January 29, 2010

vanessa gade jewelry

Vanessa Gade is one of the designers at The Mission Statement and how I heard about the co-op in the first place. I met Vanessa at Appel and Frank in December.  Many of the designers’ work at the show looked a lot alike that night, but Vanessa’s jewelry truly stands out. A graduate of the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, Vanessa started making jewelry as a hobby but fell in love with the craft. She launched her line in 2007. The theme of her collection is variation on the ever-popular circle. I love the way she plays with asymmetry, mixed metals, and unique chain configurations. You can find her work at The Mission Statement or on her website.

A sneak peak at a pair of earrings from Vanessa’s upcoming spring collection.

January 27, 2010

Man Up This Weekend

Here’s a story I wrote for Mission Loc@l about an awesome menswear event happening this weekend:

Boys, it’s time to Man Up. The pit-stained Green Day t-shirt and faded jeans you’ve been sporting since college don’t cut it any more. I know your excuses. It’s not easy to walk into a department store and find something that’s unique and stylish amidst the overcrowded racks and pushy salespeople. Of course online shopping is tough because, let’s face it, you’re too lazy to deal with going to the post office if something doesn’t fit.

This weekend those excuses will become irrelevant because the best independent menswear stores in San Francisco are coming together for Man Up, an event that will change the way you think about shopping.

Room 4 on Valencia

Man Up is modeled after the Pop-up Flea, a weekend-long menswear market that Dave Mongan encountered on a trip to New York City. The next stop for the Pop-up Flea was Los Angeles, so Dave and some friends formed a group called the Durable Goods Concern to bring the idea to San Francisco, “All of the shopping events here are for women and men are neglected,” says Mongan. “Many men find shopping intimidating so we want to create a fun, relaxed, and approachable way for men to shop and be stylish.”

The pop-up market will bring together merchants from the entire city so you can shop at the hippest stores without running all over town. The Mission will be well-represented by David Marks, owner of Room 4, a store on Valencia that specializes in vintage menswear, “My customers are mostly from the Mission so I’m excited to meet people who don’t normally shop in this neighborhood.”

Broadening the scope of a store’s clientele is one of the main draws of a pop-up store. Todd Barket of UNIONMADE, a new casual men’s clothing store on Sanchez at 18th, will also be at Man Up because he thinks a pop-up location is a good way to introduce new customers to the store’s aesthetic, “I love the interactions with new customers and going to other neighborhoods that I wouldn’t be in normally.”

Other merchants at Man Up include, North Beach’s A-B Fits for designer denim, Paul’s Hat Works, an outer Richmond shop that has been selling hats since 1918, and Taylor Stitch an online store selling custom-tailored shirts.

Man Up will take place January 29th (3-9pm), 30th (11am-7pm), and 31st (11am-6pm) at 1035 Market Street. Throughout the event there will be free drinks and food vendors. Enter the door prize raffle for a chance to win a custom-made shirt from Taylor Stitch.


MAN UP from B-Rilla on Vimeo.

January 25, 2010

mission vintage: isso

Isso is one of my favorite local vintage shops. Every time I go in I find something I want to take home. There are two locations,19th at Guerrero and 24th at Church in Noe Valley. The Noe store is much bigger but you’ll often find some killer sales at the 19th Street location. One of the best things about Isso is that the owners, Ivy Chan and Marie Biscara, alter many of the vintage pieces to more modern and flattering cuts. They also sell new clothing by local designers like She-Bible and have their own clothing line. The pencil skirts above are from the Isso line and are recrafted from vintage men’s pants. Below are a couple of my favorite purchases from Isso, two 60s style summer dresses.

January 20, 2010

menswear: estrella tadeo

A menswear post is long overdue so I’d like to introduce you to Estrella Tadeo, a local designer here in the Mission. I met her over the weekend while researching a story for Mission Loc@l. Estrella is the founder of The Mission Statement, a designer co-op on 18th and Bartlett (for more info check out the Mission Loc@l story). I was immediately drawn to Estrella’s clothes because the styles are so unique. Most of the pieces have special touches like hand-painted lines (the blue on the suit above) or contrasting, asymmetrical stitching. A lot of the items in her line are reconstructed vintage so those hand-done features add unique looks to classic styles. Estrella is an Oakland native who studied fine art and sculpture but decided to teach herself to sew. The expert tailoring on her pieces is incredible and alterations are included in the price of the garments. She makes women’s clothes too, like the scarves below. Stop by The Mission Statement on Thursday because they’re having a huge sale that will last through the weekend.

Estrella Tadeo, wearing one of own scarves


January 18, 2010

spring ahead:channneling dvf

I am finally ready to start blogging about spring lines and trends. I know it feels like winter just arrived in San Francisco, but it’s time to start planning ahead to find your must-have pieces for spring. I’ve been rewatching fashion shows on Style.com in preparation. Diane von Furstenberg’s spring line is gorgeous—bright colors, draped fabrics, graphic prints, wedge sandals, all with a tribal, antiquity-themed feel. Something that stood out to me was that almost every single model wore stacks of colorful, woven bracelets. I LOVE them. So I headed to Global Exchange in Noe Valley to see if they had something similar. Global Exchange is a fair trade non-profit selling clothes, accessories, and housewares from around the world. It’s great for gifts for the girl who already has everything, or for finding unique jewelry pieces. And they carry some awesome African bracelets similar to DVF’s!

The large blue one was made in South Africa out of old telephone wires. They only had this blue color when I was at Global Exchange over the weekend but I’m hoping they get in more soon so I can wear a few in different colors. The small red and gold ones are from Burkina Faso and the rest are made in Mali out of recycled plastic.

January 15, 2010

fortune cookie wisdom

My fortune from last night and now yours for the weekend.

January 13, 2010

Glory Chen Shoes

Joy Chen Kolterman is a San Francisco shoe designer who understands the way women dress in this town—we want high style, yet affordable and comfortable fashion. Chen Kolterman houses two collections in her Maiden Lane store: Glory Chen (couture inclinations) is downstairs and Joy Chen (more affordable yet equally chic) is upstairs. Her shoes are made from soft leathers that feel amazing on your feet thanks to the lightly cushioned insoles and rubber soles. When I stopped by the boutique last week I wanted to walk away with twenty pairs (there was even a big sale that might still be going on) but I refrained myself because I know she’ll be coming out with a great spring line soon. Here are some of the highlights from her Fall/Winter ‘09 collection. I think my favorite is the two-in-one boot pictured below. Start with a bootie or zip on the top piece for full calf coverage.

January 11, 2010

animal friendly shopping

After the fur discussion last week, I think it’s a good idea to bring up another popular trend: vegan fashion. Stella McCartney isn’t the only one doing it! My coworker, Ciara Peter, recently launched a website called Animal Friendly Shopping, “a style and shopping resource for people who want to minimize or eliminate their usage of animal-derived products.” Ciara is a lifetime vegetarian who found it was difficult to find fashion-forward vegan clothing. The website features links to stylish vegan products for your every fashion need (like the above Melie Bianco clutch available at Boutique to You). Also check out Ciara’s blog.

January 8, 2010

virtual paper dolls

I forgot how much fun it is to play with dolls until I found Looklet.com, an online styling studio that allows you to create your own personal looks using thousands of pieces of clothing stored on the site. Here I played with winter trends like shorts with tights and fur vests, but the possibilities are endless.

January 6, 2010

grandma's fur

Is it ok to wear Grandma’s furs? Over the holidays my mom dug up two fur coats from the basement that once belonged to my grandmother. My sister Maggie (above) and I decided to play dressup around the house but neither of us were actually gutsy enough to wear them in public. On one hand vintage furs seem like a good way to wear the trend without harming more creatures, but I’m guessing PETA would say that simply promoting the style will only cause more animal deaths for those who want to follow along. I’m still struggling with this moral dilemma so I’d love to hear your opinions. You might have noticed that I recently enabled comments on mission:closet. You can log in to make commenting easier in the future or just post as a guest. Either way, I want to know what you think!

January 4, 2010

WkG Jewels

There’s something fabulous about wearing a stack of bracelets on your wrist. Not just one or two, I’m talking about nine or ten. I find that bracelets often go unnoticed unless they make a big statement. These beaded bracelets by WkG Jewels do just that. WkG is a bi-coastal company created by my friend Allison Grabler and her mom Wendy. Ali is based in the Mission while Wendy designs out of Palm Beach. Check out their newly launched Etsy store for more colors and styles.