Violinist performs concerto in her own (and Mom’s) retro style

How do you choose fashion befitting performances of The Seamstress? We asked violinist Sarah Shellman, who is known for her fabulous fashion sense as well as her extraordinary talent, after her concerts this past weekend. She spent nearly a year preparing for the violin concerto by composer Anna Clyne, so Sarah wanted everything to be perfect, right down to the shoes. Each outfit has a story:

By Sarah Shellman

Friday’s modern black and plum gown is the result of raiding the post-holiday sale rack at Neiman-Marcus. It was bought to be a backup option as I scoured second-hand designer dresses on websites such as TheRealReal and 1stdibs.

Photo credit: Jim Lennon

Although some stunning options presented themselves, I decided I’d rather spend the clothing budget on multiple pairs of shoes I could wear again. Friday’s shoes, of course, were Fluevogs – mine and my husband’s favorite brand.

The real story is the dress for Saturday’s concert. I wore an early 1970s original that my mother wore when she was in her twenties (Mom attended the concerts, too.) I have no idea why my mom held onto that brown dress! (She still has all my old Cabbage Patch Kids in her basement, so that gives you an idea.) I’ve always loved funky, often wacky clothes, so ‘70s fashion is a perfect fit for me. Even though the dress is older than I am, it only needed minor repairs to be concert-ready. The red shoes (sadly NOT Fluevogs) were found languishing in the back of my closet, unworn for years, so they might as well be considered new.

Saturday’s dress (left), Sunday’s dress (right)

For Sunday’s matinee concert, the retro pink floral was a vintage store find from a couple of years ago in Berkeley, Calif. Cheap and fabulous — the best sort of vintage score. The white pumps, alas, are also not Fluevogs.

So, you may ask, if I didn’t spend the money on dresses or MULTIPLE pairs of exciting concert shoes, where did the funds in the fashion budget go?!? Matching Fluevogs for my husband, Greg, and me, of course!

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