Power Trip

For this fashion historian, a boxy four-seater is the ultimate accessory.


Photo by Jonathan Kozowyk. Hair and Makeup by Michelle McGrath/Team.

One blazing-hot summer day about a decade ago, Lauren Whitley, the MFA’s textile and fashion-arts curator, borrowed her father’s 1971 Alfa Romeo to drive from Boston to Maine. It got so hot in the car—which lacked air-conditioning—that once Whitley reached the coast, she pulled over and jumped into the ocean, fully clothed. A similar exuberance inspired her newest exhibition, “Hippie Chic.” Opening July 16, the show will celebrate the fashion of the late ’60s and early ’70s. “It was like playing dress-up,” Whitley says of the period. “How wonderful and wild you could be, whether in your Edwardian granny dress or your fringe jacket.” Someday Whitley hopes to take another carefree jaunt in her own Alfa—though this time, she says she’ll check the weather first.

1971 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750, $29,995, Alpha Cars & Ural of New England, 978-263-9000, alphacars.com.