Kimono & Issey Miyake couture: Torso Vintages at San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers.
Do you remember when I visited Torso Vintages, the famed San Francisco purveyors of vintage fashion? I was swept away by their museum-like collection of hats, robes, purses and jewelry from past eras. If only I could play dress-up with their wardrobe…
Thanks to my dear Trevor and the staff of Torso Vintages, this fashion fantasy became reality. Enjoy this very special shoot, featuring a floral kimono, Issey Miyake set, and beautiful flowers!
San Francisco was a tad rainy, so Trevor and I scouted out an indoor location. We settled on the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park — a Victorian greenhouse that looks like something out of American Horror Story. Neither of us had ever been here before, which added to the anticipation.
This lush setting was a perfect match for the kimono and purse, which are decorated with flower and leaf motifs. Trevor was my stylist and photographer for the day (you can see more on his Instagram). Love the shape of the fringe top that he picked out for me.
The Conservatory of Flowers is a treasure chest of rare flowers and plants. The skeleton structure dates back to 1878, making it the oldest in America.
The wings have different climates and themes: Lowland Tropics, Highland Tropics, Aquatic Plants and more.
Trevor sits on a bench in the Potted Plants room, which was probably our favorite. We wished we could sit here all day, reading or meditating.
In the Victorian era, upper-class collectors would display their exotic plants in greenhouses like this.
This round picture-window created the perfect frame for my Torso Vintages kimono.
For my second look, I wore a dark purple Issey Miyake pleated top, jacket and skirt. The Japanese designer is famous for his high-tech, pleated garments.
Close-up on the sleeves. What an intriguing, custom fabric. (You can get a similar Issey Miyake jacket here.)
Pleats, please! The first outfit is traditional, the second futuristic, and both are quintessentially Japanese.
I wish I knew more about plant species (I confess I have a bit of a black thumb). I was mesmerized by the hundreds of exotic varieties in the Conservatory, like this trumpet-shaped one.
Follow me, and I’ll show you more marvels…
… like heart-shaped leaves. Look at the delicate veins and strands.
It’s intriguing to see the influence of nature on man-made designs. Love the big collar, paneled skirt and shell-like curves of Issey Miyake’s coordinate.
Trevor and I could have taken a thousand photos inside the Conservatory. Those colors and patterns!
We kept remarking at how fresh the air was. I felt like my lungs had been cleansed from the inside out.
It’s a jungle in there. Towering, living, breathing.
The green theme matched my current hair color: an ombre that flows from blue to purple to magenta. My hairstyle / color is by extraordinarily talented Stephanie Hoy, stylist at Stratosphere Salon in Vancouver.
I didn’t want to “leave”…
Details of this magnificent bracelet, which looks at home next to purple orchids.
Trevor picked out this velvet purse to match. The flowers and fashion make magic together, don’t you think?
Explosive flowers… it was a vintage dream come true. Thank you, Trevor and Torso Vintages, for making this shoot happen!
There’s a lot to enjoy in San Francisco, no matter what type of traveler you are. (Here are all my SF travel tips, to help you plan a trip).
The Conservatory of Flowers is a perfect example of a place that anyone can enjoy.
It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 4:30pm, and admission is between $2-8. Address: 100 John F Kennedy Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. More info on their website.
Another look at my blue-purple-red hair. I’m wearing an animal-print bathrobe — these are found in all Kimpton Hotels. (Remember when Rose and I wore these robes at the Seattle Kimpton?)
I stayed at the Prescott San Francisco, a boutique hotel in the SOMA district. It’s part of Kimpton, one of my favorite hotel groups. I particularly look forward to chatting with the staff — they give personalized recommendations, and wear bow ties!
My room was big enough for Trevor to spread out all the clothing he borrowed. The close-up of the purse reveals all the intricate detailing.
I wore long, black silk gown from Torso Vintages for the daily cocktail hour. That’s right: free local wines and cheeses. Yet another reason I heart Kimpton.
Kimpton’s decor has an Art Deco feel — yet the rooms are modern and the WiFi is fast.
The recently renovated Palomar has an artsy, hipster vibe.
The decoration is all about big, eye-catching visuals.
We had dinner upstairs at Dirty Habit, an inventive new restaurant that specializes in craft cocktails.
We’re adventurous drinkers, and tried the cocktail with a porcini mushroom infusion. Weird, in a great way.
Dirty Habit has a laid-back vibe and young clientele. The clockwork gears on the wall are a draw for Steampunk lovers.
The menu is constantly changing, and is a mix of fine favorites (like seared scallops) and unexpected combinations (how about yuzu and bacon crumble on coffee cream?). For dessert, we had a memorable Pavlova with madras curry. It doesn’t sound like a combination that would work, and yet it does.
It was a short trip to SF, but a fun one! I also did a TV interview with ABC Nightline while I was here, in case you missed it.
Do you wear vintage? What do you think of Torso’s couture collections?