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Lesley Evers Warehouse sale!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

One of my favorite designers is having a warehouse sale starting on Wednesday, and I’m pretty excited!  Lesley Evers is a local Oakland designer of both clothing and wonderful fabrics, and I’m not sure which I love more!  They opened a lovely store on College Ave. in Rockridge, and their second store is in Lafayette, where the sale is taking place.  Come and check them out, even if you can’t make it to the sale …

See ‘ya there!

 

Lesley Evers sale

‘Future Beauty’ at SAM

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

It’s hard to believe that summer is over, kids are back at school and fall is almost upon us.  Vacations are a distant memory and plans are being made for the holidays already…yikes, take me back to summer!  We took a wonderful family trip to the Pacific Northwest; Eugene, Seattle, Vancouver, Whistler and Portland in that order.  I had discovered an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum that I was REALLY excited about, Future Beauty 30 Years of Japanese Fashion.  Although always a fan of the sculptural silhouttes of Japanese designers, I do not own any pieces, nor do my clients lean in that sartorial direction.  I really loved this exhibit and it was only enhanced by the perspective of my 15 year old daughter.

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The entire exhibit was on loan from the Kyoto Costume Institute, a museum I would LOVE to visit one day (#327 on my bucket list).  The exhibit starts with 1973, the year designer Rei Kawakubo started Comme des Garcons (meaning “like the boys”), known for it’s androgoneous styles that challenged gender stereotypes.  Pictured below is a piece from the 1997 collection, “Dress Meets Body, Body Meets Dress”, sometimes referred to as the Quasimodo collection.

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons Top and skirt of stretch nylon/ polyurethane plain weave printedgingham checks; down pads Spring/ Summer 1997

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons Top and skirt of stretch nylon/ polyurethane plain weave printed gingham checks; down pads
Spring/ Summer 1997

It’s interesting to note that Kawakubo did a stint as “guest designer” for H & M in 2008.  Here is another Comme des Garcon collection piece designed by Kawakubo that is as appropriate today, as it was in 1992/93 when it was first shown…

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons One piece dress of three sheets of black and purplish brown polyester georgette; of two sheets of the same material at sleeves; black nylon knit at neck; trained Autumn/Winter 1992-93

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons One piece dress of three sheets of black and purplish brown polyester georgette; of two sheets of the same material at sleeves; black nylon knit at neck; trained
Autumn/Winter 1992-93

Yohji Yamamoto was another Japanese designer emerging at the same time as Kawakubo.  He showed his line in Paris for the first time in 1981, and was a rumored paramour of Kawakubo.  Together, along with Issey Miyake and Kenzo Takada, they embodied Japanese fashion design and elevated it to what it is today.

Yohji Yamamoto Dress, Black and white felt; black knit under skirt. Autumn/Winter 1996-97

Yohji Yamamoto Dress, Black and white felt; black knit under skirt.
Autumn/Winter 1996-97

Following on the heels of Yamamoto and Kawakubo was Junya Watanabe, former apprentice and protégé of Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons.  Watanabe worked his way up through design positions, finally designing under his own name for Comme des Garcons.

Jnya Watanabe Comme des Garcons Autumn/Winter 2000-01 Red polyester organdie jacket;Yellow polyester organdie skirt

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons
Autumn/Winter 2000-01
Red polyester organdie jacket;Yellow polyester organdie skirt

The above ensemble was just incredible!  Pictures do not do it justice, the architecture is just beautiful.  Pictured below is another piece by Watanabe in denim, a great fabric to work with, but a little unexpected from this genre of designers.

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons Blue washed denim dress and trousers Spring/Summer 2002

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons
Blue washed denim dress and trousers
Spring/Summer 2002

Future Beauty also paid homage to the newer up- and- coming Japanese designers like Jun Takahashi for UNDERCOVER.  He has collaborated with Nike and Uniqlo in past seasons.  Below is a look designed for UNDERCOVER.  He also designs with his wife RICO as well (not sure what the capitol letters signify???).

Jun Takahashi/ UNDERCOVER Jacket, sweater, scarf, belt, bag, gloves, stockings and wig of various fabrics including wool, mohair, synthetic 'leather', painted, printed and embroidered with plaid pattern  Autumn/Winter 2000-01

Jun Takahashi/ UNDERCOVER
Jacket, sweater, scarf, belt, bag, gloves, stockings and wig of various fabrics including wool, mohair, synthetic ‘leather’, painted, printed and embroidered with plaid pattern
Autumn/Winter 2000-01

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi designer for mintdesigns and they represent the new  aesthetic of younger Japanese designers.  The dress below conveys the creativity and vision of this new crop of designers.

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi for mintdesigns White and blue silk-screen printed polyester; shredded magazines Autumn/Winter 2008-09

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi for mintdesigns
White and blue silk-screen printed polyester; shredded magazines
Autumn/Winter 2008-09

This exhibit was really a highlight for me, as you don’t expect to see a major collection like this outside of New York or the de Young in San Francisco (speaking of which, I can’t wait to see The Art of Bulgari, jewelry exhibit opening at the de Young on Sept. 21st!).  I was totally impressed with the 100+ pieces this exhibit encompassed and my hope is that it travels to other locations in the US, before returning home to Kyoto!

“What you wear can largely govern your feelings and your emotions, and how you look influences the way people regard you.  So fashion plays  an important role on both the practical level and the aesthetic level.” —Kawakubo, Interview Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA89, a Must-shop Stop in Truckee!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

If you have any plans to be up in Tahoe this summer (or anytime) you have to stop in at CA89, in old town Truckee.  CA89 is the brain child of Lisa Gotts, an Oakland resident and long time Truckee homeowner and fan.  Lisa has been skiing here for many years and was a ski instructor at Squaw Valley.  She worked for Sunset magazine most recently in advertising sales and other notable magazines like Outside, Vogue and Elle.  CA89 is the next step in her professional ascent.  Jason Spruit is the uber- capable Store Manager and just relocated to Truckee from Detroit.

Out front of CA89

Out front of CA89

CA89 is an iconic stretch of road in eastern California that is well known and well loved.  Lisa developed a logoed brand of merchandise based on that scenic highway.   According to Lisa Gotts, not many stores locally focus on apparel and lifestyle goods that highlight the Sierra life. Her store’s apparel ranges from t-shirts and hoodies to dry-fit shirts and outerwear. Along with clothing they also have a wide selection of accessories such as pint glasses, notebooks, key chains, and hats/beanies.  The store opened earlier this year to much anticipation and fanfare.  CA89 is located at  10156 Donner Pass Road in the Brickeltown part of old Truckee.  It’s across from the train depot, still operating, in a historic, charming old building.  The modern fixtures and black and white color scheme meld perfectly with the old exposed brick inside the space.  Lisa’s keen design aesthetic is clearly on view in the store.

Inside CA89

Inside CA89

In addition to the great retail space, CA89 has a great mobile retail store in the form of their panel truck.  It was great to see it roll down the street as part of the annual Truckee 4th of July parade!  The CA89 crew can take their truck to all the different events around the Tahoe basin, like concerts, triathalons, art & wine festivals and much more.   It really shows how may different ways you can promote and market your brand.

The CA89 truck!

The CA89 truck!

In addition to the regular store hours, CA89 invites the community to summer movie nights on the lawn in the back of the store.  They show outdoor movies (bring a low back chair and $2) every Thursday and Saturday night at dusk.  No worries, there will be plenty of popcorn to go around!  There is also a yoga class every Thursday from 4:30- 5:45pm and it’s $10 for the class.  This is offered in conjunction with Yoga Studio Tahoe.

CA89 #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA89 #5

 

 

 

 

 

So if your summer or winter plans include Tahoe, make sure you stop in to CA 89 and tell Lisa and her crew I sent you!  Summer hours are 10-6pm daily.  Don’t forget to “like” CA89 on Facebook…  Happy summer everyone!

CA89 #6

 

 

 

To the Maxi!

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

As soon as kids are out of school (or back from school) it seems like our wardrobes take on a more relaxed vibe.  I, for one, am a big fan of the maxi dress.  I bought my first one about 5 years ago and have slowly added one per season since then.  I love the way they look on different figures, and they look equally great on women of all heights.  My one pet peeve is if they are too short, or too long.  Spend the extra money to get it hemmed if it’s too long and pass it up, if it’s too short!  Here are a few styles that I LOVE:

Trina Turk maxi

Trina Turk maxi

Bailey 44 maxi

Bailey 44 maxi

Ella Moss maxi

Ella Moss maxi

Young Fabulous and Broke maxi

Young Fabulous and Broke maxi

Maxis are easy to wear with a cardigan or jean jacket over them, when it’s gets cool at night.  They are also great for travel.   All of the above styles are from Neiman Marcus online, but there are lots of styles out there that are very affordable.  I just bought one at Loehmann’s for $50!  I’d love to see pictures of your favorite maxi dresses if you want to send them along!

Mycra Pac warehouse sale!

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Mycra Pac is one of those smaller bay area companies whose styles are instantly recognizable, yet they remain under the radar.  Mycra Pac is a manufacturer of cool designer rain wear and they are located right here in Moraga, CA.  Nordstrom carries a wide range of styles and colors in all of their stores.  One of the things I like best about these raincoats is that they’re so packable and come with their own little pouch that doubles as a handbag.  They are designed and made in the USA and have hoods that are perfect if you have no umbrella and they don’t mess up your hair!  Oh, as if that wasn’t enough, they’re reversible!

Reversible Mycra Pac rain coat

Reversible Mycra Pac rain coat

Mycra Pac has a yearly warehouse sale at their offices in Moraga, and it starts WEDNESDAY, June 12th continuing through TUESDAY June 18th.  This needs to make it on your calendar!  Women wait all year for this sale, so it does get pretty crowded.  People start lining up early.  As with most warehouse sales, they don’t put everything out on the first day, so I’m sure each day will have new merchandise.  See you at the sale!

Mycra Pac sale 6-12-13

Scatter my ashes…at Bergdorf’s???

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s is the new documentary film about the venerable retailer at New York City’s 58th St. and Fifth Avenue.  This film gives you an inside glimpse of the inner workings at one of the most valuable designer addresses in the world!  I went to see this movie at the Opera Plaza cinema in San Francisco yesterday and love, love, LOVED it!

Bergdorf Goodman

 

Bergdorf Goodman

Scatter my ashes at Bergfdorf’s was directed by Matthew Miele and introduces you to the real players in the make -or- break world of high fashion.   We meet Linda Fargo, fashion director at Bergdorf’s and fashion week front row dweller, meeting with up and coming designers vying for a spot on the coveted BG selling floor.  We meet Betty Halbreich, long time personal shopper, who when asked what she’d be doing if she wasn’t at BG looks into the camera  and says ”DRINKING”!  The film also interviews every major fashion designer like Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar De la Renta, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabanna, Vera Wang and many others, on what it means to be sold at BG.

Bergdorf-Goodman shopping bag

The movie also goes through the history of both the building and company founders Edwin Goodman and Herman Bergdorf.  The store opened in 1901 (not at it’s present location though) and has been memorialized in movies, songs and T.V. shows.  The movie also gives appropriate screen time to David Hoey and his team,  responsible for the incredible and outrageous BG windows.  This is an inside look at the pure artistry involved in the holiday windows, and all the windows through the year.  It feels to the viewer like getting ready for opening night on Broadway, a mix between theater and art installation!

BG window

BG window

I really loved this movie, no surprises there, and would definitely recommend it to fashionistas and history buffs alike.  Here is the trailer for Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s …enjoy!

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s Trailer

 

Milly teams up with Banana Republic

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I love the trend of high end designers teaming up with lower end retailers…Target and Missoni and Roberto Cavalli (and many more), Karl Lagerfeld and Doo Ri for Macy’s and H&M with Marni and Lanvin.  Isaac Mizrahi kicked it off in 2002 with his historic and long running collabortion with Target.   These match-ups seem to serve both ends of the partnership well.  The designer has access to a customer base that cannot afford their higher priced line, and the retailer gets exposure to a higher end customer,  who is introduced to their stores or websites.  It’s a win-win for all.

0510trina-turk-banana-republic1_fa 2012

Trina Turk for BR, Summer 2012

Banana Republic teamed up with designer Trina Turk last summer for a colorful collection of summer pieces.  I thought they did a great job of interpreting her asthetic for BR!  It seems the trend continues as BR gets ready to introduce their latest collaboration with Milly by Michelle Smith.  Milly is one of my favorite lines and I’ve been lucky enough to see their shows at New York fashion week several seasons.   The regular Milly line is carried at Neiman Marcus and Saks in their San Francisco stores.

milly-banana-republic

The collection is inspired by the Hamptons and uses fresh colors and prints and really nails that laid back summer vibe.  Here are a few of the women’s collection pieces…

PicMonkey-Collage-424x358 BR Milly

Milly for Banana Republic, Summer 2013

This capsule collection hits Banana Republic stores on May 30, 2013, and there’s a great men’s collection as well.  I am sure people will be lined up for this, so don’t miss your chance to travel to the posh Hamptons without leaving your own zip code!

PS-  The next collaboration BR has up their sleeve is with Brit designer Daniella Helayer of ISSA London, a favorite line of both Cate & Pippa Middleton, set for an August 6th launch.

For more information, special launch and store hours click here

It’s CAMPER season

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Ok, I admit I used the word camper to get your attention.  Most people either LOVE or HATE anything to do with camping.  Having spent the better part of my childhhood in campgrounds up and down the eastern seaboard, our family loved camping.  Well, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with camping, but with a Spanish shoe brand called CAMPER!  Fooled ya…

As a stylist, almost every client I encounter has a “foot issue”.  It’s usually shared in hushed tones, with head down and a slightly embarassed demeanor.  Hammer toes, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and on and on.  I have news for you…EVERYONE (over the age of 35) has a “foot issue”.  Camper shoes are so fun, cool, european inspired, that even with “issues”, they are great shoes.  Here’s the one I just bought ( and bought for 2 different clients):

Camper "Beetle" sandal

Camper “Beetle” sandal

 

I loved the color, the hieght and the dual closures.  This is an incredibly comfortable shoe.  I can walk miles in it and it’s perfect for your European trip this summer (or anywhere you’ll be walking a lot).  They are incredibly light if you’re taking a carry on.  You can loosen one or both sides, as your feet swell or expand.  Here’s another one I like:

"Twins" Camper sandal

“Twins” Camper sandal

I love the use of the three colors, but each shoe is slightly different.  The pair below is a collaboration between designer Veronique Branquinho and the Camper brand.  Notice that this is a full fledged wedge with almost no rise at all…they are almost flat!

"Veronique" Camper sandal

“Veronique” Camper sandal

I didn’t forget the guys, Camper has great men’s styles as well.  Camper originated in Mallorca, Spain in 1975 and opened their first store in Barcelona in 1981.  Today the brand has over 300 stores worldwide and 10+ in the bay area.  VOILA, no more “foot issues”.

For more information and store locations www.camper.com.

 

 

 

Fundraising around the Square.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

As October’s Breast Cancer awareness month winds down, there’s still more ways to give and GET .  Many merchants in and around Union Square are joining together to support the cause.  With a $65 donation to Susaon G. Komen for the cure, you receive a Komen Card, good for 20% off from the wonderful list of participating stores!  This is a great event and with the holidays around the corner, you can get a jump on gift shopping.  Cards can be purchased online at www.komencard.org and are good from 10/25 until 11/4.  Get your give on and start shopping!!!

Fight breast cancer and save 20%! Shop with the 2012 Komen Card at the Bay Area’s finest merchants and Save 20% from October 25 – November 4, 2012! Purchase your Komen Card online through Friday, October 26th, or visit any participating retailer to buy your card in-store now through November 4th!

Merchants Offering 20% Savings

Agent Provocateur | 54 Geary Street some exclusions apply; please see store for details

Azadeh | 110 Geary St.

Bottega Veneta | 124 Geary St. Some exclusions apply; please see store for details

The Container Store | 26 Fourth St. Sale items are excluded

Diptyque Paris | 171 Maiden Lane

Downtown | 55 Maiden Lane Special Orders are excluded

Faconnable | 253 Post St.

Glory Chen | 134 Maiden Lane

Gump’s | 135 Post St. Some jewelrey is excluded: Aaron Henry, Buccellati, Estate & Antique Jewelry, Kothari, Petra Class, Russell Trusso and Todd Reed.

Harputs | 80 Geary St.

John Varvatos | 152 Geary St. Watches, AUdio and Photography are Excluded

Juicy Couture| 105 Grant Ave. Some exclusions apply; please see store for details

Paul Smith | 50 Geary St.

Porsche Design | 100 Grant Ave.

Serge Sorroko Gallery | 55 Geary St.

Ted Baker| 80 Grant Ave . Theory | 120 Maiden Lane Non-Theory labels are not included

Tse Cashmere | 60 Maiden Lane Some exclusions apply; please see store for details

Vince | 36 Geary St.

Williams Sonoma | 340 Post St

 

 

Trend spotting in D.C.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

I just returned from 5 days in Washington D.C.  I love being in another city and observing how people dress or accessorize differently (or the same sometimes) from the bay area.  Other than being floored by how many young 20-somethings smoked cigarettes, I was also struck by one other popular trend.  Many of the women in D.C., young and old alike, were carrying the “Le Pliage” tote bag by French luxury purveyor Longchamp.  I was surprised by this revelation, as I don’t see them nearly as often here in San Francisco.  You’ve seen this bag, even if you think you haven’t.  They’ve been around a long time and come in many colors and a few different sizes.  You can even customize them on the website…

Le Pliage tote

 

 

You can fold it up when travelling or when storing it, and it snaps closed securely.  Why this is a trend in our nation’s capitol is a mystery to me!  Any ideas…???

Since I am originally from the east coast and have been to D.C. many times, I have seen the vast majority of monuments, museums, and attractions.  I thought this time I would go to a few less visited places.  I ended up at the Museum of Textiles…yes, you read that right.  I am one of those fashion nerds that seek out museums that celebrate period dress, textiles, costume, etc.  This was a lovely museum off Dupont Circle amidst the beautiful embassy residences.  I also really enjoy museum stores.  The assortments are really well thought out and unique, and the merchandising is imaginative, given their small spaces.  The Textile Museum store was postage- stamp small with a wonderful array of interesting merchandise.  I found these pins by a designer in Toronto, named Cynthia Villegas and she has a wonderful website www.ladymosquito.ca .  She is Peruvian and her creations made from heavy felt are so cool!  She also has the most awesome necklaces and other accessories, check them out!