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
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