Is It Too Soon to Tell You that I Love You?

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

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.

Elizabeth

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.

Interview with Sasha Tierney

Sasha Tierney is a San Francisco-based jewelry designer who makes gorgeous, covetous one-of-a-kind, repurposed vintage, costume jewelry.

I recently contacted her to tell her how wowed I am by her work, and she was gracious enough to allow me an interview.

Quick Said the Bird: “Repurposed vintage” is a neologism that we’re seeing more and more among fashion blogs and the like. It’s something that appeals to both a green living and a DIY mentality. What appeals to you most about using pre-existing and antique pieces in your work?

Sasha Tierney: Yes, it’s certainly a buzz word these days, and while I’m all about being green and eco-conscious–my husband and I eat mostly local and organic and do what we can in general—for me, repurposing vintage jewelry is just about using what I love. It’s what I’m drawn to. I don’t particularly care for super shiny modern pieces.

Seashell and Pearl Charm Necklace, $76

QB: Tell me a little about how you got into the jewelry making biz.

ST: My mom is a clothing designer. She started her own business when I was a kid–a local children’s clothing line called Mousefeathers that some of [you] may remember. I really grew up in the fashion business. I was one of their models and spent my afternoons after school watching my mother work: designing fabrics, picking trim, and really putting a cohesive line together.

I’ve always dabbled in creative processes, but I never really found my stride until I turned to jewelry design. I guess I just couldn’t compete with her sense of fashion in terms of clothing. I’ve been doing this for quite some time but I only recently started selling my pieces.

Think Pink Necklace, $68

QB: What do you look for when shopping for materials? Do you have an idea in mind when you go in—for example, maybe you’re on a pearl kick–or do you let what you find inspire you?

ST: It’s funny that you should mention pearls: I just love them. There is such a huge range of hue and sheen in them and I seem to want to collect them all these days. But the irony is that I have spent most of my life hating pearls. I always thought they were too traditional and drab for me. I don’t know what suddenly opened my eyes, but now I can’t seem to get enough of them. When I’m designing a piece and can’t figure out what to insert, I grab a pearl and usually it works.

Flea markets have always been one of my favorite places to shop for just about anything, and I’ve always been drawn to colorful, vintage, rhinestone brooches. But how many of those can a person own? Plus, I really don’t wear brooches. I wear a necklace almost everyday but a brooch just never seems as practical. So one of my favorite things about shopping for jewelry supplies is that I get to buy the things that I have always wanted. Making new things is a great justification for buying.

I should add that while I do a lot of my own shopping for materials, I have also received several jewelry donations from friends and clients. These donations are always fun because they usually contain some items that I would never buy myself. But then I’ll find the perfect use for them in a piece. It’s always a pleasant surprise and really does add a new dimension to the work.

Turquoise and 1922 Peace Silver Dollar Necklace, $68

QB: Tell me a little about your process.

ST: Sometimes I have something in mind before I start–you know, an image will just come to me and I need to create it–but most of the time, I am just experimenting and I don’t have a goal in mind when I begin. The majority of my necklaces are not only unique from one another in terms of materials used but are also unique in terms of style and design. I don’t have a formula that I follow, and I don’t ever want to have one. I like that my pieces are cohesive [as a collection] while still being different and unique from one another.

Vintage Brass Copper and Silver Grapes and Leaves Necklace, $60

QB: Do you have a clientele in mind? Do you cater to a particular kind of women? Do you aim for a certain aesthetic?

ST: [I believe that] my pieces really do appeal to a broad spectrum of women.  I make some real statement pieces, which not everyone can wear every day. [But] I also make more understated elegant designs, such as my “Sweet Whimsical Charm Necklace”—it’s the type of piece that you could wear almost every day, just to add a little something to your look.

Plus, I design both long and short necklaces. I think this array of styles is what makes my pieces appeal to so many. Like I said before, there is variety within the cohesion of my designs.

Sparkly Rhinestone and Pearl Statement Necklace, $88

QB: What inspires you?

ST: I think that Anthropologie has really broadened the market of women’s fashion and accessories. Their success in bringing what used to be on the fringe into every day fashion is really inspiring. I credit them with a lot of the success of repurposing vintage both in clothing and accessories.

Also, Etsy is a fantastic marketplace. It’s really inspiring that someone with a passion for creation can so easily get their products out there to the world.

Repurposed Tour Eiffel Charm Necklace, $68

QB: Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?

ST: I’ll be selling at the Alameda Flea Market this coming weekend, Sunday June 6th at Booth C7, near the entrance. I’ve got a bunch of brand new pieces that haven’t been posted online yet. I sell through word of mouth locally as well and use my Etsy site and my Facebook fan page for an online presence. I’m hoping to place my jewelry in a few local stores in the near future.

Note: Sasha will be closing her Etsy store on Sunday, as she’s taking these pieces to the Alameda Flea Market. So if there’s anything you have to have, do it now. Or swing by the flea market to see what else she brings to the table (har!). And of course she’ll continue to stock the Etsy store, so it pays to keep checking back.

Best Buys in the Bay: Hot Vintage from Huzzah!Vintage

Based out of Oakland, Huzzah!Vintage offers an impressively diverse (and adorable!) selection of vintage dresses, hats, blouses, accessories, and housewares for “everything from your 80s themed prom to your 50s style cocktail party.” Oh, and lots of retro 1960s mod too! For some crazy reason, everything is super affordable too. Love it.

You can shop via Gina’s website, HuzzahVintage.com, or via her Etsy.com store.

THIS JUST IN: Gina has been sweet enough to offer all my readers 10% off their first purchase from HuzzahVintage.com with the code QSB10 now through June 15, 2010. So you’ve got no excuse not to pick up something pretty.

Here, I’ve pulled my five favorite pieces from her current etsy line-up of fab and rad pieces. It was nearly impossible to choose only five, but–somehow–I did. I highly recommend checking out the complete Huzzah! collection, because my top 5 don’t necessarily include your own Must Purchase Now and Make Mine pieces, you know?

1. This first one is by far my favorite. I think it’s incredible. The batik-style fabric is accented with heavy, shimmering Carolina blue paint and is fully lined in dark blue polyester. Click here for the listing, and a more in-depth description along with exact measurements (a must-have for buying online).

Described as being in excellent condition and a size Medium, this batik print, drop waist dress will run you a paltry $68. Huzzah! indeed!

2. How rad are these 1970s Corning glass tumblers? Can’t you just picture yourself with your lover, tangled up on a bearskin rug, in front of a fire, drinking hot toddies from these babies? Just me? Ah well then.

Only $10! Is it actually 1975? (That'd be kind of cool.)

3. Though I’m a smidge worried about the hand on this one–polyester being what it was–I lovelovelove the space-dyed material and cut too much to really let it bother me. It’s a classic 1960s shift dress. It is unlined, with a nylon zipper at the back-center. It is machine washable and in excellent vintage condition. Click here for the detailed listing and measurements.

It's described as a large (but, again, check the measurements for a more accurate sense of fit), this mod little number will set you back only $32. You spent more than that last weekend on drinks, and you'd look smashing holding a martini glass in this.

4. Yes, yes, yes! There is nothing I love more than a bag that goes with everything but still manages to NOT be boring. (Okay, there are a lot of things I love more than that, but, still.) Every woman needs a cool black clutch. This one is real leather, fully lined, and in excellent condition.

And it's only $24. Worth it!

5. Last but not least, this black lacy number is described as a large, but I actually think it would look awesome all boxy and oversized on someone tiny. But this 1960s piece with scalloped edging and feminine darting might just be one of those things that looks swell and swinging hip on everyone. Click here for more details.

$26. Share with your five best girlies and pay less than $5 each.

Happy shopping!