1960's Fashion

Paul Brockmann Shares His 55,000 Vintage Dresses

8:00 AMDollie DeVille

Last weekend I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Paul Brockmann. He is being talked about all over the internet and news, but you may not have heard his story yet. He is a collector of vintage dresses. Specifically, 55 thousand vintage evening dresses. I imagine this has to be the biggest dress collection ever, so I knew I had to meet this extraordinary man. 

I contacted Paul online to ask if I could make take photos and video of his next sale. Right off the bat he was very friendly and accommodating. He even agreed to let me interview him on camera. He posed on all of his social media sites about how excited he was to meet me. I have seen him do this with other people as well. That is some serious salesmanship!

When we arrived, Paul, his wife and his daughter greeted us. Right off the bat they started telling us stories, before I could even start the camera. Paul's wife Margot told me a story about how they were vacationing in Yosemite and on the way they saw a yard sale sign. Paul liked to stop at yard sales to look for dresses. Margot asked him not to stop but he insisted. She chose to stay in the car while he went to see what they had. When Paul came back he was carrying trash bags full of dresses. Margot could only sigh. It turns out that Margot didn't want anymore dresses.

Paul had been collecting since the 1950's when they lived in Germany. The collection started with just 10 dresses that he picked out of a bale of american clothing while he was working as a dock worker. He was fascinated by the dresses. The new-look shape, the loud taffeta fabric, the full swishy skirt. He imagined how they would look on his sweetheart Margot. Since that one fateful day he has purchased more dresses then Margot could possibly wear in one lifetime. The dresses didn't fit in her closet, in the garage, or in a storage unit. This is the story of one man, who bought the love of his life, 55,000 dresses:

This is a classic romance story, if you look at it that way. You have to admire a man that just wants to make his wife look pretty. He wanted her to always have a new dress to wear when he took her dancing. What he couldn't foresee is that these dresses would end up giving him more pleasure then the dresses gave his wife. Ultimately, they didn't let the collection of 55,000 vintage dresses come between them.

A big thank you to the entire Brockmann family for allowing me to interview you and photograph a small bit of the collection. Also, a HUGE thank you to Paul who very generously gifted me these two dresses. He is the nicest guy ever! The blue dress above is my very first Emma Domb! The dress below had no label. I love the unique style of it. very different than anything I have.

This show stopper was my ultimate favorite, but it was nowhere close to zipping. What a beautiful couture piece from New York! 

If you would like to see Paul's dresses in person, visit his next warehouse sale on 9/28/13!


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  1. I would give anything to attend this event. Why must I live a million miles away?

  2. Lovely video! Thanks for sharing this gentleman's love of dresses. What a great event to attend.

  3. The coolest! I'm so glad that you got to meet them...and how cool that he gifted you with those two gorgeous dresses. What sweethearts.

  4. What a sweet man! And how wonderful they gifted you such beautiful dresses. The 2nd is my favorite. Wish I lived in CA and could grab one up.

  5. WOW!!!! I just tried to reach the website and it was overloaded with users viewing it. Love this guy!!

  6. How amazing is that? Sweet love story, wonderful opportunity to view vintage dresses! Your new dresses are gorgeous!

  7. IF only I did not live far, far away in the southeast! I would LOVE to attend this event!!!

  8. I saw a news story about him recently, what a cute story. I can't wait to watch your video with him once I get home from work tonight!

  9. Oh my gosh that place looks like Heaven to me!!!! Next time I visit my husband's family in CA I hope there is a 55000 dresses sale!! I love how passionate he was about fashion, I know its a little taboo to say some of those things... but it is crazy that when I go out in just a simple day dress adults look at me like I'm a freak, and little girls ask me if I am a princess--- obviously the world doesn't see many women dressed in lovely dresses in normal every day life.

  10. Wow! 55 thousand vintage evening dresses? That's an amazing massive amount! Her wife is really lucky to have him as a husband who wants her to look pretty that's why he has this huge collection! You are also lucky to be given those vintage dresses. They are beautiful and they look nice on you. You look gorgeous in those vintage dresses.



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