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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Hayes Valley shops keep charm amid rapid growth

As seen in the San Francisco Chronicle July 10, 2011

Illustration courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

Nerissa Pacio Itchon, Special to The Chronicle

With the burst of activity happening in Hayes Valley lately, it’s hard to believe this bustling San Francisco neighborhood has nary a Starbucks in sight. From the groundbreaking of the $50 million SF Jazz Center and the opening of high-end spin-offs to several existing boutiques, to the new restaurant flurry and more to come, one might expect to find shoppers – Venti Mocha Frappuccinos in hand – walking their well-groomed labradoodles.

But ask anyone who knows this charmingly compact, decidedly big-chain-averse neighborhood and they’ll assure you that although the Valley is growing rapidly, its personality is definitively intact.
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French Designer Shourouk Takes Statement Jewelry to Another Level

Last night I had a really fun chat with French accessory designer Shourouk Rhaiem, who’s in town to fete the launch of her spring/summer 2011 collection tonight.

The event is happening at La Boutique, one of my truly favorite SF-meets-Europe boutiques, where owner Carole Harari has transformed the shop to look like a little piece of Rhaiem’s atelier in the chic Marais district of Paris.

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Design Watch: The Best of the SF Capsule Festival

Summery street style from SF's Capsule Design Festival on May 1, 2011. All photos by Edric Itchon.

It’s a rare moment when it’s sunny enough for San Franciscans to unearth  sundresses, straw hats, and even parasols from their all-season closets. But that’s what happened this weekend at the Capsule Design Festival in Hayes Valley. From crafters of one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry to masters of the letterpress, here are the photo-worthy scenes, on-trend fashions, and designers to watch from this festive, bi-annual event.

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The Chronicle’s New Style Section, Plus What’s Hot in Hayes Valley

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday Style section is re-launching this spring with a new look as it merges with its shinier cousin SFIS, the pullout style monthly the Chronicle has published in limited circulation. The marriage will hopefully result in a better, glossier weekly that will have a more design-y feel, added  color, and high-profile features on fashion, people, parties, and design.

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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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Postcard from Manila: Market Watch

One of several Shoemart Mega-malls in Metro Manila.

If you think you get what a mega-mall is, you probably have yet to visit Manila. During my stay this month in the Philippines’ capital, I quickly learned that this city takes the art of the shopping mall to a whole new level.

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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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Noteworthy Newcomers to Hayes Valley

Me with Cindy Spade, the always-helpful co-owner and buyer for Ver Unica in Hayes Valley.

As much as I love shopping online, there’s no better substitute in my mind than exploring a neighborhood on foot—especially when that neighborhood is Hayes Valley. Popping in and out of some of my favorite boutiques there (Azalea, M.A.C.-Modern Appealing Clothing, and Flight 001, to name a few) never fails to remind me of why San Francisco is such a cool place to live.

Ver Unica is another local favorite I’d put at the top of my must-frequent list, namely because co-owner and veteran buyer Cindy Spade has a killer eye and stocks an impeccably edited collection of vintage clothing and accessories from the 1920s through 1980s, including one-of-a-kind dead stock. Although I’m usually game for rolling up my sleeves and digging for that hidden gem, sometimes I need the immediate gratification of easy-to-find, mint-condition goods.

Try not to panic if in the next couple months you find Ver Unica has vanished from its 437 Hayes Street digs. Just head over to the 500 block, where Spade says she and her husband will be opening a bigger and better shop by summer. They’ll celebrate with a grand re-opening party, which I’ll post here as soon as I get wind of it.

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What’s New with Trina Turk

Trina Turk at her Burlingame, California boutique. Photography by Edric Itchon.

With influences of classic American sportswear showing up strong among this season’s trends, it seemed only fitting that I catch up with designer Trina Turk, who paid a recent visit to her native Bay Area to work the social circuit and promote her new line of vintage-inspired jewelry.

Celebrating the 15-year anniversary this year of her namesake line of sporty women’s wear characterized by its So-Cal vibe of vibrantly colored prints, the prolific Turk—who designs 10 distinct collections annually— took time out at her Burlingame boutique to chat about how she’s fared in the recession, what she still loves about L.A., and why it’s always good times vacationing with BFF’s Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan.

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