I’ve talked about Annie Bacon before. Her O-Shen plays all over town on a pretty regular basis. But she also wrote and performs in The Folk Opera. Tonight (Sunday June 20) this beautiful piece of work will be performed at Amnesia in San Francisco, starting at 6pm. If you can make it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you can’t make it (or you’re reading this on Monday, Tuesday, so on), you can still support Ms. Bacon and her operatic endeavor through the Kickstarter Project.
The Folk Opera tells of Elizabeth, a caretaker in her twenties in charge of Aunt Sara, an cantankerous, down-home grande dame afflicted with dementia. Their car breaks down on the way to the mechanic, and in one short afternoon their lives become entangled in those of the small town in which they find themselves. Tragedy mixes with romance, the personalities are clear and true, and the music is gorgeous, moving.
There are four main characters in this tale: Elizabeth, Aunt Sara, the Old Man, and Rita the Waitress. Here I’ve pulled together four vintage-inspired looks for these folks, all culled from Bay Area vendors.
Aunt Sara is, as I said, a little off her rocker, but it is clear from the little we know of her life that she is not and was not without bravery and gumption in her life. While it may be said that she led a pedestrian life, in her own small town, with her own tight-knit family, there is no reason, in my mind, why she wouldn’t also be stylish and daring of dress. She was once a very beautiful woman, I suspect. So for these reasons, I’ve chosen bold, balls-to-the-walls pieces for her and tried to throw them together like I imagine a drunk five year old would.
From BREDVintage: Gorgeous abstract floral, silk sheath dress by Mam'selle by Betty Carol, size 8, $39.99.
Aunt Sara should also pile on the costume jewelry like it’s going out of style, which, you know, maybe it is. Also, she’s may have Alzheimer’s but even she knows you can’t take it with you, so you might as well rock what you got while you still have it.
From BREDVintage: I think Sara should throw this crazytown, gold, sequin and bead, diamond-patterned vest over her red dress. It's $59.99, in case you're interested.
I picture her, for some reason, in high top Chuck Taylors. Pink maybe to match this coat.
Also from BREDVintage: Beautiful poppy print, linen, 3/4 length coat, $39.99.
Aunt Sara can top the coat with some great broaches. Grande olde dames favor broaches.
From Sewn in Pieces: To top it all off, I think these pink velvet combs are charming and appropriately quirky. And they're only $8.
It is unclear, or unimportant, whether Elizabeth is actually related to Aunt Sara or whether she is merely her caretaker. It is very clear, however, that she takes excellent care of the old broad and cares for her very much. I picture her dressing casually and comfortably, particularly for this little dramatic sojourn, though I think she may also borrow liberally from Aunt Sara’s closets. I see no reason why this should be a bad thing. She is only much more simple in construction and compilation than Aunt S. Tone down the jewelry and piled -on prints and you’ll come closer to the truth.
From SweetRocket99: Green, paisley dress, $30. I love that this looks so easy to wear, while still being super cute with a vintage twist. Elizabeth also looks smashing in green.
I see her wearing Tom’s loafers, because they are comfortable, cute, and clearly Elizabeth is one who wants to give back.
From Triple Gemini: I see her topping off her simple dress with something equally simple, equally cute, and super versatile, like this blazer with puffed shoulders and a fitting waist, $36.
The Old Man
We eventually learn the identity of the Old Man but it would be wrong to tell you now. Know though, that he’s dapper as can be and suave from years of practice. He is a romantic. I see him in some classic suit, daily, and throwing on great accent pieces.
From OutFit: Like this 14k gold pocket watch circa 1894. It is an American Waltham Watch with exquisitely engraved decorations and it'll run you only $60.
From BREDVintage: This Jean Paul Gaultier men's pinstripe vest features a hand painted orchid, $50. It is perfect for the old man.
The funny thing is, Joel Dean Stockdill, who plays the Old Man, already kind of dresses like this. He’s got great style. I tell him so all the time.
Rita the Waitress
So Rita actually owns the diner in questions, the de facto home away from home for the residents of the unnamed small town. She’s got sass and she keeps all the secrets. I also suspicion she keeps all the clothes she and her kids have ever owned. I think she cultivates kooky.
From SweetRocket99: Like take this tee, she's probably been rocking it for years. I think it's probably always covered in flour and food stains, $25.
I picture her in jeans, possibly cut offs (though not of course as short as the ones worn by the young lady above). Of course, she wears and apron, and has bic pens stuck in her bun.
From SweetRocket99: This is the another example of the kind of shit Rita rocks. This boho patchwork vest, $15, will have been in her wardrobe rotation forever. Throw it over the tee. Whatever, it's cool.
I hope I’ve got you intrigued. I cannot recommend the Folk Opera enough. Please donate and help Annie hit her mark, and get a recording made of this amazing, musical, moving experience.
BREDVintage has a mantra: mantra is “Be Resplendent Every Day”. Dress with style, make people smile. Here you can find beautifully made vintage clothing, perfect for crazy women, apparently.
Sewn in Pieces is based in Berkeley and comes courtesy of a long-time fashion lover. She’s got a great eye and wonderful pieces to offer.
SweetRocket99 you’ll find hand picked vintage items from the 40’s to the 80’s. The aesthetic is influenced by everything from bohemian gypsy girl, Brazilian Tropicalia to 40’s pin-up and 80’s glam rock stars.
Triple Gemini has a great selection of vintage clothes from all the big decades. Free shipping on orders over $100.
OutFit is another Berkeley based vendor. Another vintage clothing seller with great taste.
Last but not least, Claridad sells all kinds of amazing little treasures and says she finds her inspiration from all over, especially San Francisco where she is currently based.