May 23, 2015

The Perfect Handbag Giveaway On Ubokia

A well-made handbag is truly a thing of beauty, coveted by many and possessed by few. If you’re in search of that perfect handbag, you should check out Ubokia, a free online community where you can buy, borrow, trade and sell your gently used handbags with your fellow style seekers.

It’s like the reverse of eBay and Craigslist – instead of hunting through thousands of for-sale listings, post a Want for your perfect handbag on Ubokia and let sellers respond to you. If you have a handbag to sell, you can also create Seller Alerts to notify you when someone wants what you have. It’s a great way to make some extra cash (to buy new handbags, of course!).

And you’re in luck, because if you sign up now, Ubokia is giving one lucky member the chance to win a handbag of their choice, up to a $500 value.

Here’s how to enter the Perfect Handbag Giveaway:

1. Sign up for Ubokia by clicking here (it’s free).
2. Post your Want for the perfect handbag.

That’s it! You’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway. Ubokia will announce the winner on Wednesday, December 21. Good luck!

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.

In Pane Sight: Costumes On Haight

Costumes on Haight, between Scott and Pierce streets, is one of the go-to shops for party-going San Franciscans.

Yes, today is Halloween, and no it’s not too late to get with the spirit of the occasion and don a costume– particularly if you stop by Costumes On Haight, the lower Haight Street staple specializing in costumes of all kinds (for sale and for rent), including many gorgeous vintage items, with options from Buffalo Bill to Bonnie and Clyde.

Need something easy and last-minute, but especially horrifying? Go the route of a head-to-toe scary and beastly Bigfoot-type creature with a ripped intestine accessory, or play it safe and pick up a scary clown mask. If your prerogative is more va-va-voom than creepy, the shop has a copious selection of wigs, pasties and sequined accessories.

Costumes on Haight is located at 735 Haight Street and is open 11 am to 7 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday.

The front windows of Costumes on Haight are decorated year-round, but are always extra spooky for Halloween.

A beast and some oh-so-lovely faux entrails decorate one of the shop's windows.

A psychotic clown mask always makes a good impression.

Perhaps a creepy zombie mask is more your style.

Wigs and and sequins for a Halloween filled with sparkle and bright hues.

Photography courtesy of Alexandra Naughton

More San Francisco style

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

Jeffrey Levin’s Lovely Furniture Remnant Jewelry at Cisco Home

This week San Francisco is abuzz with boutique parties and trunk shows galore, but eco-fashion fans will want to take note of one show in particular: Jeffrey Levin Reclaimed Wood Jewelry at Cisco Home.

This Saturday at Hayes Valley’s Cisco Home, the Cape Town-born Levin will be showing an exclusive collection created using remnants from the store. Passionately perfecting his craft since starting out at the tender age of 12, his latest collection features designs made from an array of reclaimed wood adorned with delicate details.

Drawing inspiration from natural elements, Levin used remnants of Cisco Home’s furniture to handcraft each and everyone of his pieces. In addition to the unveiling of Levin’s reclaimed jewelry, there will also be pieces on offer from his Super Skinnys, Tinys, Wraps, Charm Strings, Dog Tags, Medallions and Initials collections as well.

Intrigued? See it for yourself: Jeffrey Levin Reclaimed Wood Jewelry at Cisco Home, Sept. 24, 12-4pm, 580 Hayes Street, San Francisco.

Photo courtesy of Cisco Home and Jeffrey Levin

More eco-friendly fashion….

Something Old, Something New: Daughters of Simone Reconstructed Wedding Gowns

Bringing a literal, eco-friendly twist to the something old, something new refrain every bride-to-be** hears sixty-five million times is Daughters of Simone, whose newly-available array of reconstructed vintage wedding gowns offers an affordable alternative to the traditional dress.

Designers Brittany Castanos and Christy Baird update gowns plucked from secondhand sources into feminine frocks with retro appeal. With many options for casual weddings and free-spirited brides, not to mention those on tight budgets (dresses are currently priced from $110-$400), this duo puts offers a take on aisle style that we can appreciate. Along with gowns, the Daughters’ etsy shop is stocked with accessories, including vintage bridal belts and frilly handsewn garters.

We caught up with Castanos and Baird recently to chat about girls, gowns and the Simone who inspired it all.

What inspired the name Daughters of Simone?

We loved the idea that before you are someone’s wife, you are someone’s daughter. There’s an innocence there that we wanted to capture. We also wanted our name to connect with strong femininity, something we’re both equally passionate about. The name Simone was taken from the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Christy studied her in college and was very drawn to her ideas and philosophical perspective. She was a rebel of her time, going against conventional expectations to strike out on her own with unusual ambition and strength. Nothing about her life was “run of the mill,” and everything seemed to be on her terms. Simone de Beauvior’s life and philosophy are the key means and inspiration for where we are and what we do. In many ways we aspire to be like her. Simone truly was a rare bird. And we believe because of her, we can, in our day, look at marriage as an extraordinary decision.

Where do you source the gowns you reconstruct from?

We find our bridal gowns from every place you can imagine, but mostly by scouring through thrift stores and hitting up our Saturday morning garage sale routine. Lately though, as word has spread through our family and friends, we’ve been lucky enough to have dresses handed down to us. All of our dresses are then dry-cleaned and ready for re-construction.

What inspired you to choose wedding dresses for your collection. Is there something about bridal wear that you are particularly drawn to?

To be honest, we found ourselves frustrated with the sameness of today’s traditional bridal gown and were at a loss as to where we would be able to find our dream gown if the day came that we would be looking.  We both feel strongly that “the dress” should represent the woman, and what is out now currently only seems to represent one type. Because of the generations of women before us, marriage isn’t something we have to do anymore. We are more career-driven, headstrong, and encouraged to live the life we want rather than the life we’re supposed to live. Marriage is a choice for women, something that is decided out of a great love, a love that doesn’t make sense any other way than to be shared together. We see our woman as an individual. This is not just any other bride getting married, and the dress must show that. This is what inspires us.

Since we both seemed to find these qualities of individualism, creativity and beauty in vintage clothing, we began to look into the possibilities of vintage bridal. Unfortunately, we found so many of the dresses to be too out-dated for today’s styles. But the fabric was there, and so was the vision, so we just began turning them into dresses we would love to wear, and it slowly came together from there.

What does your line offer brides that they might not find elsewhere?

Daughters of Simone offers one-of-a-kind, timeless, vintage bridal gowns. Each gown has an original story that our brides breathe new life into….We are dedicated to using quality material, while also staying in budget. Above all, we care about the happiness of each and every client. One of the best part of this passion project has been getting to know each of our brides personally, and we look forward to befriending more in the future.

For more, check them out on Facebook or read musings from Brittany Castanos on her blog Champagne & Sequins and from Christy Baird on Octavia Minor.

More San Francisco bridal fashion

Photography courtesy of Tatum Mangus (1, 2, 4 ) and Eva Stoyanov for Daughters of Simone

**Here’s hoping the right to marry soon becomes a legal reality for all, as it should be.

Pop Art: Escama Studio 2011 Collection

The fabric-lined Luci tote, $250, features over 200 post-consumer recycled pop tops.

The 2011 line from Escama Studio

The Leda clutch, $150, is lined in silver satin.

With its recently-launched 2011 line of handbags and accessories, Escama Studio takes recycled pop-tops to a new level of sophistication with updated shapes such as the oversized Luci tote shown here and details that include chrome hardware and detachable wrist straps.

Founded in 2004 by Andy Krumholz and now based in San Francisco and Brazil with the help of Krumholz’s friend and business partner Socorro Leal, the company has grown from a small operation employing 12 artisans to one that works with over 100 women in two cooperatives that provide fair wages and a fair trade work environment. Each bag is hand-stitched using crochet techniques and recycled tabs by an artisan who signs her name to the piece when finished.

Moving beyond the simple, sustainable bags the company is best known for, the latest offerings range from the classically-shaped handheld Leda clutch to the slightly slouchy Masha messenger bag. Also new to the line are accessories, including a belt, necklace and brooch.

Want to learn more about the curious path of a pop top from Brazil to the arms of fashionable women around the world? Here’s a short video that traces pop tops from Brazil to their arrival at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

More eco-friendly San Francisco fashion….