September 20, 2014

New & Local: gr.dano Spring 2013

San Francisco’s gr.dano recently dropped images of its forthcoming Spring 2013 collection on the media, and we were glad to finally be able to share news of the design duo’s latest with readers. During a sneak peek of the collection a few weeks back, it was lovely to see new adventures in texture, color and draping appearing in the spring line alongside the label’s signature embrace of structural details, neutral hues and versatile shapes.

When the collection hits stores next year (440 Brannan Studio being the go-to place to find the line in San Francisco), expect to find plenty of the drapey details, solid colors, all-occasion dresses and skirts gr.dano has turned out in previous seasons. But along with these, you’ll also spot the label extending its aesthetic into new territory. The results are several pieces in a striking maize hue, prints with ethnic and tribal undertones, a playful romper in sophisticated stripes and – a favorite – a cropped lace jacket with a deep scoop-v front (above left).

As for designers Brian Scheyer and Jill Giordano, we hear they’re already thinking Fall 2013 from the subterranean studio they run in the back of 440 Brannan.

More San Francisco fashion news

German Indie Fashion Go-To nelou Lands In Silicon Valley

Co-Founders Regine Harr and Boris Berghammer (photo courtesy of nelou)

When the Berlin-based independent fashion startup nelou began in 2011, there were few places people could go to find the latest in indie fashion from all across the globe. So with the innovative company’s recent move to the Silicon Valley, you can bet that our indie fashion radar detectors were going off.

With nelou’s unique concept of creating a single platform from which independent designers from all corners of the world can showcase and sell their designs directly to the customer, not to mention the company’s emphasis on sustainability and concern for global consumption habits, we see many reasons to tip our hats to them.

We spoke with co-founder Regine Harr for some insight into what we can look forward to with their presence here in the United States.

How did nelou get its start? What led you into the realm of online, independent fashion?

All girls can recall situations where we were wearing the same or similar dress as someone else during an event. We also see people on the street and think to ourselves, I have the same jumper or jacket. This is when I thought that there needed to be a solution to the problem. Where are all the independent designers, those who produce in small quantities and have great inspiring designs. This got us started, and 18 months later we have close to 500 designers from 30 countries.

What kind of designs can shoppers find on nelou?

On nelou you can find designers from around the world. You can shop for anything from clothes and accessories, to scarves, handbags, and jewelry. The idea is really that everyone can find their favorite items on nelou. We not only have women’s clothes, but we also cater to men and children. Besides all areas of fashion, we also cover the world. You can find designers from Germany, Spain, Israel, South Africa, USA, UK, Australia, and 25 other countries on nelou.

What sets you apart from other online marketplaces that specialize in independent apparel and accessories?

In the United States, most websites focus on American designers. We really bring the world of fashion onto a single platform. Especially interesting to the U.S. market is our European angle. If you are looking to find items from overseas you can now find them on nelou.

How does shopping from independent designers tie in with the ideas of sustainability and taking responsibility for our consumption habits?

By supporting independent designers, you support local production. Through nelou you can strengthen small business which is so important to any society. Furthermore, the customer pays a fair price which helps to stop the cycle of throwing things away after one season. We can see that people who buy on nelou are much more attached to their products. This is because they know there is a real person behind the label who has shipped it to them, and who put a lot of love and care into the product.

What is the process like for designers hoping to join your fashion community?

That is easy. All they need to do is apply to our website. We then make sure that the photos and products match the quality standard on our website. The designer can then upload all their products and set up shop on nelou. That is it, all free and easy. We only charge a commission when an item is sold.

Any tips for designers who join your fashion community? How can they be successful on nelou?

The designers who are most successful are those who link back from their website to nelou and who understand social media. Using tools like Facebook and Pinterest are important.

Your website provides such a great platform for independent designers from all over the world, what kind of impact would you like nelou to have on the fashion industry?

Our ultimate goal would be to really get people to understand that supporting local production and paying fair prices is important. We cannot maintain our attitude of disposing things we no longer like just because they were so cheap. I remember back in the days how my mum would fix socks when they had holes. It is important that we value other people’s work and our money and lives much more than we do right now. The way we consume fashion will and has to clearly change.

What’s next for nelou? Any exciting future projects or news you can tell us about?

We will be part of the Passport to Rio Fashion Show in the Clift Hotel on the 28th of July, which we are really excited about! We are also in talks with some other major fashion shows, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that those fall into place as well.

More San Francisco independent fashion

Sneak Peek: Vanessa Gade’s New Forme Collection

San Francisco jewelry designer Vanessa Gade‘s new Forme Collection launched over the weekend at L.A.’s Dwell on Design exhibition. Ushering in more of Gade’s streamlined, architectural approach to jewelry, the new pieces diverge from her past work with perfect circles and rectangles to focus on irregular geometric shapes in sterling silver, oxidized silver and 14K gold.

The collection ($75-$350) won’t be available for purchase until July, but Gade is offering a sneak peek of her latest necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings on her web site. Like her previous collections, her current pieces channel undercurrents of Japanese and Scandinavian design. The presence of delicate chains in many pieces adds complexity to the spare shapes. With their clean lines and modern aesthetic, Gade’s jewelry is understated in a way that makes it easy to where everyday, but is, upon closer inspection, a wearable work of art.

More San Francisco jewelery designers

We Came, We Saw, We Shopped: Holiday Indie Mart

Kelly Malone of Indie Mart and The Bold Italic combined powers just before the holidays for a special edition of Indie Mart that, not surprisingly, turned out to be a festive shopping occasion packed with Bay Area-produced clothing, yummy holiday treats, a crop of recycled cardboard trees to take home and decorate and a “Dirty Santa” for photo opps.

On the scene were merry shoppers and party-goers packed into the brand new Bold Italic office space on 34 Page Street to celebrate the fresh digs and pick up last-minute gifts. As often happens at Indie Mart events, a fun time was had by all.

Here are some of our favorite locally-made products from the evening:

Handmade leather bags by Hawke + Carry, handpainted by calligraphy artist Aoi Yamaguchi

The hip, 2011 version of Lisa Frank: cute little notebooks from Studio Nico.

Casa Murriguez's top seller of the night: Deliciously scented 100 percent lavander sachets.

Delectable treats from Black Jet Baking Co.

Dostoevsky Wooden Stencil by The Lamplighters. Use as a stencil or hang on the wall as art.

Locally made from organic ingredients, soap and soy candles (the wax becomes massage oil) by Heliotrope.

Recyclable and reusable cardboard Christmas trees that you decorate yourself from The Arbory.

More San Francisco local designers

Photography courtesy of SF Indie Fashion

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

Six Local & Stunning Holiday Party Dresses

Need a holiday party dress? A fun little number for your next big night out? The perfect sparkly, festive, fun thing to don on New Year’s? We’ve picked six party dresses we’d wear in snap. All hail from independent San Francisco sources and are available for sale over the webby-web.

Don the Celeste dress by Kirribilla in black lace with scooped back, gathered bell sleeves, and a statement bow, and you’re sure to turn heads at your next event:

The front is sophisticated, with sleeves and a defined waist.

The back has a big bow for added drama

Make a statement with sequin-covered shoulders and a bombshell silhouette with the Vintage 80′s Trophy Dress from Gravel Ghost Vintage. P.S. the back is open, and the shoulders are padded for even more head-turning impact.

Embellished shoulders and a knee-grazing length stand out in this vintage 80's number from Gravel Ghost Vintage.

Sometimes, when you know you’re about to get loose, you want to dress loose. Amour Vert’s Wendy dress (you knew we were going to throw in an animal print option, le duh) is sassy, eco-friendly and will also let you dance to your heart’s content. We’re thinking big heels and a fitted, cropped jacket would round out this holiday look.

The Wendy dress will let you dance, eat and flounce around the party to your heart's content, thanks to its free-flowing shape and empire styling.

Brighten up the room in this red Alyssa Nicole Cut-Out dress with open shoulders, a gathered skirt and scoop neck. Plus, it comes fully lined and is handmade:

This party dress is made-to-order by a local designer.

The fun and versatile Monaco dress by Eliza Parker is a dressy way to do comfortable stretch jersey. The neckline is also begging for an amazing statement necklace from one of your favorite local jewelry designers.

The Monoco dress by Eliza Parker has a flattering neckline, three-quarter sleeves and also comes in black and burgundy.

Ruffle some feathers (in the best way possible) with the Sierra dress from LHC Couture. With its sweetheart neckline, body-hugging fit and real feather detail, we think it’s festive done with an avant-garde twist. Also, the styling possibilities are fairly endless. We can see this one dressed up with sparkling accessories and soft makeup for the girlie girls or paired with dark tights, huge heels and smoky eyes for a result that’s much more glam-goth.

You'll flock to the Sierra dress by LHC Couture. Hip-level feathers are do avant-garde in a festive way.

More San Francisco local designers

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