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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Snow: San Francisco Makes a Bold Fashion Statement in Winter White

Fashionably white: front row fashion show guests await the start of Snow 2012, hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Network. All photography by Edric Itchon.

Copy as seen in the San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, February 5, 2012

By Nerissa Pacio Itchon

Never mind the old-fashioned advice against wearing weight-adding white on camera. At the third annual Snow event, hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Network, droves of picture-happy partygoers eagerly posing in head-to-toe white were as much a part of the entertainment as the white-themed fashion show.

Held at the unlikely venue of a SoMa auto-repair garage that was transformed into an industrial-chic catwalk Jan. 28, the evening drew about 250 guests dressed in everything from slinky gowns and feathered spectator hats to cheeky flight suits and fur chubbies.

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For trendy lush eyelash look, the options abound

As seen in the San Francisco Chronicle September 18, 2011

Lashfully Lounge in Cow Hollow district, SF. Photo courtesy of Lashfully

Nerissa Pacio Itchon, Special to The Chronicle

 
Call it the Kim Kardashian effect.

National mascara sales are on the upswing; salons specializing in lash extensions are hitting critical mass; doctor’s offices and cosmetics companies are finding big business in lash growth serums; and semi-permanent mascaras are picking up steam, proving that women are willing to try almost anything to achieve the lush, defined, cheek-grazing lashes that the reality TV stars have helped usher in as the beauty standard for the Tinseltown set.

“It all started with the media and celebrities endorsing prescription Latisse,” says Liv Contreras, a veteran licensed aesthetician and co-owner of Lashfully beauty lounge in the Cow Hollow district. “Then the Kardashians were the ones to really bling out lashes, making strip lashes, extensions and the whole lash trend even more popular.”

As Hollywood-averse as San Franciscans may seem, city dwellers have been quick to jump on the lash bandwagon. Lashfully, which Contreras opened almost 10 months ago with former client Matana LePlae, is one of at least a dozen lash-centric salons that have popped up recently in San Francisco, feeding the growing demand for lash enhancements.

Since the opening of Lash Lab nearly two years ago, bookings at the Cow Hollow salon have doubled to an average of eight to 10 clients per day, says 31-year-old owner Judy Anderson. Her team of five full-time licensed aestheticians focuses solely on lash extensions, and appointments fill up nearly four weeks in advance.

Although lash extensions have been around for decades, the service is starting to go mainstream with increasingly more options available. For women willing to spend the time and the money, it remains a popular, if not a downright luxurious, service.

When done properly, the painstaking process requires a licensed aesthetician to use precision-point needle tweezers and medical-grade glue to attach synthetic, animal or real human hair extensions to each lash. Devotees say the results are worth it.

“I love getting a look I can’t get by simply using mascara,” says Elena Greco, director of brand relations at San Francisco-based online beauty community Beautylish, who visits a salon for lash extensions every two to three weeks. “Also, I like the option of waking up and walking out the door without having to apply eye makeup.”

To read the rest of this story, go to the Sunday Style section on sfgate.com.

Happily Knackered by the Royal Wedding Craze (Pardon my British)

William and Kate's balcony kiss seals the deal at Buckingham Palace. Courtesy of The Daily Beast.

Clearly, I underestimated my appetite for the whole royal wedding bonanza. Knackered as I was walking to work downtown yesterday, I passed by Fog City’s newsstand, brimming with Will and Kate covers, which immediately caught my attention.

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My Favorite Outfit: Wedding Designer Hayley Seed

Hayley Seed in her Telegraph Hill apartment in San Francisco's North Beach district. Photography by Edric Itchon.

You may remember a post I wrote several months ago about Hayley’s fabulously fashionable wine country wedding. With her job as a wedding designer for one of San Francisco’s foremost catering and event companies, it only seemed natural I also ask this chic city girl to give us the inside scoop on her favorite outfit.

Like a lot of us, she’s often faced with the challenging task of choosing a look that can easily transition from a day at the office to after-five events at a moment’s notice.  Here’s one of her go-to ensembles for those nonstop days when heading home for a style pit stop isn’t an option.

Name: Hayley Seed

Occupation: Wedding Designer, Taste Catering & Event Planning

Where I live: Telegraph Hill, San Francisco

What I’m wearing: Theory blouse, J Brand black skinny jeans. Theory black blazer. Christian Louboutin nude stilettos. My own pearls.

Why this is my favorite outfit: “I’ve always thought of myself as a blue jeans-cowboy boots American girl, but I also love heels and dressing up on occasion. My cowboy boots and Levi’s don’t really work in the city, so this outfit is a way for me to maintain my personal style, while dressing up enough so that it’s appropriate for work and going out.”

Where I wore it: “To work today and then out to dinner with friends.”

How I would remix this outfit to create a new look: “For the weekend, I would lose the blazer and the pearls and pair the blouse with a brightly colored scarf, my boots and some big, sparkly earrings. My favorite thing about all these pieces is that they are staples that really go with anything.  I wear this black blazer over graphic t-shirts and flowery dresses to make it ‘work for work.’

My skinny jeans I’ll wear this Fall with boots – I already have my eye on some Stewart Weitzman over-the-knee boots.  And the nude Louboutins?   I can honestly say there is not one thing in my closet that I can’t wear with these bad boys.”

My best beauty tip: “Wash your face every night— no matter what.”

My best wedding style advice: “Splurge on the dress and on the food. Eat, drink, and be married!”

My biggest style indulgence: “Shoes!  I am obsessed with patent leather pumps—Gucci, Miu Miu, Brian Atwood. If I see a unique color, I have to have them.”

“On most days, you can find me….”: “In the Kitchen. I love to cook, eat, and try new things. Whether I am cooking dinner at home or in the Taste kitchen with our executive chef planning a special menu for a bride, I love the creativity, energy and ultimate product of being in the kitchen!”

Hot Summer Sales: Union Street and Barneys New York

The Fall collections are already hitting stores, which means a boon for any of you looking to refresh your warm weather wardrobes. Retailers are unloading summer stock to make room starting today with more than 100 shops in the Marina at the annual Union Street Sidewalk Sale.

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Bridal Bliss: Hayley and Lindon tie the knot in St. Helena

Photography by Tanja Lippert.

I first met Hayley Seed a few years ago when I was still fashion editor at 7×7 magazine. Not long after I arrived, Hayley joined the staff as the events manager in charge of throwing all of our fabulous parties. Since part of my job entailed covering the city’s party scene, our worlds—and most of our after-five outings—overlapped, and we became fast friends. Bonding ensued when my husband Edric proposed three months after her engagement to Lindon, and for the next nine months, as we stressed over wedding planning, we became a support group of two.

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Summer Events for San Francisco’s Brides-to-Be

Courtesy of Claire Folger/Twentieth Century Fox

When you’re in the throes of planning your dream wedding, it’s easy to go from happily motivated to overwhelmed and fatigued all in the same day. As a recent bride, I found that the best way to get back into that creative state of mind was to attend a low-key yet inspired bridal event—especially one that serves up plenty of eye candy and, of course, bubbly.

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Gigi and Rose Boutique Opens in Ghirardelli Square

It’s always encouraging in this economy when I see a store opening, as opposed to closing, especially when it’s owned by a local. So when I was invited last night to attend the opening party for designer Kristina de Pizzol’s boutique, Gigi and Rose, in Ghirardelli Square, I was more than happy to drop by for a peek.

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Sipping, Shopping and Staying in Ghirardelli Square

Nothing beats those leisurely weekend trips to Napa, but it’s always a treat when you can stay local and the wineries make their way to the city. Saturday was the 5th annual Uncorked! festival in San Francisco where more than 40 wineries set up booths along the wharf and in Ghirardelli Square for an afternoon of wine-tasting under the sun.

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