May 29, 2015

Snap Judgment: Sew Up Your Own Piece X Piece

Our very-visual, (almost) chatter-free snap judgment of the day: make your own recycled fashion statement for a song with the new Piece X Piece and McCall’s Tunic pattern, $9.66, which will land those with sewing chops a versatile tank based on the San Francisco label’s eco-friendly designs.

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Behind the Shop: Dina Louise

Colorful rayon-silk blend 80's-era dress in the window of Dina Louise (260 Divisadero St., SF)

Just off Haight Street, vintage boutique Dina Louise has been a neighborhood gem for nearly a year and a half. The shop stands out for not feeling like your typical vintage-slash-thrift situation, but rather an upscale boutique with uncharacteristically reasonable prices.

In the front shop window, handbags from different eras and of varying designs are nestled on an old-timey service cart, while a potted plant and retro kitchenware to add to the homey and welcoming feel. A mannequin dressed in a vibrant rayon knit dress in hues of purple, magenta, black and green sports a bauble-laden gold chain and beckons onlookers to come in for a peek.

When you do, you’ll meet owner Dina Laquaglia, whose wealth of style knowledge is vast and insightful. Not surprisingly, she tells us she was “too young to remember” when her love for retro glamor began. A glance around the store shows that her ardor for old school style is ever-enduring: vintage furniture brimming with fuzzy sweaters and well-edited racks of blouses, dresses, and outerwear from labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, Joseph Magnin, Lanvin, Louis Feraud and Jaeger adorn the small shop’s interiors.

We got a chance to chat with Dina in her shop about vintage style, her boutique and why retro-shopping is oh-so-smart:

A sampling of handbags at Dina Louise

What do you look for when picking new pieces?

I look for pieces that are classic and well-made, good tailoring. I look for something that’s just really fun, unique, something that you would not see if you were to walk into a regular store.

What is currently inspiring to you?

Pieces from the 1980s. I’m really into color right now.

Why do you love vintage?

The quality. For people who can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on well-made clothes, vintage is a great way to go. Things were just made better back then. Nobody makes clothes like this anymore. I mean, they do, but it’s mostly couture and out of most people’s budgets.

How has Divisadero Street been treating you?

Sales-wise, my best month so far was last month, so things are starting to take off.

What does it take to wear vintage?

You have to be creative, and you have to be willing to take risks. My customers are comfortable with themselves and their style.

Photography courtesy of Alexandra Naughton

More San Francisco vintage

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

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


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

5 Reasons to Buy a Vintage Handbag

As you well know, we at SF Indie Fashion love us some vintage. And a you-won’t-see-it-everywhere-else aesthetic is only part of the romance. There are many more reasons to shop vintage these days – for yourself or someone else. Our friends at Ubokia recently gave us five good ones, and we thought we’d share.

Reasons your next handbag should be vintage:

1.    Save money. This one’s obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. A well-made handbag will last for years. When you buy a quality vintage handbag, you’re getting all the benefits of new at a fraction of the price.

2.    Greener. Handbags take a lot of resources – just think of all the raw materials that go into making a new bag, not to mention all the chemicals and dyes used to treat the leather or fabric. But when you buy vintage, you’re giving new life to old materials rather than contributing to the extraction of new ones. It’s a zero-footprint way to be fashionable.

3.    Vintage is in. Need we say more?

4.    Built-in character. While the new-handbag smell is nice, a vintage one has character and a story to tell. If you don’t know the story behind your handbag, make one up. When someone asks you where you got your gorgeous handbag, it’s way better than saying, “At the mall.”

5.    Make money. Like we said in #1, a well-made handbag will last for years. That means that only can you save money by buying vintage, you can also make money by selling it to someone else when you’re done. It’s a virtuous cycle, really. Buy a new-to-you bag, love it, sell it, rinse, repeat.

This post is brought to you by Ubokia, the place to buy, sell, trade and borrow gently used handbags and other fashion accessories. Be sure to check out their Perfect Handbag Giveaway, too!

To enter, create a free Ubokia account and post a Want for a handbag. That’s it! You’ll be automatically entered to win a handbag of your choice, up to $500. The winners will be announced on December 21, 2011.

This post sponsored by Ubokia. We love our sponsors and hope you will, too. They make it possible for us to keep bringing you San Francisco’s independent fashion news five days a week.

Eco-Friendly Deal: Piece X Piece 50% Off

Eco-friendly San Francisco fashion source Piece X Piece is offering a special holiday shopping deal: 50 percent off anything from the online shop through Dec. 20, 2011, when you use the discount code pxp4me at checkout.

They’re known for dresses and tops of repurposed, recycled textiles and have added vests to the shop most recently.

More San Francisco shopping deals