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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Why Working at Sephora is Fun

Today I felt like sharing a little snapshot into my work day. This beautiful assortment of new “La Laque Couture” nail lacquers  from YSL, launching on Sephora.com next week, just landed on my desk.

I’m fully on board with the hot-as-ever nail art trend and obsessed with all the intense, bright colors for summer I’m seeing everywhere–from the runway to our office. These quick-drying formulas are strengthening, the colors are pigment-rich, and they go on easily with the wide brush. Plus, these golden bottles look so lovely and luxurious, I am compelled at the moment to use them as cubicle installation art.

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 Beauty Obsession: Julep Nail Polish

It’s Friday and close to the magic happy hour, which prompted me to paint my nails at my desk at work. This isn’t as radical as it sounds when you work as an editor at Sephora, where I’ve witnessed coworkers curling each other’s hair with the latest Sultra hot tool in the aisles, or applying Paperself paper eyelashes in the conference rooms. The nail lacquer fumes wafting from various cubicles seems downright normal around here!

Image

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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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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.

Inside the New Telegraph Hill Levi’s Boutique and … Could Dockers Be Having Its “Moment?”

Inside the new Levi Strauss & Co. "neighborhood store" in Telegraph Hill, inside the SF retailer's world headquarters. All photos by Edric Itchon.

Did you know that a chic, new Levi Strauss store opened at the sprawling Levi’s headquarters in Telegraph Hill? Apparently the word’s still getting out, and to help garner some buzz for the eight-month-old boutique-concept store, the folks at Levi’s threw a swanky soiree at the shop last night for friends and media.

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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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The Quest for the Perfect Black Summer Trousers

People are always shocked when I tell them we have a color-based dress code at Sephora. The rules dictate that we dress “in concept,” even at the corporate offices, which in Sephora-speak means we are to wear black, gray, red, and/or white Mondays through Thursdays in the office. The limitation is actually a real test of my fashion creativity. It forces me to play with textures and details. It also means I have about a half-dozen pairs of black slacks of varying lengths and fabrications in rotation in my closet.

Daughters of the Liberation Coxswain Crop Pants, $88, at Anthropologie. Photo courtesy of Anthropologie.com.

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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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