English Luxury Brand Mulberry Bows in San Francisco’s Union Square

It was a truly “un-S.F.” moment. A line of stylish guests gussied up in cocktail dresses, platforms, and trim-cut suits snaked down the block as a stern bouncer dressed in all black held back impatient line-jumpers from storming their way through the glass doors–at 6:30 p.m. “One in, one out,” he barked. “No exceptions.”

Photos by Nerissa Pacio Itchon, unless otherwise noted.

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‘Supreme Beings’ fashion event at SOMArts: Likely the strangest video you’ll ever see on my blog!

It’s likely that most San Franciscans have never experienced a fashion show where an intermission was required to mop fake blood off the runway.
But at the “Supreme Beings” avant-garde fashion event on March 1 at the SOMArts Cultural Center, that’s exactly what happened. An evening of bizarre spectacle merged with conceptual fashion, attracting about 200 curious guests.

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A Q&A with the Blogger Co-Founders of SF Fashion Film Festival

Courtesy of San Francisco Fashion Film Festival. Design by Alice Lam.

San Francisco is adding yet another notch to its fashion-cred belt this spring, thanks to local style bloggers Adelle McElveen (Fashionista Lab), Kimara Mitchell Stokes (J’adore Couture), and Annie Wilson (Poetic and Chic), who co-founded the inaugural San Francisco Fashion Film Festival launching March 25 and running through April 8.

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Scenes from Singapore Part Deux: A Peek Inside the National Museum’s Fashion Exhibit “Shopping for Identity”

I’ve been having a serious case of wanderlust lately, which is probably why I’ve been sitting at home revisiting my library of travel photos instead of getting outside and enjoying the sun. A run is definitely on my list of to-do’s today, so I better hurry up and post already! I had such a fantastic time in Singapore recently, I wanted to share more photos from our brief adventure there. In addition to the amazing food and shopping, which I wrote about earlier, one major highlight was taking in an exhibit on Singaporean women and fashion at the National Museum. The mixed Malay, Indian and Chinese heritage of the country seemed apparent not only in the cuisine we tried and languages we heard being spoken around us, but also, as the exhibit “Shopping for Identity” demonstrated, throughout Singaporean fashion history. The exhibit is part of the museum’s permanent collection, so if you find yourself in Singapore in the near future, be sure to check it out.

From the exhibit "Shopping for Identity" at the National Museum of Singapore: A Kebaya Kota Bahru, traditional Malay outfit worn by Malay women in Singapore in the 1960s (left); A traditional georgette silk sari from 1975 that would have been paired with modern gold accessories at the time. (All photos by Nerissa Pacio Itchon)

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Red Dress as Art at East Bay Open Studios

Courtesy of Cassandra Seeger

I was in my early twenties, still working as a fashion writer at the San Jose Mercury News, when I lived with a couple talented art students by Ocean Beach. Cassie was studying illustration and teaching ballet on the side. Mary was majoring in graphic design and moonlighting in marketing and PR for a local magazine.

It was the typical twenty-something roommate pad–a cute but ever so rickety San Francisco house a little too cramped for our mishmash of stuff. Our dining room doubled as Cassie’s bedroom, and she had a feisty Shiba Inu named Kiva that we dubbed our unofficial mascot. We were all carefree single girls, living it up in the city, constantly inspired by each other’s creativity.

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Fashion Dispatch from Paris: What is Hyeres?

Courtesy of Hyeres 2010 International Festival de Mode et Photographie

I’m in Paris for the next nine days before heading to the South of France to cover the 25th annual International Festival de Mode et Photographie in the city of Hyeres for the San Francisco Chronicle.

With all the chaos happening for the past week in Europe, caused by that now infamous and insanely-hard-to- pronounce Icelandic volcano, my husband and I were anticipating that our working vacation might be postponed. But as good luck would have it, we left without a hitch on one of the first flights out of San Francisco to Charles de Gaul, which finally reopened this morning. (It was obvious that a crowd of anxious Europeans who had been stranded abroad were on our flight when the plane erupted in lively chatter and applause as we touched down.)

Although not widely covered by the American fashion press, the upcoming festival in Hyeres (pronounced ee-AIR), which takes place from April 30 to May 3, is an influential fashion festival and competition that showcases up-and-coming talent from abroad, and has served as a launching pad for such designers as Swedish knitwear designer Sandra Backlund and women’s- and men’s wear designer Henrik Vibskov of Denmark. Viktor & Rolf are Festival d’Hyeres alumni, having won the prize in 1993.

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Spring Fashion Calendar: Clothing Swap, Designer Appearance and Parties You Won’t Want to Miss

Courtesy of DiscardedtoDivine.com

Give and Take

What: First annual Give Two, Take One clothing swap and clothing drive presented by the Academy of Art University’s student fashion club and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco

When: Saturday, April 17th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Academy of Art University 79 Gallery, 79 New Montgomery Street (between Mission and Jessie Streets), San Francisco

Why: Update your overstuffed closet while enjoying live jazz music by The Sebastian Parker Trio, snagging beauty advice from local artist Chris Scott, and supporting a worthy cause.

Info: Entrance is free for those with swap tickets or donation clothing.  Otherwise there is a $2 cash entrance fee. For every two items of clothing and/or accessories donated, donors will receive one “swap ticket” to exchange for one item of their choice at the event.

Acceptable donations include clothing, jewelry, shoes and other accessories such as hats, scarves, gloves, belts, and handbags. All items should be clean and in excellent condition. Undergarments, children’s clothing, or any items with signs of damage and stains will not be accepted. All remaining items will go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which helps to feed, clothe, and shelter more than 75,000 individuals per year.

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“Femme Totale” Fuses Art with Fashion

It often happens that I’ll discover the most interesting of people in the most random of places. That’s how I stumbled upon the work of Carla Biondi, a San Francisco-based sculptor I met recently at an Ana Mandara party for the beta launch of jetsetextra.com, a social networking travel website.

It turns out Biondi’s intriguing work is currently on display at the Art People gallery in downtown San Francisco through March 31. The “Femme Totale” exhibit includes a diverse display of Biondi’s  ceramic torsos, which pay tribute to the female form and fashion.

The 41-year-old Argentina native says it was only natural that fashion would work its way into her pieces (several of which incorporate leather laces into a corset design) because of her lifelong interest in the subject.

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Find Rare European Brands at New La Boutique

Courtesy of La Boutique

It’s not uncommon for San Franciscans to hear from foreign visitors that SF feels like “one of the most European cities in the United States.” Carol Harari, owner of La Boutique, l’Art et la Mode, is keeping that chic image alive with the opening of her new store and gallery in the city’s Jackson Square.

“I really wanted to make this a destination for European art and fashion,” says the Swiss-born Harari. “I want it to be a place people want to spend time—more than just another store.”

Though she worked as a former marketing and merchandising manager for H&M, in charge of opening the Swedish mega-chain’s Paris stores, you’ll be hard-pressed to find traces of fast fashion here.

Instead the lofty, two-story industrial space houses such hard-to-find labels as Baum und Pferdgarten of Denmark, Firma of Germany, and Collection 66 of Switzerland.

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