Photos: Who was the Witch of Wellington? The answer with amazing photos
Suzan Strauss on a street near her Los Angeles home in the 1990’s. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at Wellington thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)
In Florida’s suffocating heat, she wore head-to-toe black, as if in mourning a loss.
Consequently, locals dubbed her the Witch of Wellington.
Read the full story about this eccentric Wellington and Los Angeles icon
But in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and ’90’s, Suzan Strauss was a street style star for the colorful outfits she designed, always worn with platform boots as high as horses’ hooves and a towering hat covering her hair.
The effect, said photographer Osker Jimenez, was to make her look seven feet tall as she glided slowly along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, among the era’s pierced punks, dark goths and glam rock kids.
Fascinated with this self-assured, eccentrically-dressed woman, Jimenez photographed her for a decade, eventually publishing two books and staging a photo exhibition of his Strauss photos.
Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapes. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Strauss’ Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Strauss was born to an Orthodox Jewish family. In accordance with custom, she always wore hats or wigs to cover her hair. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding the lava rock-covered home that gave her the name “Lava Lady.” (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez’ photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)