Nevada County Street Style: Alela Diane at the BriarPatch

From Amber

After a long and arduous day of taking photos on a freezing ass hillside two Sundays ago, Sasha and I headed over to our local natural foods co-op for some hot dinner and some quality time with our laptops. I usually take my camera with me every time I leave the house just in case I spot an outfit worthy of our world famous NCSS posts ;-)

Too bad I forgot mine that night.

Good thing Sasha remembered hers.

Because, about 15 minutes to closing time, standing there in the checkout line I spied with my little eye one Alela Diane (check her out on MySpace too), clad in the coziest looking sweater, some seriously loved boots, and one fabulous flower motif stamped leather purse.

Luckily it wasn't raining out, because Alela has worn these boots so many times that they literally have holes on the soles:


If you haven't heard yet, Alela is one of the darlings of the ever-growing folk music community (also referred to as free folk, freak folk, psych folk, New Weird America, and anything anyone else can think of that sounds interesting and folksy and hip). A Nevada City native, Alela grew up steeped in a rich cultural milieu surrounded by artists (such as her mother) and musicians (such as her father). She didn't pick up a guitar until she was 20 years old (interesting aside- Alela was my husband's high school girlfriend and she once told me that she started writing songs to get through the heartache of their breakup), but it didn't take her long to master the technicalities of the instrument, which provides the perfect accompaniment to her strong, entrancing voice and rich, haunting lyrics.

Though she possesses the voice and poise of an old soul, Alela's clothing reflects the hip and modern tastes of a hometown ever at the forefront of creativity. She is, like most of us here, a thrift enthusiast. Which surely has something to do with why she is always well attired, appearing perfectly dressed to fulfill the dreams of so many free spirited artists born and bred in these hills who came before. As Sasha said in her intro to our first ever Nevada County Street Style post, "Nevada City is home to some of California's most beautiful girls... Raised swimming in cerulean rivers and breathing clean mountain air, these daughters of the Gold Rush and the hippie urban exodus of the  early 70s are smart, well dressed, and full of independent spirit."

This outfit is a perfect example of said well-dressed-ness. The sweater she got while touring in Canada. Sasha and I just loved the color, the cable knitting, and the big, bold buttons:


And the purse! The perfect touch to finish off this "sophisticated bohemian ingenue that just got back from touring in Europe and needs to stock up on groceries" look:


Here is a video of Alela and boyfriend Tom Bevitori performing the incredible Dry Grass & Shadows:

Alela's new album To Be Still is coming out in February! And here is a video of her singing my favorite of her many beautiful songs off her previous album The Pirate's Gospel, Oh My Mama: