When the disco skating fad took off here in California in the late 1970’s, I was happy to join in because it was so much fun. Dressing in outrageous clothes and dancing while skating to disco music with friends was a wonderful moment in time – it was the seventies! We began attending a large celebrity studded private skating party held every week in the San Fernando Valley hosted by Helena Kalliontes, a good friend of Jack Nicholson’s. It was always was well attended by all the biggest stars at the time and the entrance was surrounded by paparazzi. The parking lot was packed with Rolls Royces and Mercedes every Wednesday night and the ordinarily dated and uneventful skating rink became sparkling and alive after the sun set.
I painted my own skates in an Egyptian style complete with a portrait of my pet Dutch rabbit on them (these skates are now in the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle). Other celebrities saw what I was wearing and so a series of commissioned skates was begun. Cher had me design some purple zebra skin roller skates to match her Bob Mackie costume all of which ended up on the cover of People Magazine. I painted a pink roccoco pair lined with faux ermine for my skating buddy artist Edie Vonnegut (see bottom photo). Articles soon appeared featuring my skates in Women’s Wear Daily and other fashion magazines, plus the skates were included in a book which documenting the disco skating world titled Roller Babies.