Uniqlo SF Grand Opening: Mob Mentality

With the grand opening festivities of Uniqlo‘s San Francisco flagship opening out of the way this weekend, I figured I could dodge the crowds and pop into the famed Japanese retailer’s first West Coast store today in Union Square to grab a few staples. Boy was I wrong.

Known for their well-cut basics (think Japanese version of Gap), I’ve never had trouble finding an assortment of trim-fitting, quality sweaters, pants, and tops– in every color of the rainbow– when shopping at Uniqlo’s New York and Asia outposts. It also happens to be a great place to find pieces cut for those with more petite frames as sizes run smaller than those of typical American retailers.

Here’s a snapshot of the insane line outside the 111 Powell Street mega-shop this afternoon that wrapped half-way around the block. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the madness dies down to stock up! (Tip: For those of you unwilling to hoof it to the brick-and-mortar location, Uniqlo.com will soon be available to US shoppers. To get notified of exactly when, pre-register on the site with your email address).

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Christian Louboutin 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection Bows at Neiman Marcus

Bubbly, bites, and limited-edition Louboutins drew San Francisco’s fashion bloggerati to the Union Square Neiman Marcus store on March 15 for the private unveiling of the celebrated French designer’s 20th anniversary capsule collection, available for sale on the Christian Louboutin online boutique and in stores exclusively at 10 Neiman Marcus locations nationwide.

All photos by Nerissa Itchon.

The invitation-only event, held in the second level women’s shoe salon, gave bloggers and select shoppers the chance to preview 20 unique styles inspired by 20 years of iconic shoe designs, which run the gamut from the pointy-toe bejeweled “Pigalove” flats to the soaring six-inch fringed “Highness Tina” boots designed in homage to diva muse Tina Turner.

Christian Louboutin’s velour “Highness Tina” boots ($2,295), a collector’s item from the 20th anniversary capsule collection.

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Macy’s Passport 2011: Bruno Mars, Far East Movement, and Fall Fashion

Bruno Mars at the Orpheum Theatre (Photography by Edric Itchon)

Bringing San Francisco’s fashion forces to their feet on Friday night at the Orpheum Theater, musician Bruno Mars headlined Macy’s annual Passport Presents Glamorama, the annual HIV/AIDS fundraising event that tours four cities across the country in September.

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Fashion’s Night Out SF Link Love: Where to Party Tonight

Fashion’s having a party tonight—and everyone’s invited. The annual international event has arrived once again, with retailers around the globe hosting complimentary special events, extended shopping hours, cocktail soirees, and more—all in anticipation of the official kickoff to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Here’s a down-and-dirty round-up of Fashion’s Night Out local event listings for anyone looking for a late night of shopping, people-watching and party-hopping in the Bay Area.

SF Pop Sugar

SF Gate

SF Union Square

Neiman Marcus

Macy’s

Saks Fifth Avenue

Santana Row

Elie Saab’s Le Parfum Sneak Preview at Vogue Party

On Tuesday night, I got a sneak preview of haute couture designer Elie Saab’s debut women’s fragrance at an elegant launch party hosted by Vogue. The private event at the Clift Hotel drew an intimate crowd of local fashion, beauty, media and PR reps who sat down in the Spanish Suite to view a 20-minute film about the Lebanese designer’s behind-the-scenes work on the runway and the making of his first parfum.

After the film, in dramatic form, models accessorized in Elie Saab statement jewelry unveiled oversized bottles of “the juice” and presented each guest with a white grosgrain ribbon spritzed with the signature scent. Two lucky guests also walked away with the jewelry, which was raffled off as prizes.

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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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Weekend Shopping Alert: James Perse Sample Sale

I was walking to BART after work today when this sign stopped me in my tracks. I had missed last year’s cameo appearance by the James Perse sample sale in SoMa  (near Montgomery and Howard) when I happily stumbled upon this new location. Turns out the sale had just popped up in another spot in the Financial District.

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Matthew Williamson Capsule Collection Launches at Macy’s Tomorrow

Sketch from Matthew Williamson for Macy's Collection. Photos courtesy of Macy's.

I’m usually all for checking out fashion designer collabos, especially when it means getting a piece of luxury design at prices that don’t equate to the monthly mortgage. The launch of the Matthew Williamson for Macy’s capsule collection tomorrow is no exception, with the unveiling of limited-edition spring separates and ’70s-inspired dresses priced between $50 to $300.

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All Saints Flagship Store Opens in Union Square (and 25% off sale going on now)

Courtesy of All Saints

If you haven’t stumbled upon the new All Saints store in downtown San Francisco, you’re missing out. The UK retailer opened a gorgeous, two-story flagship in recent weeks, which I wrote about in the December issue of SFIS, on newsstands now.

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What Prabal Gurung Thinks of Being Part of a Crop of Asian-Am Talent

It was a brief meeting on Friday, but one that confirmed my suspicions that Prabal Gurung is both a smart and a nice guy. The New York-based designer was making a brief appearance at Neiman Marcus San Francisco to preview his Spring 2011 line, and with all the press he’s been getting having recently dressed First Lady Michelle Obama for a White House dinner—along with his usual bevy of celebrity A-listers – I decided to do a drive-by to talk shop with the designer.

Designer Prabal Gurung with Neiman Marcus PR guru Ye-Hui Lu.

In spite of a packed morning of press interviews (I’m told he did a total of 11, not including mine), and the cabal of ladies who lunch swirling around to take photos with him, he took time out to thoughtfully answer a couple of my burning questions.

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