Campus Chic: Thrifty Rocker Judith Rothman-Pierce

Photo by Elizabeth Brown/Foghorn

Judith Rothman-Pierce was observing the unobserved spaces of San Francisco at the Gleeson Library’s Thacher Gallery Exhibit in a stunning black outfit made of lace. We went outside to capture the beauty of her ensemble in the natural light.  On our way out of the library Judith walked with her uncovered cup of coffee.  Coffee splattered out of the cup with her every step, but she did not seem to mind.

Judith made her lace dress with fabric she purchased at the fabric store she used to work at.  She keeps warm with her black coat that she found at a thrift store in San Diego. “It’s a little kids’ jacket,” she said. She jazzed up the back with a colorful patch depicting the MGM lion, a gift from her friend Moses.  There is also a Simpsons pin on the front of the jacket, “My friend [Moses] who is obsessed with ‘The Simpsons’ gave it to me.” Underneath the jacket Judith wears a black button sweater that she found at Community Thrift. Her friend Billy so kindly silk-screened the back. Judith’s black sweater tights were from one of those Asian markets on Clement St.  “Two dollars for sweater tights, pretty good deal,” she said. Judith completes the all black ensemble with black lace up boots that her friend Sheila gave to her.

Judith has an exciting array of accessories.  On her hands she wears seven different rings.  A silver rose ring from Held Over, where she works; a spherical silver one, that her boss from the fabric store gave to her; a round turquoise ring, from her mama; a black gem, from her mama as well; a silver lion from her friend Emily; a dragon wrapped around a crystal, from her grandma; and a zig zag lighting bolt ring, from a quarter machine.

Photo by Elizabeth Brown/Foghorn

Around her neck is a necklace with 4 different charms: a huge beetle from her friend Eddie, an old key she found on the street, a tiny silver gun from Moses and a circle with weird etchings on both sides.  When you spin the circle the weird etchings reveal a hidden message.

Photo by Elizabeth Brown/Foghorn

Judith also accessories her wrists with a variety of silver and gold bands that she purchased at a swap meet in San Diego.

Judith carries all of her necessities in a carpetbag that she found at the House of Vintage in Portland, Oregon. She created her own strap for the bag using a scarf she found at Thrift Town.

All photos by Elizabeth Brown/Foghorn

“I don’t really buy new clothes, except my tights” Judith said, and most of her clothing and accessories are gifts from people.  Judith’s fashion icons are Nancy Sinatra in “The Wild Angels” and Exene Cervenka from the band X.  She has been sewing and making her own clothes since third grade.  You can find her original designs as well as her vintage finds for sale at


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