The buzz around Dolly Parton’s bedazzled orange cape from her 1977 Fort Worth concert has sparked excitement among collectors. Patric Parkey, a passionate memorabilia enthusiast hailing from Pigeon, Tennessee, took a leap at a Nashville auction, splurging a substantial $5,000 on this enchanting piece. Despite his initial lack of knowledge about its origin, the allure of the orange and pearl rhinestone design, reminiscent of the star of Bethlehem, captured Parkey’s heart.
The revelation about the cape’s history unfolded through a Star-Telegram article on December 18, featuring newly digitized negatives of photographs from Parton’s concert at Panther Hall in Fort Worth on December 2, 1977. Even in the simplicity of black and white, Parkey easily spotted the distinctive sleeved tunic-like cape. He pointed out, “Dolly is a very religious person, and if you look at the pictures — even in black and white — in the middle, it looks like the star of Bethlehem.”
Learning the specific details of when and where Dolly Parton wore the garment added a personal touch for Parkey, deepening his appreciation for the cape. This unique piece was one of three outfits he snagged at the Julien’s Auctions sale in Nashville in November, bringing his total count of Parton outfits in the collection to an impressive 54. Notably, another cape from the same auction fetched a remarkable price exceeding $10,000.
Beyond their extensive wardrobe, Parkey and his husband boast thousands of other Parton-related items, ranging from photos and posters to shoes, dolls, and games. Particularly noteworthy is a distinctive pink bed from Dollywood, where Parton once slept. Around eight years ago, Dolly Parton herself visited their home, expressing genuine admiration for the shrine they had thoughtfully curated.
Exploring the fashion legacy of Dolly Parton reveals that in the 1970s, many of her iconic gowns were meticulously crafted by her seamstress, Lucy Adams. Parton’s latest book, “Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones,” provides readers with a peek into her timeless sense of style and enduring passion for fashion. For a delightful journey through Dolly’s best country-glam fashion moments, take a listen to the audio below!