My Favorite Outfit: Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse Chuck-Oliver Lapus

In all the years I’ve known friend, and fashion inspiration, Chuck-Oliver Lapus, I’ve never seen him sport the same outfit twice. A master of the  remix, this Bay Area pediatric intensive care nurse and proud fashion experimentalist dares to go with his wardrobe where your average guy doesn’t—from dapper dandy to hip-hop inspired to avant-garde. In Chuck’s world, fashion is art. “When I dress for occasions, I am painting my own portrait and I am producing my own music.”

Photographed at Diablo Ranch, Mount Diablo, by Edric Itchon.

Name: Chuck-Oliver Lapus

Occupation: Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse

Age: 34

Where I live: South San Francisco

What I’m wearing:

“Super-Bars Fade by LoLo at the San Mateo Zoo Barber Shop. Aviator shades by Police-Italia. Satin Burberry Classic Nova print bow tie. White organic cotton short-sleeve collared shirt, modern fit, by American Apparel. ZARA-Man Euro cut blazer. Black leather embossed belt by Coach. Classic wool cashmere-blend trousers by Burberry Prorsum. Dress socks by Donna Karan. Black 3/4 High Sharp Boots by Rick Owens.”

Why this is my favorite outfit:

“My new outlook on fashion has changed so much and the days of ‘just wearing a suit’ has come and gone. I am sure that for the fashion world in general, suits will always be part of the runway. However, I take pride in the deconstruction of my suits; I have to create a look that draws people’s attention—something avant-garde.”

How I’d remix this outfit:

“I would make it more casual by putting on a fedora, taking off the blazer and bow tie, and untucking the shirt. I’d fold up the hem of the trousers and replace formal boots with boat shoes. I’d also add my double pyramid ring in gunmetal by Black Scale SF.”

As a nurse, I’m assuming you are in uniform scrubs for work. Does this influence how you tend to dress in your non-working hours?

“You know I always look forward to going to work for meetings and showcasing. Not in an arrogant way, but a lot of the other nurses always dress up when they come to meetings at work too! It’s almost like having a ‘free-dress’ day when I was in junior high. The thought of being able to go into work and not having to wear scrubs is a pretty liberating.”

Fashion inspires me because…

“Like art and music, fashion is derived from the individual, but it has the possibility of reaching and touching so many people. Fashion is art!”

My fashion icons are:

“Pharrel Williams, Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Nickleson Wooster, David Beckham.”

What piece I’m coveting for Fall right now:

“Denim. I have a denim addiction. It’s almost scary. I have more denim than my wife. The move from wearing denim with no enlarged embroidery is a must. I dig the Euro cut of the NUDIE line. I have the same cut in three different dyes. I am also digging the Japanese line Naked and Famous.”

My most prized fashion find:

“My most prized find was a gift that I bought for my wife. I was in a Crossroads shopping phase at one point in my life, and I happened to stumble into the Irving location one day before I went into work and I found some beautiful Louie Vuitton yellow suede high heel espadrilles. The heels were practically dead stock (never worn). Five years later, my wife still covets those heals and they still transcend fashion’s past!”

The most daring ensemble I’ve worn consisted of:

“All my friends called me ‘Ross’ because we went out one night, and I was brave enough to wear brown leather pants. That’s all I am saying because if certain friends of mine are reminded of this particular outfit, I will never hear the end of it!”

What “makes” an outfit?  

“A person’s attitude and how they wear an outfit. I have been told many times by other people, ‘I love your (insert article of clothing), but I could not pull off that outfit.’ I am willing to take the risk. I don’t really pay attention to what anyone else thinks about my outfit. My biggest critic (besides my wife) is me. If I like it, then I’ll wear it anytime, any place–like Janet.”

My ultimate fashion fantasy is….

“… to be discovered while having coffee at Starbucks and asked to model for Givenchy.”

My Favorite Outfit: Fashion Designer Bora Han

This week officially kicks off the fashion industry’s fall frenzy starting with national Fashion’s Night Out and the launch of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York on Thursday. While I’m busy already prepping and packing for my trip east to cover the shows (stay tuned for future posts backstage from Rodarte and Marc Jacobs!), I’m reminded that there’s some serious talent waiting to be discovered right here in San Francisco.

Fashion designer Bora Han. Photography by Tedd Moon.

Bora Han is an up-and-coming women’s wear designer I predict will headline at Lincoln Center one day. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Han has an intriguing international background and an innovative, original aesthetic.

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My Favorite Outfit: Society Columnist/Photographer Moanalani Jeffrey


Moanalani Jeffrey photographed in her Nob Hill home with Jacques, her French bulldog. Photography by Clarine Wong.

Moanalani Jeffrey is the only person I know who can juggle shooting a party with a hefty camera while chatting up guests, taking notes, and teetering on four-inch stilettos–all with a brilliant smile. The society columnist for the SF Examiner and an event photographer about town, Jeffrey has an inimitable glam-it-up style that suits her ebullient personality. Whether she’s “click-click-clicking” her way through a Hollywood shindig or chasing after her next subject onto the dance floor, this trendsetting Hawaii-native always has the right mix of fabulous fashion meets practical function for her high-energy job.

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My Favorite Outfit: Designer Zara Marin Franks

Berkeley-based knitwear designer Zara Franks specializes in crafting beautiful hand-dyed scarves. The founder of Venn Apparel,  Franks studied socially conscious design at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and prides herself on getting back to quality in American craftsmanship. Recently she’s become “obsessed with landscapes,”  especially sunrises and sunsets, in the design of her pieces. “The challenge there is to translate them in a way that I’m satisfied with,” Franks says. “I can’t copy a sunrise. I don’t want to. But I can use yarn as a describer.”

Looking through her cozy, earth-tone pieces reminded me that this particular installment of “My Favorite Outfit” seemed like the perfect way to kick off April. After all, the leap into spring means summer (fog) is right around the corner—and that means you’ll be needing a scarf wherever you go!

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My Favorite Outfit: Beauty Merchant Elena Leong

It’s a rare moment that I make a big beauty purchase without consulting my good friend Elena Leong. A true beauty buff—and  industry vet—Elena has tested more lotions and potions than you would think were even humanly possible, both on the job and off.

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My Favorite Outfit: Fashion Grad Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith. Photographed on the roof of her NY apartment share by roommate and stylist Rayna Basta.

Caitlin Smith is one of those people who effortlessly oozes style. I knew this when she showed up at my office for an editorial internship at 7×7 a couple years ago, and mere moments after meeting her I knew that she had the gut fashion instinct needed for the job.

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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!”

My Favorite Outfit: Fashion Stylist Karen Tamblyn

Fashion stylist Karen Tamblyn on the red carpet at the Haydee Silveira atelier opening in Lima, Peru.

If there’s ever been anyone I have met who lives by the phrase “It’s all about attitude,” it would be fashion stylist Karen Tamblyn. Every outfit she chooses—whether it’s a casual, graphic tee paired with rolled up boyfriend jeans or a daring, red-carpet gown—she wears with the utmost flair.

With San Francisco’s gala season upon us, it seemed only fitting that I feature the Peruvian-born globe-trotter, who not only dresses some of the city’s most social of butterflies, but is also known to flit around town on the party circuit herself. In between attending social events and running her styling business, Tamblyn works on occasion as a correspondent for publications in Chile and Ecuador and she recently launched an eponymous women’s wear line of hand-woven pieces made from Peruvian baby alpaca fleece.

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My Favorite Outfit: Fashion Designer Lucile Puton

Meeting interesting new people from all walks of life was a major motivating factor that lead me to a career in journalism years ago when I was still slogging away as a college student at UCLA’s Daily Bruin. To this day, it’s still one of the best parts of the job. As a fashion editor, I’m constantly meeting a special breed of industry insiders—designers, stylists, photographers, artists, publicists and others who live and breathe fashion and beauty and possess an incredible eye for style. Nerissa’s Notebook seemed like the perfect place to bring you an occasional style snapshot of trendsetters I meet from around the globe in the feature I’m simply calling “My Favorite Outfit.”

Menswear designer Lucile Puton at the Different Fountains studio in Brussels, Belgium. Photography by Michael Langeder and Bernardo Risquez.

For the debut post, I’ve interviewed Lucile Puton, a talented young menswear designer I met in the South of France in May while covering the Hyeres International Festival of Fashion and Photography. She was one of the 10 selected finalists in the competition.

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