May 28, 2015

Blogger Spotlight: For Show’s Christina Martinez

Custom-made ring from Mother of Gideon and Sally Hansen press on checkered nails.

Christina wears vintage sweater, striped blouse and coat, Opening Ceremony skirt, Doc Marten shoes, and glasses that belonged to her late Grandpa.

The highlight of a rainy filled week was my venture across the Bay to meet For Show fashion blogger, Christina Martinez. An L.A. transplant, Christina filled me in on Oakland’s style. Read on for her favorite haunts, watering holes and vintage hunting spots in her up-and-coming neighborhood.

Describe your style in three words.

Intelligent, with a sense of humor, and…colorful.

How did you come up with your blog title, “For Show”?

I’ve had a blog in some form forever. In high school it was Diaryland, no one remembers, then a Livejournal, and then Blogspot. I called it “For Show” on purpose, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, so I had to make a vague, broad title. I didn’t even start taking photos of myself until last year. It used to just be my photography, Polaroids, and I have this weird thing where if I find a crazy flyer or some strange bum art, I’d scan and upload it.

What drew you to Oakland?

Right now I’m a full time student [at UC Berkeley] studying comparative literature and art history, but I live in Lake Merritt. I’m also a submerged art writer, which is what I do for me.

Are there any differences in Oakland versus San Francisco style?

Well, San Francisco people do dress up. I don’t really see that in Oakland, because it’s a bit more casual. But that doesn’t mean people don’t try. When I go to San Francisco, girls will walk around in heels and dress up at night and I’m naturally an over-dresser. I noticed there is this thing in San Francisco, where it really wants to be a fashionable city, but everyone admires people that don’t try to hard. And I don’t really get that because everyone is trying to look effortless….People in the Bay Area are weird and stylish and have there own thing going on [versus in LA], where its more about being trendy. And I like that.

Do you have a style icon?

Not really, it comes from everywhere. I get totally psyched on people that I see. When I think about it, I have to say old cheesy country stars, like Dolly Parton. 1980’s skateboarders for their colors and gay punks from the 1970s for their attitude. Artists who work hard and just wear New Balances and sweats around. In the end, I want to be known as a writer who dressed well.

Best places for a night on the town?

I usually meet people at Art Murmer, and that’s fun because it’s everything you want when you go out. Usually I’ll keep it casual, meet people for dinner then have drinks at the Ruby Room, which is my favorite bar and right by my house. It’s a little, um, super dark in there. I don’t know, it might be really dirty [laughter]. That and bar 353, which is cleaner and cuter for a glass of wine and conversation.

If you could be any animal what would you be?

Mmmm. I think I’d want to be a really cute dog, but a big one. Because everyone is nice to you, but a little bit scared. That’s kind of evil, but that’s what I think I’d want to be.

Where are your favorite places to shop in Oakland?

Near my house, there are a couple places. A really weird vintage store called Juniper Tree, and I’ve gotten a lot of weird cool things there. There’s Pretty Penny. I get stuff from there all the time. It’s the perfect balance between cool stuff that’s not over priced – and they buy on the weekends. Any place that will buy vintage, I’m all about because I’m constantly recycling things. Mirabel, on Lakeshore Ave., doesn’t have a lot of vintage, but the goal there is unique and eclectic.

For more show and less talk, visit Christina’s fashion blog, For Show.

Photography by Sara Iravani

More San Francisco fashion

Betabrand Makes a Play for the Ladies

[thethe-image-slider name="Betabrand Women's Collection"]

San Francisco’s Betabrand, maker of such quirkily appealing apparel for men as the Sweatpant Dresspant, is making a play for the ladies. Debuting this week, the first item in its burgeoning women’s collection continues the label’s because-we-can approach to fashion with the Elope Dress, a little lace number just as ready for quick and easy matrimony as it is beat up boots and a denim jacket.

While the premise is one with no shortage of marketing appeal, this dress has serious potential for the wedding-bound and otherwise. A low price point (in the wedding realm at least) of $170, multiple sashes for changing up the look and details like a keyhole back make the dress practical and versatile, while the lace fabric and short length bring both a touch of vintage and modern edge.

More Betabrand women’s items are in the works, including a reversible skirt, casual short-sleeve top and a dress. Each is slated to arrive later this spring, and you can sign up in advance for an alert once they’re in-store (not a bad move, considering Betabrand’s more popular styles often sell out quickly).

More San Francisco fashion news

Check out the Locals: Polyvore Live NYFW Bloggers Announced

Bay Area-based Polyvore, home of thousands upon thousands of visually delectable fashion collages, is pushing at traditional fashion industry boundaries in more ways than one. Not only will the company become the first online community to hold a fashion show during New York Fashion Week, but it’s also skirting norms by choosing prominent fashion bloggers – and not models – for its runway show. Read on for the Polyvore Live lineup. Bet you’ll recognize a few of the faces.

Among the 23 fashion bloggers chosen to walk the runway during Monday’s show are East Bay-er Erin Hagstrom of Calivintage and until-not-so-long-ago-locals Alicia Lund of Cheetah is the New Black and Aimee Song of Song of Style. They’ll don looks from Fashion Institute of Technology alumni Lauren Bagliore, Vengsarkar Budhu, Sergio Guadarrama, and Dana-Maxx Pomerantz.

Catch the show live on Monday at 3:30 p.m. PST here.

More San Francisco fashion news

4 Reasons for Locals to Love New York Fashion Week

Once again Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is fast approaching and come February 9, the usual slew of designers will showcase their fall collections in New York at the Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. Even if you’re not one of the many Bay Area-ites jet-setting over to New York, keep some champagne on hand, as several local companies are live-streaming fashion week events. Here are 4 reasons San Franciscans can start getting excited for the fury that is NYFW:

1. Independent Fashion Blogger Conference, February 8, 2012 at Milk Studios, NYC

IFB Conference 2012

IFB Con 2012 takes places on Feb. 8 in New York

For evidence that fashion bloggers have become a marketing force to be reckoned with, watch the IFB Conference live. You’ll spot some of the fashion industry’s best and brightest personalities come together to discuss issues, challenges and  trends facing fashion bloggers and the brands they work with, as well as the changing the landscape of fashion and social media today.

2. Polyvore LIVE presented by CoverGirl , February 13, 2012 at La. Venue, NYC

Polyvore LIVE

Polyvore LIVE is being billed as the world's first fashion show by an online fashion community.

Polyvore, an online community that promotes the “democracy of fashion,” is showcasing four alumni collections by graduates of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Instead of a flurry of fashion models strutting down the catwalk, the collections will be modeled by a select group of fashion bloggers, who will be announced one week prior to the show on

3. Academy of Art MFA Fashion Show,  February 10, 2012 at The Lincoln Center.

AAU MFA fashion show

Models & Designers backstage at 2011 show.

On Feb. 10, San Francisco’s own Academy of Art showcases the collections of its best M.F.A. fashion design graduates. It is the only fashion school to show at NYFW, and, last year, three students took home Council of Fashion Designers of America scholarships. Make sure not to miss these talented up-and-coming designers: the Academy of Art Fashion Show livestream starts at 5 p.m. on Feb. 10.

4. BlacMéra by Yuliana Candra at Couture Fashion Week, February 17, 2012 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Designers displaying the highest level of American craftsmanship in apparel showcase at Couture Fashion Week, and we are absolutely thrilled that San Francisco based designer Yuliana Candra is showing her brand, BlacMéra. A sight to behold, Candra’s gowns impress with hand embroidery, beading and crystal work, while her silk tunics are hand-painted, layer by layer, with depictions of images Candra’s shot on her travels around the world. While this is the only event on our list that is not streamed live, couture fans can view images from the web that are sure to be uploaded by the fleet of smart phones in attendance.

Now you have something more to look forward to than the usual online blow out of models, celebs and socialites running from show to show in designer duds. Happy #NYFW, San Francisco!

More San Francisco fashion news

Sneak Peek: Can Shopilly End Daily Deal Email Inbox Madness?

A sneak peek at Shopilly, a promising new shopping tool from former eBay execs, left me doing what the welcome screen suggests: reserving my Shopilly ID…before it’s taken. While the allure of being the only “Lorraine” ID (no random numbers at the end! no weird underscores!) was, in and of itself, too good to pass up, I am looking forward to using soon-to-launch tool for other reasons. At the top of the list: if Shopilly works like it’s supposed to, it could mean I never have to look at another deal-related email again.

Of course, I could make that happen for myself next week, if I felt like unsubscribing from about 700,000 email lists. But here’s the thing: I like getting all those deal notifications, newsletters and emails. They save me money. I also write about them, tweet them, share them with readers. So for that, I like them. I just don’t like actually looking at them in my inbox. It’s the information, the discount codes, the dates of the in-store sales themselves that I want – not the actual communique getting them to me.

When it takes on its first members in the next month or so, the San Jose-based company will pull deals from the email accounts you give it access to, save them on Shopilly and even filter the emails from your inbox if you’d that to happen, Shopilly CEO Anirban Datta explained to me as he showed me screenshots of the forthcoming site. While the company wasn’t ready to release screenshots publicly just yet, I can tell you that it looks something like a cleaner, more streamlined version of Pinterest, with each deal or promotional email indicated by an image and saved in a nice scrollable grid format. It means being able to pull anything from the day’s Groupon deal to a sale at Bloomingdale’s into one place, get it out of your email and have access to it on a mobile device when you are shopping I.R.L.

In addition to just saving deals, Shopilly will also have a great many other bells and whistles, including the ability, should you choose to allow it, to alert stores of your presence via mobile device when you are shopping in person and offer you deals based on your purchasing history.

I thought it was an compelling enough idea on its own, but the team behind the project adds to the intrigue: the technical co-founder is eBay’s former chief engineer, Randy Shoup, and there are lots of other interesting folks involved, including people from places like Wharton, StumbleUpon and even a former prof of mine from Stanford.

The company is hoping to amass its beta tester pool from the people signing up to reserve IDs, so if getting in on something early and beta testing like only a shopping bandit can sounds like fun, it could be worth signing up.

For more news and updates about fashion and technology, keep your eyes on @InStyleandTech, a new project from SF Indie Fashion founder Lorraine Sanders. Online home coming soon…