members also adopted a wacky fashion style all their own that incorporated the bold geometric patterns of 1960s Mod with the swirling colors and flowy fabrics of late ’60s psychedelic. Day Glo colors, bouffant hairdos and short, short hem lines ” perfect to shimmy ” made the B-52’s on stage look like a singing, dancing Andy Warhol painting.

But why should they have all the fun? Luckily for me, the largest rummage sale known to second-hand treasure hunters around the world is in town. So on Saturday, I went searching for B-52’s style at the Eagle Valley Community Fund Auction and Rummage Sale in Minturn. When they play “Love Shack” at the Ford Amphitheater Sunday, I want to be go-go-boot ready.

Although the rummage sale’s bona-fide vintage section is just one small rack by the checkout and consists mostly of retro ski sweaters and Victorian-style wedding gowns (I did see a red dress perfect for an Olive Oil costume), there are plenty of new, vintage-looking pieces that one could wear to get into that B-style-movie mood. The Minturn rummage sale is often crowded with fierce competition, but fortunately for seekers of obnoxious patterns, the clothing we’re looking for jumps out from the racks of clutter and screams, “When will I ever where this again?” drastically reducing any challenges.

Arriving rather late as far as rummagers are concerned, about 8:30 a.m., I beelined it straight for the women’s clothing room. Tables with folded items were already bombed by mad shoppers, but a couple of pairs of hot pants peeking out from underneath the fabric debris caught my eye ” suede margarita-blue clam diggers and pleather magenta snake-skin pants. Over the arm they went as I continued to fish through racks. I found not one but two pairs of stretchy metallic leopard pants, which I thought might look cute worn as leggings under a miniskirt, but I kept moving. Animal prints abounded; I spotted a fuzzy zebra vest and soft tiger trousers large enough for a man ” hey, maybe my fiance needs something for the concert, I thought. I talked myself out of buying this beautiful Indonesian jacket: It was more Sergeant Pepper than B-52’s.

Finally, like a diamond in a scree field, I snagged a hot-pink flower-power dress. Feminine with a diving neck line, huge daisy print and flowing sleeves ” it was perfect. I looked at the tag, it was a Sue Wong, and only five bucks to boot.

I ditched the other garb I had collected, knowing I had found the crown jewel of B-52’s style, and cashed out. Hopefully, the band is still sporting their Warholian style. If not, I know the hip opening act Dressy Bessy will definitely be donning their Twiggy-inspired clothes ” and I’ll fit right in.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938 or

Vail, Colorado

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