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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English Luxury Brand Mulberry Bows in San Francisco’s Union Square

It was a truly “un-S.F.” moment. A line of stylish guests gussied up in cocktail dresses, platforms, and trim-cut suits snaked down the block as a stern bouncer dressed in all black held back impatient line-jumpers from storming their way through the glass doors–at 6:30 p.m. “One in, one out,” he barked. “No exceptions.”

Photos by Nerissa Pacio Itchon, unless otherwise noted.

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Scenes from the Men’s Styleforum 10-year anniversary event at the W Hotel. Handmade ties by San Francisco fashion newcomer Louis Walton. All photos by Edric Itchon.

But at the premiere fashion showcase last month celebrating the 10th anniversary of Styleforum, an online fashion community for men, more than 300 dapper guests turned out at the W Hotel for bespoke suit fittings, complimentary shoe shines and an opportunity to peruse 15 local and national vendors specializing in quality menswear.

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Arts of Fashion Foundation Emerging Designers Push Boundaries with “Tension”

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Designs by Xiaotian Zhang (Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology), winner of the Arts of Fashion Paris summer MasterClass award. Photo by Margo Moritz.

Held for the first time at the San Francisco Art Institute, the picturesque campus served as the ideal backdrop for a weekend of inspired creativity. The two-day event  featured fashion lectures by designers, educators, and industry experts—including the CFDA’s  Steven Kolb and Arts of Fashion founder Nathalie Doucet—along with fashion exhibitions by emerging designers.

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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.

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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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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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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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Macy’s Passport Rewind: Macy Gray, Tracy Reese, and Guys in Undies

Macy’s Passport was a whole different show this year, largely due to its format and venue change from Fort Mason to the Orpheum Theater, and an even bigger focus on the live music and dance elements, rather than the fashion.

Artist Macy Gray headlined this year's Passport show at the Orpheum Theater. All photos by Edric Itchon.

The largest and longest running HIV/AIDS benefit and fashion show in the country, “Glamorama” made its way beginning in early August from Minneapolis to Chicago to L.A., before finally finishing its tour in San Francisco on Sept. 24. Headliners included Grammy Award-winning musician Macy Gray, singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson, as well as women’s wear designer Tracy Reese.

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