By Melody Stone, Published: Mar 16 2008, the eureka reporter

When Lora Jabot was growing up in the ’70s, she said she loved looking at pictures of her mother as a young girl. Her mother sang in a rockabilly band in the ’50s and dressed the part. Jabot loved her mother’s look and was dissatisfied with the fashions of the time.

So she started dressing in a vintage style. In the ’80s, she collected items from a vintage store in Crescent City, where she grew up. “People thought I was weird buying old clothes,” said Jabot, “but they were cute.”

Now the 48-year-old rockabilly babe is selling vintage clothes to Hollywood moviemakers and theater groups. She helped outfit Joaquin Phoenix for his role as Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line.” The black coat with red lining that he wore in the Folsom Prison scene was a piece she had collected and sold to the costumer for the movie. She also supplied the band-mates’ suits.

Jabot had a storefront in Old Town Eureka from 1991 to 1995, and a store in Henderson Center from 1995-2003. When she started her business in 1991, hers was the first vintage store in the area. Since then, vintage-inspired stores have been a cornerstone of Old Town shopping.

In 2003, she moved her boutique into her home so she could travel more. Clothing collectors and historians can make appointments to view her collections or purchase from her boutique, or they can check out her Web site at

Nancy Tobin, who turned her hobby of collecting vintage clothes into a business and started the Vintage Avenger, said, “Lora was helpful when I first started my business. She came in on one of the first days I started my business with hangers and hanger covers. I didn’t really know her; I thought that was a generous gesture. She’s very knowledgeable about the era and being true to those time periods.”

In her years of dealing with vintage clothing, Jabot said she has been able to see and do amazing things. She worked on the set of “The Majestic” when it was filmed in Ferndale. She always dressed up for work, and said she was often told to get in the shots because people on the set mistook her for an extra. She helped repaint some mannequins to make them look of the time period. “It was a nice being on the set and seeing everybody in costume – it was like being in the period,” said Jabot.

She also supplied odds and ends to the costumers for “Titanic.” She said she loves seeing period movies on the big screen because she can see all the details and tell how accurate producers really were with the clothing and sets. She said she can identify a real piece of vintage clothing from a reproduction in an instant when she sees movies.

When Jabot had her storefront in Old Town, one of her customers was actress Molly Ringwald, who came in to look around, Jabot said. “She said, ‘This is one of the nicest shops I’ve ever seen,’ and I said, ‘Thank you, Dustin Hoffman said the same thing.

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