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Friday, March 2, 2012

Today's Fashion Inspiration: Pamela Courson Morrison

I've been fascinated with Pamela Courson for nearly as many years as it's been since I first read "No One Here Gets Out Alive," in 1981, when I was barely 15 years old.  For those that don't recognize her name, she was Doors' frontman Jim Morrison's longtime girlfriend, and many people close to the couple knew that Jim regarded her as his common-law wife. 

I think Pamela was a little hard to pin down (personality wise), but her fashion sense was undeniable - Jim even bought her her own boutique, Themis, which was located close to The Doors' studio/office in Los Angeles. Themis, while not a large store, was elaborately decorated and featured clothes from around the world; Pam would fly to Europe on a regular basis to stock up on unique, high-end couture.  Here is a photo of Pam, Jim, and friends inside Themis, keeping it campy in front of the camera!

Image courtesy of

Notice the lovely Asian-inspired caftan/kimono that Pam is wearing?  She seems to be far away in her own thoughts - that's probably not far off the mark, as she has been portrayed as dreamy and creative.  See the gorgeous tunic that Jim is wearing?  It makes me wonder if Pam purchased it on one of her travels, like maybe Morocco?

Anyway, there's a photo of Jim and Pam together, and I believe it was also taken inside Themis, and it's one of my favourites:

Image courtesy of

I adore Pam's elegant up-do in the photograph, and I've spend a lot of time online and in local vintage shops, looking for the perfect outfit that was similar in design to what Pam was wearing, and I finally found it on eBay, which I bought first to have Maxine model for us - tell me if you think I've captured a similar look/style: 
Yes, that's a cigarette in her hand!  Remember folks, this was in the 1960s, back when everybody smoked!  I found it interesting that Pam's cig was in her right hand, making me wonder if she was left-handed?  Sure wish I had had a white rose and that suede wrap that she's holding...

It took *forever* to pin and style this wig!  I was trying to capture Pamela's Grecian-style up-do, and believe me, this wig was a basket case to start out with!  Many tears and a can of mousse later, here are the final results.  In the picture below, the flash from my camera made Maxine's hair too bright and not the same shade as Pam's warmer, lighter red.  Wish I had that funky pendant that Pamela's wearing (the one she also turns into a headband!)  The only large pendant necklace that I own is bright green, and it looked ghastly with this outfit!  This is just a simple black jumpsuit with a chiffon overdress, slit up the sides.  In the pics of Pam, it's hard to tell whether she's wearing black palazzo pants or a black skirt underneath, so this was the closest I could find after weeks of scouring eBay and other sites.  Maxine is an Italian mannequin, so her skin tone is more of an olive than Pam's alabaster-and-freckles, and Max's eyes are hazel, not bluish-green like Pam's.  Still, I think their facial features bear somewhat of a resemblance - that same delicate look that's so hard to describe!

Pam was, and always will be, a beautiful mystery with too few chapters penned.  She lived fast and died much too young (she was 27, as Jim was when he passed).  It would have been fascinating to have witnessed both of them live past age 27, and what creative turns their lives might have taken them...

In the future, I will post an entry that features Maxine modeling a couple of white dresses (and some Pam-inspired jewelry) like the ones I've seen in other photographs of her.  I also have a white pantsuit and green scarf, like the ones Pam wore in the famous levitation photos of her and Jim.  :)

1 comment:

  1. i love Pamela <3
    Her style is soooooooo cool !