October 21, 2014

The Easy, Eco Glam of Frock LA

First off, don’t let the L.A. thing deter you: Frock Los Angeles has Bay Area ties through and through. Not only is it eco-minded in an oh-so-San Francisco way, it’s the debut label from U.C. Berkeley grad Victoria Tik and will be hitting the runway at the Charity Fashion Show coming up on April 2 at Fort Mason. But here’s what really drew us in: the line’s easygoing style, which pairs sustainability with subtle vintage appeal.

We recently got a sneak peek at the label’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection, and we’re happy to be able to share a few shots with you. Tik has created a collection ($90-$220) of quietly elegant women’s apparel that’s cut to flatter a variety of body shapes, made of eco-friendly fabrics such as certified organic cotton, bamboo and soy and – adding to the low maintenance California vibe – each piece can be machine washed and tumbled dry. Neutrals and muted, pair-with-anything hues such as leaf and dark grey make the pieces all the more versatile. Like what you see below? You’ll find Frock LA at indie-friendly retailers such as Moxsie, UStrendy and Fashionstake.

We’re especially enamored of the reversible Angie dress, which can be worn with either a plunging neckline or as a sophisticated cowl neck backless number, and the deep v-neck Ashlee jumpsuit, designed by Vanessa Curry of the Pussycat Dolls.

The Ashlee jumpsuit (left) and Angie dress from the Fall/Winter 2011 lookbook

This dress can be worn as show or reversed, with the deep V in back.

Designed by Vanessa Curry, the jumpsuit has a hand sewn twist in front, an elastic drop-waist and pockets.

Designer Victoria Tik in her studio

More eco-friendly San Francisco fashion….

Photography courtesy Ian Maxion and (studio shot) Jennu Huong for Frock LA

Runway Recap: Vegan Fashion Show

Saturday’s Vegan Fashion Show, part of the 11th annual World Veg Festival in Golden Gate Park, proved style can send a message that’s about much more than how you look.

Produced by Karine Brighten Events, the happening showcased looks from vegan apparel labels Pansy Maiden, Reco Jeans, Lion’s Share Industries, Vaute Couture, Melie Bianco, Cri de Coeur and Mission Savvy and featured an all-vegetarian or vegan roster of models, cruelty-free hair and makeup products and informative videos from participating designer Vaute Couture and online boutique Mission Savvy about the importance of vegan fashion. Adding to the intrigue, the event was MC’d by Rory Freedman, a celebrity in the vegan world and author of the Skinny Bitch book series.

Before the show, we caught up with Laura Collins of Pansy Maiden and Anika Lehde of Lion’s Share Industries to chat about their work in the vegan fashion landscape and learned a thing or two.

First, Collins, whose one-woman company based out of Boston offers handbags made of animal-free fabrics and textiles, pointed out that many vegan brands are also eco-friendly. For her part, Collins not only stays clear of fur, leather and other animal-derived materials, but also strives to be green by doing additional things like washing all her fabrics in eco-friendly detergent, donating scrap material in an effort to be zero waste and using non-toxic, vegan glue.

“I see my company as a marriage between the handmade movement, the eco-conscious movement and the vegan movement,” she told us.

When we sat down to talk to Lehde, we discovered another entrepreneur dedicated not only to the vegan and eco movements, but also to supporting artists and independent design. Seattle-based Lion’s Share Industries taps vegan artists to create limited edition t-shirts sold in small runs of 180. The artists create the design, choose the shirt style and fabric. Lehde then gives the resulting tee a platform via her web site.

“Fashion gets a bad rap as being shallow, but what we wear is one of the symbols of the way we communicate as human beings,” says Lehde, who hopes her company’s shirts will not only send the vegan message to the world-at-large, but also help vegans connect when they’re, say, knocking back a few at the bar or headed to a concert.

An added bonus: the brand also donates 15 percent of its profits to animal causes chosen by its participating artist-designers.

For more about vegan fashion and what the movement is all about, check out our recent post What is Vegan Fashion?

Jacket by Vaute Couture, boots by Cri de Coeur

T-shirt by Lion's Share Industries, shoes by Cri de Coeur

Sweatshirt by Vaute Couture, shoes by Cri de Coeur

Models close out the show in Vaute Couture jackets.

Photos: 1-3 courtesy of Melissa de Mata for the Vegan Fashion Show; remaining photos by SF Indie Fashion.

From Trash to Treasure: Meet Piece x Piece Apparel

A box of fabric samples headed for the trash led San Francisco designer Elizabeth Brunner to found eco-friendly clothing company Piece x Piece, which sells women’s apparel made from textile scraps and remnants that would otherwise end up in landfills.

While interning for local label Isda & Co, the California College of the Arts alum was tasked with sorting through boxes of samples and discarding what the company no longer needed.

“I had a really hard time with the thought of these beautiful fabrics going to the dump so, I asked if I could take them home instead, which I was allowed to do. The boxes sat in my garage for a year while I finished my last year of studies and, after that, I began working with the swatches,” says Brunner.

Making its debut in September, the line reuses fabric remnants from Bay Area labels such as Isda & Co., gr.dano and Erica Tanov. The cast-offs donated from these companies are then pieced together to fit patterns, and many feature hand-stitched details.

“The design process is laborious from start to finish, sourcing the fabrics, picking them up and placing them together, as well as everything in between. Every garment we make has a substantial amount of attention paid to it,” explains Piece x Piece collaborator Reeves Sinnott.

Influenced by classic menswear, the line of one-of-a-kind, limited edition garments ($176 and up), currently available at 440 Brannan Studio, includes a versatile v-neck tank, a little black dress, high-waist wrap skirt, patchwork tank top, cropped vests and knee-length shorts.

The result is a line that’s not only eco-friendly and based right here in San Francisco, but a source for unique style – all things we treasure.

Photography courtesy of Michelle Blioux for Piece x Piece

Eco-Friendly Fashion

There is a lot of buzz around eco friendly, ethical fashion. People have become more and more environmentally conscious and they put a lot of thought and care in what they wear, were it came from and how it was made. I came across FluffyCo not too long ago and I instantly fell in love with the products they sell, the originality of design and their approach to sustainable, ethical production. FluffyCo is a small San Francisco based brand founded by a Polish native Paulina Berczynski. It carries a variety of products from basic apparel: T-shirts, hoodies to leather goods like wallets and belt buckles and even a really adorable eco friendly baby line. I absolutely love the uniqueness of Paulina’s design and it only makes my happy that a lot of her ideas come from her native country Poland where I am from as well. FluffyCo is sold online but also in many boutiques in the United States and abroad.

I had an amazing opportunity to ask Paulina several questions and she was kind enough to talk about FluffyCo vision, inspirations and the new line.

1. What’s unique about Fluffy brand?

We’re small and largely self-sufficient, super design forward but with a definite eye on sustainable production of clothes and green design. There’s a definite trend these days towards “art driven” brands where a company’s designs are generated by a number of artists on contract. This makes for some cool T-shirts, but my interest in this business came from designing T-shirts, not selling them. I still design all the graphics for the entire product line myself. So I think it’s our aesthetic, and our values based business culture that sets us apart.

2. What was your inspiration for creating your new Fall 2010 collection?

While designing this season, I was mostly living in Lodz, Poland, where I was born. Each season is inspired by themes in nature and art, but this time there’s a little bit of Eastern European influence as well. Our Thinking of the print was inspired by some graphics in Polish poster art, we have a Russian flower print dress, and a few more feminine tee shapes to choose from.

3. How do you manage to balance out your professional life, running a successful brand and motherhood?

I have a lot of support! The FluffyCo staff is incredibly resourceful and helps we with everything from feedback on new ideas to picking colors for final designs. They handle all of the day to day business so I can devote my time to design, direction, and coming up with new ideas.

My husband is a super supportive and hands-on dad. We have a little daytime baby help during the week too. If I have time to do my work and really focus for a few days a week, when it’s baby time, I can be 100% present and just enjoy the little guy to the fullest. I love my work, but I am just obsessed with the baby. He even inspired me to start the Little Fluffy onesies, which have been very well received so far.


4. What are your favorite new items from this line?

The Wolf Girl tee in natural is epic. I took the sample home from the shows and it’s in heavy rotation. And the boyfriend tee we designed is so casually loose yet feminine, it’s super wearable.

Red tunic in the picture below reminds me of a Polish Flag. I wonder if that was Paulina’s inspiration for this piece.

Thank you Paulina and FluffyCo for a chat!

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Go Somewhere: Jendarling Vagabond Collection

jendarling-garment-bag

Here at SF Indie Fashion, we are always thrilled when we can find locally-designed items of the sort we ordinarily have to grudgingly hunt for at major retailers. Things like lingerie, shoes and luggage fall into this category. As most fans of independent fashion and design can attest, locally-made jewelry and t-shirts abound. But try to find an indie garment bag, and you’re likely to come up S.O.L.

That’s where Jendarling Bags come in. Fresh from designer Jennifer Bennett, the Jendarling Limited Edition Vagabond Collection for spring features eco-friendly cotton twill and duck canvas garment bags, shoe bags, totes and cosmetic pouches with vegetable leather and vintage-inspired prints. We seriously dig the spatter-paint look of the Pacific Garment Bag ($134) shown above.

Feeling down with JDB? Then you’re in luck. Through noon tomorrow, save 20 percent on orders placed through the site with the coupon code WEEKEND. For every bag you buy, the company will donate $10 to a tree-planting project in Haiti through Global Giving.

Want to see them with your own eyes? Head to Eco Citizen, where the new Vagabond collection just landed – and keep your peepers peeled for Jendarling on the upcoming second season of The Rachel Zoe Project (it’s okay, you can admit you’ve seen it. We die!).