May 25, 2015

Runway Recap: Designing for a Difference

Animal print silk top and structured pants exhibited designer's tailoring skills.

This feminine dress set the tone for the beginning of the show.
The crowd looks on as a model takes a turn on the runway.

A menswear look

Kiwi Time plays while a model dons a striped blue and grey sheathe on stage

For proof that fashion can be about more than looking good, look no further than Designing for a Difference, a  fashion show held this past Saturday evening at the African American Cultural Center. Its goal? To raise money for much-needed sewing machines and supplies for San Francisco State University design students.

Even better: the students involved in the show weren’t raising funds for themselves, but those who’ll be in their shoes:

A trio of looks face the audience during the fashion show

Shift dress meets sculptural shoulders on the runway

Student designer Jonathan Cheung explained, “the graduating designers who showed their final collections tonight are raising money for future students in the program, not ourselves. So that, in itself, is making a difference.”

Participating designers Rebecca Cahua, JaEvon A. Marshall, Angela Wolverton, Jackie Truong, Myrelle Oliver, Jonathan Cheung, Amy Dorie and Regan Elisabeth Heath each delivered four to eight looks for the show using pieces from their final collections. All aimed to show contemporary looks that incorporated each designer’s individuality.

The fashion show kicked off with student band Kiwi Time, which had the audience members packing the venue dancing in their chairs with its alluring tunes and animated stage presence.

Next, models took to the stage in flirty cocktail dresses, 40′s inspired hemlines and printed menswear with edgy prints and studded detailing.  The post-show soiree included a meet and greet with designers, delicious cupcakes and a raffle to complete the evening.

“Seeing the outcome of the event and the efforts displayed by the designers, sponsors, volunteers come together for an amazing night was the best part of planning the show. Next year will be even better,” described show founder and coordinator Rebecca Cahua.

Model and designers post-show

Photography by Dan Young

More San Francisco fashion shows

Party Seen: Wildlife Works Fashion Collection Launch

Wildlife Works' Kukhanga Collection features 100 percent organic cotton and subtle prints inspired by traditional East African traditional apparel.

Fashion for a good cause drew many out on a recent Thursday night to Mission boutique Hangr16 for the re-launch of the Wildlife Works Fashion Collection, a line of organic cotton, carbon-neutral clothing for men, women and children that helps create jobs in rural Kenya. Along with its socially-responsible take on style, the clothing appeals with simple shapes, neutral hues and easy wearability.

“We’re a conservation company with a fashion line, and basically the whole premise is based on creating jobs,” Creative Director Joyce Hu tells us.

Best known for its REDD carbon offset program and accompanying sustainable wilderness conservation projects, Wildlife Works brought its fashion collection, first launched in 2001, back to consumers this fall after a two-year hiatus. The collection ($28-$68) includes basic t-shirts, hoodies and scarves with prints inspired by traditional East African textiles. Leading the creative team, Hu aims to bring a fresh and fashion-forward approach to the company’s apparel. Styles like the women’s Siri top, with a cropped length and dolman-esque sleeves, exhibit this new direction.

Up until last week, the collection was only available online in the company’s web shop, but a selection of Wildlife Works apparel will be available for purchase through the end of December at Hang16.

Celebrating that fact at the launch party, which featured a collection of stunning images shot on the Wildlife Works project site in Kenya by fashion photographer Peter Jones, were many local fashion heads and supporters of the San Francisco fashion industry, including fashion bloggers, designers, design students and members of the media. Spotted on the scene were gr.dano’s Brian Scheyer and Jill Giordano, Urban Daddy editor Sarah Sung, Eco Salon’s Sara Ost and Rowena Ritchie, The Fashionista Lab’s Adelle McElveen and many others. See below for more faces and names from the stylish crowd:

Wildlife Works Creative Director Joyce Hu (left) and Shop Sweet Things' Jeanne Chan

gr.dano's Brian Scheyer and Jill Giordano

San Francisco fashion bloggers Kim Stokes of J'Adore Couture, Adelle McElveen of The Fashionista Lab and Mission Closet's Elisabeth Carr

Sugarlips Lifestyle Tips blogger Jacyn Siebert with San Francisco designers Yugala Priti and Sarah Liller

 More San Francisco fashion news

Photography courtesy of Id/Ego Photography and Peter Jones (images two and three) for Wildlife Works

We Came, We Saw, We Shopped: Indie Mart

Design, music, free hugs, sunshine, and a do-it-yourself attitude were on display at Thee Parkside in Potrero Hill during Sunday’s Indie Mart, where local designers show off wares ranging from to tiny top hats to hardcore harnesses for Bay Area shoppers, all while supporting the Kelly Malone Cancer Fund (all donations went to the fund).

Indie designers, vintage scourers, artists, screenprinters, DJs, bands, fresh cupcakes, cheap beer and five dollar tee-shirts were all to be found at the latest Indie Mart, along with costumed revelers on their way to the Burning Man Decompression party. The weather was lovely, and everyone seemed happy to be out of doors after all the unseasonal rain we’ve had recently.

A row of bikes created a fence outside the Indie Mart entrance.

A wooden rack of recycled clothing at the One-Of-A-Kind booth.

Skull earrings, geometric necklaces and vintage apparel by Alexandria Vaun

Accessories occupy a vintage suitcase courtesy of Resurrect Designs

Making a statement with Le Petit Hats

Vintage Vantage's closeout sale, with five dollar tees and free hugs

Handmade jewelry and keychains by Big Things

Tees silk screened by hand from Mary Weather.

San Francisco-inspired designs on tees by Amos Goldbaum

Leather harness and leather cuffs by Skins On Skins.

"Magic is Real" necklaces and other accessories from Alchemilla by Jen Lorang

Leather bags and goods adorned with automobile details from Black Heart Industries

In the spirit of Halloween, face masks by One-Of-A-Kind

Rooster necklace by Rock Candy Jewelry Design

More San Francisco shopping

Photography courtesy of Alexandra Naughton

Alexandra is a San Francisco writer with a passion for style and creativity. You can find her on Twitter @theTsaritsa

The Do List: San Francisco Fashion Events Oct. 10-16

Chunky crochet neck piece by Dianne Que of Hurley Sashimi, one of the local labels participating in this weekend's Vagabond Indie Craft Fair at Urban Bazaar

Among the stylish San Francisco happenings to look forward to this week are a jewelry class taught by a longtime local designer, a breast cancer fashion fundraiser, a Hayes Valley trunk show and a two-day indie shopping opp. Intrigued? You’ll find the details on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar.

  • Flex your D.I.Y. skills on Tuesday night at Workshop, where local jewelry designer Shana Astrachan teaches a one-night jewelry class – DIY Jewelry: Feathers, Leather and Chainsthat will leave you looping, connecting jump rings, distressing chains and generally on your way to at-home jewelry triumph. You’ll leave with two pairs of earrings and a necklace, as well as plenty of new skills.
  • On Friday, celebrate in the name of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Beats for Boobs, a fundraiser fashion event featuring a runway show that includes Bay Area labels such as Danielle the Dressmaker, Presh Design Collective, Miss G Designs and others. Held at mezzanine, this is the event to attend this week if you’d like to support a worthy cause while downing cocktails, dancing and engaging in general Friday night mayhem.
  • Also on Friday evening, a Metalsmith trunk show featuring the San Francisco-based jewelry line alongside art by painter Jennifer Mercede is a reason to swing by Ver Unica in Hayes Valley either on your way home or on your way out.
  • Finish off the week by shopping independent during Urban Bazaar’s two-day Vagabond Indie Craft Fair. Taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, the event showcases a variety of work (from Steampunk accessories to baby clothes) from socially-responsible, independent artists and designers, including Hikari Designs, Stone Valentine and By Nieves.

You can find details on all of these events and more happening this week on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar.

The Do List: San Francisco Fashion Events June 27-July 4

With a holiday weekend on the horizon, we’re practically punchy with excitement. Good thing we have ample stylish adventures to keep us occupied. As always, you’ll find this week’s top San Francisco fashion events on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar, and we’ve called out a few favorites below.

  • We love a good Tuesday night diversion, and this week Russian Hill’s Beauty Company has one on tap. Stop by the Gemini Jewels Trunk Show that night to view jewelry and accessories from Colleen Mauer, Antonia Sloan and Sasha Maks Vintage. We hear from Sasha that she’ll be bringing new finds that haven’t been shown elsewhere yet, including 60′s and 70′s-era baubles from names such as Trifari, Napier, Kenneth Lane and Givenchy.
  • On Thursday, we’d highly recommend getting the long weekend started early by stepping out in the name of local fashion. Looks from local designers such as Kajan Padraig, Anya Tatarenko, LHC Couture and Alyphyn Industries will be hitting the runway at Madrone Studios during Pret-A-Porter, an annual San Francisco fashion show from the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance.
  • A benefit for Bay Area-based nonprofit Global Action through Fashion will no doubt draw many eco-minded fashionphiles to SoMa on Thursday night for a symposium and cocktail reception dubbed Justice in the Fashion Industry. Your ticket not only supports the worthy organization backed by ethical fashion advocate Domenica Peterson, but also offers a chance to learn about possible solutions for a more ethical fashion industry during presentations by Lulan Artisans and Gap.
  • Once the weekend rolls around, those interested in the intersection of food and fashion can head east for a trunk show and artist’s reception featuring designer Cari Borja’s Chez Panisse collection, inspired by her internship at the famed restaurant.

You can find details on all of these events and more happening this week on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar.