May 22, 2015

Clutch Move: Custom, Limited Edition Bags by BowensBergeron

The BowensBergeron Clutch Collection is just about everything we’d want an independent fashion line to be: each bag is made of eco-friendly materials and recycled wood in the U.S.A. in signed, numbered limited editions of 25. Designed by Tamara S. Bowens and handcrafted by A. Ray Bergeron, the clutches are custom made and take up to a month to produce. The result is streamlined style that pairs an earth-friendly ethos with modern, minimalist panache.

Available at Circle & Square, the bags ($750-$2,750) aren’t cheap, but they’re like little works of art that you can carry out on your adventures for many seasons ahead, thanks to their careful construction. We’re particularly enamored of the simply chic Jetsetter, sleek and curvy Aficionada and the architectural Trendsetter. Each features a wooden exterior, magnetic clasp and contrasting lining.

To view more of the BowensBurgeron clutch collection and scope fresh independent style by emerging artists and designers, visit Circle and Square online or in person at the Presidio Heights showroom (344 Presidio Ave., SF.).


This sponsored style series brought to you by Circle & Square, a San Francisco boutique and showroom offering the best in independent design and accessories from designers and artisans around the globe.


Maximize Summer with These Lovely Local Maxi Skirts

Let your hem down with the summer wardrobe essential: a maxi skirt. We’ve found some of the chicest locally-designed skirts to spruce up your closet.

Marine Layer‘s basic women’s skirt, $70, wraps a slew of neutral tones into one piece. A contrasting vertical back hem in black adds some sporty pizazz.

Curator‘s Claudine Skirt, $75, is the perfect balance of length and utility. A tie waist adds femininity, while the eco-friendly fabric keeps it in the sustainable style realm. Even better, this organic cotton maxi’s a deal: it’s currently on sale.

Alyssa Nicole‘s Accordion Pleat Maxi Skirt, $48, adds a feminine touch with its vertical pleats. Another plus: the textured maxi is also handmade.

Amour Vert‘s Mia striped maxi, $104, flatters the body with well-placed diagonal stripes. Its hidden pockets and ec0-friendly modal fabric make it a super soft and comfy winner.

Saffron Rare Threads now has a multi-print maxi skirt, $88, that looks like a piece of modern art.  The bold print will add flair to any outfit.

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Need Local Flavor? Try Jewelry by Salty Fox

The Lucy earrings, $64, pair classic gold hoops with rock chic leather triangles.

The Ella earrings, $64, are hung with sparkling pyrite nuggets.

The Sierra earrings, $56, combine vintage chain, hematite and spikes.

The Cleo necklace, $82, features pyrite cubes and recycled leather.

We’re big fans of locally-made jewelry that packs a unique flavor, so you can imagine we were taken with the adornments of San Francisco designer Megan Stacy and her Salty Fox line. Using metals, recycled leather and chains, the former Lela Rose intern aims to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets with sophisticated edge and affordable prices.

Read on for more about this local designer and her current collections.

Tells us a little about your line. How did you get your start? I launched my line a year ago with the aim to make affordable handmade jewelry that is both casual and refined. I had been working with a lot of silver and metalsmithing techniques in the past and wanted to do a line that was more accessible and less labor and cost intensive.  I also have a background in clothing and textile design and interned with Lela Rose in New York, but definitely feel really excited about working with metal and accessories now.

What are your favorite materials to work with right now? I like to use a lot of chain and stones that are both sleek and raw. I like everything to be clean and sophisticated, but not too sweet. I also use a lot of vintage materials and a bit of leather that is repurposed from vintage clothing.

Where can we find your work in San Francisco? Salty Fox can be found at Candystore Collective, Eden & Eden, Curator, Blues Jean Bar, Resident Artist Gallery, and Wonderland SF.  I also sell online. I tend to have one-off pieces at fairs like this and most pieces are discounted, so it is always good to come by shows like this if you are a fan. I will also be at all of the SF Indie Marts this summer at Thee Parkside.

Runway Recap: Discarded to Divine 2012

Each year, Discarded to Divine brings upcycled fashion to the runway for a good cause that draws legions of loyal fans, who come to bid on apparel, accessories and items for the home made from cast-off textiles in support of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco. See what went down the runway – and what item scored the highest bid – below:

Designer Olga Shor (right) with her runway design “Waterloo”

African Monkey Knit Dress by Academy of Art University student YoYo Huang

Designer Monavie Tutop (right) of San Francisco State University with her design “Golden Times”

The highest bid for the night at $1600 went to this Karen Caldwell coat and dress.

Former co-chair Lisa Salamone shops for silent auction items in the Home Décor section.

Designer Lorilee Lucas (right) with her runway design “Navigating the Social Circus” at the Kravet VIP Reception

co-chair Bette McKenzie and former co-chair Lisa Salamone

Honoree Christine Suppes with runway designers in Kravat VIP reception; from l to r, Pamela Wilkinson, Christine Suppes, Lorilee Lucas and Tina Maier.

Pretty Up: Scorpion Sisters’ Upcycled Jewelry & Home Designs

Born and bred San Franciscan Michelle Threadgould and her aunt Margarita Lopez come together as the beautiful minds behind local furniture and jewelry line Scorpion Sisters. Inspired by imperfection, the Scorpion Sisters give new life to reclaimed materials by turning them into jewelry, art and furniture designs that are fast becoming a must-haves among Bay Area fans of upcycled luxuries.

Star shaped vintage rhinestone pin necklace, $180.

Chevron rhinestone pin necklace, $115

Antique pin necklace featuring chains and leatherwork, $115.

Designer Michelle Threadgould wearing her own designs as she displays a piece she recently created.

What inspired you to start Scorpion Sisters?

I come from a costume design background. Dreaming up new worlds through design is what I love. Margarita was a visual merchandiser and designed window displays for twenty five years. The two of us like to tell stories through our designs.

We were looking for creative alternatives to our day jobs, and one evening, walking along Embarcadero, we discussed what it would be like to run our own business. My aunt loves live edge wood, and had once made a table out of a beautiful piece that she found at the flea market. So we began going to flea markets, salvage yards and eco-sourced lumber yards and making tables.

Shortly thereafter, I remembered that my aunt used to make beautiful pieces of jewelry as a hobby, and the two of us took the same idea of using reclaimed and upcycled materials as our base. We liked the idea of making jewelry that was one-of-a-kind and asymmetrical as a way to express individuality and to give a special touch to our designs.

You often use recycled materials. Can you let us in on where you find them?

Sixty percent of our materials are reclaimed or eco-sourced. We often find vintage or broken pieces of jewelry at flea markets, thrift stores and estates sales and then we redesign the jewelry, adding crystals, feathers, African beads or whatever new materials inspire us.

What makes your brand and aesthetic distinct and unique?

Both of us are inspired by imperfect things. We like the idea of giving an old item new life and restoring its original beauty. But we do more than that. We give our jewelry an artistic and modern edge with a handmade feel.

This living room setting features the Fleur de Lys-shaped English Walnut Table made of live-edge wood and reclaimed metal legs.

The sisters successfully incorporate unconventional elements into their furniture. Featured is a white wooden plank table with leather stitching.

Obsessed with the Scorpion Sisters yet? Check out their full collection online at To purchase jewelry, visit their etsy shop.

Photography courtesy  of  Scorpion Sisters

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