The petticoat. Not an item you see roaming the streets all that often, but a great source of fascination to me as a child. At the tender age of five, my parents started giving me the Little House books, an incredible series detailing the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the daughter of a struggling pioneer/farmer/homesteader at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Laura Ingalls, the series’ author and high-spirited heroine, related amazing tales–amazing at least, to a young girl growing up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in the mid-80s–about hiding in a sod basement during a tornado, teaching in a country schoolhouse, lacing up something called stays to make your waist smaller, and driving through a blizzard in an open wagon powered by horses. The books were eventually turned into a television show starring Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon. Somehow I managed to convince my parents, who were strict about television, to allow me to watch it. I was devoted. My friends and I discussed new and old episodes alike at school. We also played a game based on the books and the show. Arguments about who got to be Laura broke out on a regular basis. I wanted a sunbonnet and a petticoat more than anything else in life.
I ran into Midori Izuni yesterday afternoon on the corner of Bush and Fillmore, and was immediately struck by her Little House inspired outfit. Note the lace petticoat peeking out from underneath her flowered dress. Note the sunbonnet style hat and the corset-like leather detailing on her upper chest (complete with old-school lacing that leads down to her waist). Behold an old look made original, fresh and fun. Laura’s daughter Rose, also a writer, lived in San Francisco and worked for the San Francisco Bulletin for part of her life. Consider the portrait below my homage to my beloved Laura, and Midori a modern-day pioneer following in Laura’s footsteps!
Outfit breakdown (everything is from Japan):
Dress: Axes Femme
Shirt: Axes Femme
Petticoat: Axes Femme
Bag: World Direct Style