Wilkes wore the “Heavenly” vest, a Brenda Kett original. The vest was inspired by observing the night sky from an island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. It’s made of black silk velvet, with hand-beading done by a New York company which does much of the beading for costumes in Broadway shows. The back and lining are made of black silk with a ginko-leaf motif.
At the Marines’ Memorial Theatre fundraising party Willie Brown threw at the Palace Hotel to celebrate the 80th birthday of his pal Wilkes Bashford, I asked the honoree what he was going to do differently. His black-tie outfit included a velvet vest emblazoned with glittering comets and stars from the night sky. Bashford’s store is noted for its elegance; that vest was elegant but it was also poetic, an object of fantasy, “real racy,” said Bashford.
He said it symbolized his plans for the post-80 era. “I’m going to do what I want to do, and not really care what people think. I’m going to be a little less conservative. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?”
Catherine Bigelow, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle (“Wilkes Bashford toasts 80 with fundraiser“), noted that attendees included: Rep. Nancy Pelosi; George and Charlotte Shultz; Gina Moscone; Joachim and Nancy Bechtle; Pat Kelley; Nicola Miner and Robert Mailer Anderson; Sen. Mark Leno; Farah and Victor Makras; Donna Huggins; Lisa and Doug Goldman; Sonya Molodetskaya; Belva Davis and Bill Moore; Blanche Brown; Richard and Eleanor Johns; Joe Callahan; War Memorial Director Beth Murray; restaurateurs John Duggan (Original Joe’s), John Konstin (John’s Grill) and Paul Tanphanich (Le Central).
Here’s wishing Wilkes a happy and prosperous birthday!