The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 7, 1985 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 7, 1985
Page:
Page 21
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Living Today The Salina Journal Sunday, April 7,1985 Page 21 </,V:''w.'f;'-v.^ Vvv vtSpKepatet-.•'.•: •\V--"";N ••WH>'^0;'-^*'^: l iW;; t : I >i'Sav®5?'-> J a»i,,;, ••r<<oT; An elegant bird decorates the cotton lace hat. Salinan Pauline Goodnight designed this hat for Mary Lou Johnson to wear at a Chicago artists' convention. Silk poppies and ostrich plumes were used. In your Easter bonnet An Easter bonnet, "with all the frills upon it," is a specialty of Salinan Pauline, Goodnight. . \ The former millinery designer recently agreed to hand- make three elegant hats and a fan of 18th-century vintage as a sales gimmick for artist Mary Lou Johnson, Rt. 1. Johnson and her friend, ' Joyce Nickell, Salina, then topped their turn-of-the-century costumes with Goodnight's hats and today are parading them at a Chicago convention of the National Society of Tole and Decorative Painters. Johnson's focus is the promotion of her latest method book, "Recollections of Mv Favorite Things," which is full of dainty • turn-of-the-century cherubs, porcelain dolls and children. She is a Master teacher of her art. Johnson says Goodnight was just the person to "design her promotional hats. And Goodnight, though "mostly retired" at 75, wel- comed the opportunity to use her talents again. Her appetite for design, like a craving for expensive sweets, seems insatiable as the silver-haired grandmother describes the 21 hours of pirining-and pleating it took to finish one of the hats. From a kitchen pantry full of choice fabrics rather than canned goods, Goodnight reached for supplies from years past. Pure silk veiling, rich-looking silk poppies, hackle feathers, ostrich plrrmes and fancy rhinestone hat pins were among her treasures. "The silk flowers I used are at least 25 years old," - she says, and {hey are a different type than varieties sold today. Despite her use of old materials, Goodnight's ideas are far from dated. She surrounds herself with the classic strains of Chopin and Tchaikovsky in her smalli Oakdale Plaza apartment where the latest editions of such haute couture publications as Town and Country and W magazines further testify to her taste for fine things. A high-pitched giggle sprin- kles her sentences as Goodnight speaks of her own wardrobe. She always has a "daytime wear" project in the works for herself and often greets visitors in a pink silk gown with a bodice of heavy embroidery and detailed beading. l Goodnight says she won't be guilty of wearing a "button- down-the-front housedress" as do many women her age. Her fashion expertise came Joyce Nickell joins Johnson in 18th-century garb. from working in a custom- made millinery shop during World War II in Virginia. A native Kansan, she returned to the state and to Salina where she began designing for area, women in 1947. Besides chapeaus, Goodnight created wedding dresses and veils and formats. She taught a millinery class 'when the Schilling Air Force base was .open and during the early '60s worked as a hat designer for Wardens Inc. Extra fabric was ordered from which Goodnight created hats to match fashionable Salinans' dress purchases. She remembers Neva Bolen, ' now a resident of Presbyterian ' Manor, as the woman for whom she made the most hats. She also designed Donna Vanier's wedding dress of brocade and lace and recalls a number of formats she did for other so- eial occasions. One of these gowns, a strapless one that "fit like a glove" with a full skirt, black net niching and a large red rose, was made for a high school prom. On a green formal, she shirred the hem in scallops and fastened each with a rose. Goodnight lauds the popular designers of the 1980s, speaking particularly of Bob Mackie, Bill Blass and Italy's Mario Valentino. She marvels at women's fashion fickleness: "They think .they can't wear a dress more than one year." She, on the other hand, subscribes to the statement of the late French designer Mainbocher: "If the dress doesn't last 10 years, it wasn't anything to begin with." Goodnight says, for instance, she still wears a favorite suit that's 20 years old. Her theory is if the lines are right and the material and work are quality, an' article of clothing can last indefinitely. Her fashion sense parallels her philosophy on life. Goodnight says she has been a student of metaphysics since she was 32 years old and regularly reads Science of Mind magazine. Positive thoughts are her aspiration. "You are what you think." Reincarnation is a reality in Goodnight's opinion. She says she hopes to "come back" someday on a higher level. "That's why I study so much. There is so much in the world 'that is interesting, so much to learn ... something new all the time." Still, she enjoys the glance backward in designing the old- fashioned hats. The future fashion prospects for headwear are doubtful. Women wearing hats, in Kansas are a rare sight, even on Easter morning. The state's windy reputation sees to that. Goodnight believes the Kansas winds only serve as an excuse^ because "You can always anchor a hat." But 'she says a woman must feel comfortable N about wearing a hat to do so successfully. By Sherida Warner Photos by Scott Williams

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