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.”

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Silicon Valley’s O.C. Moment: Poolside Soiree and Fashion Shows at Santana Row

With guests decked out in fabulous sun hats, skin-baring sundresses, and candy-colored prints, the scene looked more O.C. than Silicon Valley on June 2 at Santana Row’s Fourth Annual Poolside Soiree and Fashion Shows.

Sheila Etcheson of Cupertino (left) and Naseem Delan of Los Altos Hills. All photos by Edric Itchon.

More than 400 fashion followers—a few who came from as far as Seattle and Napa—descended upon San Jose’s stylish retail-residential hot spot for a balmy afternoon of bubbly, bites, and a double-header of fashion shows featuring summer’s biggest trends.

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New York Fashion Week Street Style

As seen on sfgate.com’s Unzipped September 21, 2011.

Manhattan’s Lincoln Center Plaza was a veritable feast for the eyes throughout New York Fashion Week with stylish guests, who were busy on their smart phones or hailing cabs, dressed in bright pops of color and playful prints. Even in the unseasonably hot fall weather, a gaggle of industrious fashion bloggers—cameras in tow—lingered each day outside the theater awaiting the sartorial parade to begin.

Erin Gee, 27, Vancouver, and Niki Blasina, 26, Vancouver.

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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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Fashion Outtakes from the Ellie Goulding SF Show

It’s always a fun challenge interviewing people about fashion who aren’t in the business of fashion. They tend to give you unexpected answers and a fresh take on how “non-industry” people think about (or don’t think about) trends and putting together their own special look. Somehow the interviews tend to be a little more raw and a little less predictable.

British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding was no exception. Sipping on a cup of tea when I arrived at her W Hotel suite, she seemed exhausted from touring, but  still managed to rally on the last night of her tour, give me some thoughtful  answers to my battery of style questions for the Chronicle, and later perform an electric set.

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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!”

Fashion’s Night Out with The Countess

Fashion's Night Out San Francisco. A model wears a dress by Christopher Collins, contestant on "Project Runway" Season Eight. His current collection is being sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus SF. Photography by Edric Itchon.

Even though I’m still desperately waiting for summer weather to finally make its way to San Francisco, I’m actually content that September is here. It’s a month that always gets me revved up about fashion—from the behemoth fall fashion issues that are crammed into my mailbox every day (keep ‘em coming!), to the stacks of invitations to festive events happening around town.

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Outside Lands Fashion and Your Fall Trends Preview

Outside Lands may have come and gone, but the fashion trends I spotted at the two-day music and arts festival in San Francisco earlier this month remain. Carrying into fall are animal prints, mix-and-match patterns, and faux fur accents seen on fashionable festival-goers rocking out in Golden Gate Park, who came out in droves despite the late-August fog. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a true San Francisco scene without a healthy dose of hippy meets hipster–from feather hair accessories to arm socks–and the quintessential City Girl combination of a scarf, fedora, and boots.

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