July 31, 2014

Runway Recap: Fashion on the Square

San Francisco designer Joseph Domingo (left) was honored for his work during Fashion on the Square.

San Francisco’s fashion community gathered to celebrate the 8th Annual Fashion on the Square this past Sunday at the Intercontinental Hotel. Radio personality Sterling James (dressed in Cari Borja) emceed the celebration of local designers and clothing companies based in the Bay Area, including Regan Heath, Jonathan Cheung, Jaevon MarshallKeneuoe, Dark Garden, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Apple Bottoms, Charmosa, Troop, Randy Rowden, and Joseph Domingo. From children’s wear to hand-painted swimwear, the event showcased a little bit of everything.

Local designs dominated the event and ranged from Dark Garden corsetry to Keneuoe’s modern silhouettes and Regan Heath’s romantic bohemian ensembles resembling Huckleberry Finn mixed with dandyism. The highlight was the latest collection from Joseph Domingo, honored during the event as 2012 Designer of the Year. Domingo transformed the runway into a glamorous red carpet that the models strutted down in beautifully embellished gowns and finely tailored suits.

Throughout, audience was entertained from start to finish as the show upped the ante by injecting a variety of performing arts into the evening.  One of the child models charmed the crowd with her enthusiastic reciting of Mary Williamson’s famous poem “Our Deepest Fear.” Just after intermission, Precision Dance surprised onlookers by entering the runway as if they were models before busting out an intense modern dance performance. Towards the end, a true hybrid of the arts dubbed “composed fashion,” took place as a string quartet set the mood for Dark Garden models in the local label’s intricate corsetry not simply to walk, but to perform their way down the runway.

Check out our photos from the evening:

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Photography by Jennymay Villarete for SF Indie Fashion

SF Fashion Events: SFMade’s Factory Tour, Wild Feather + Fashion on the Square

The week ahead is a quieter one than most where local fashion is concerned, but three events stand out. On Friday, SFMade offers a chance to see the inner workings of the fashion biz during its latest local fashion factory tour. Saturday brings an all-day opening party for new Haight Street boutique Wild Feather, and, on Sunday, the annual Fashion on the Square event delivers a fashion show featuring San Francisco’s Joseph Domingo alongside apparel from a varied mix that includes Old Navy, Apple Bottoms, Keneuoe, Dark Garden and San Francisco State University student designers, among others.

Find details on these and other upcoming San Francisco fashion events waiting on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar. And of course, as you know, it doesn’t stop there. We’re adding new fashion happenings all the time, so check back often.

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Party Seen: Boutiika’s Wear SF Mixer at The Bold Italic

The author with Boutiika Founder Ruchika Kumar.(Photo courtesy of Boutiika)

Local love graces a wall at The Bold Italic.

As the lights went down in the city, the music was being turned up and drinks were being poured at the recent Wear SF Fashion Mixer thrown by San Francisco fashion startup Boutiika and The Bold Italic. Arriving fashionably late (is there any other way to arrive?) a stylish crowd came dressed to impress in cocktail attire.

The scene: over food and drinks, independent designers, boutique owners and bloggers networked and exchanged tales of their latest fashion endeavors. Getting to scope out the inside of The Bold Italic was also part of the fun. Assorted typewriters and clocks displaying times from all around the world were arranged on the walls, and a giant wooden San Francisco sign displayed just outside the doors is a permanent shout out to the city the online culture site covers on a daily basis.

Taking over another wall was a projection of Instagram photos taken by event goers throughout the evening. Whenever anyone took a picture, he or she could instantly upload it into the photo stream.

For the folks at The Bold Italic, the event was just an extension of what the pub tries to do everyday. As Chris Appelgren of The Bold Italic describes it, the events help to, “celebrate what makes SF uniquely special.”

The event also celebrated the independent fashion scene of San Francisco.

As Devon Chulick, owner of event co-sponsor D-Structure SF puts it, “unlike the fashion scenes in New York and LA, San Francisco is a fashion community. It’s not about what you buy or what you are wearing. Our overall outlook is that the person makes the clothes, the clothes don’t make the fashion.”

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the new and revamped Boutiika.com site. Boutiika creates a “personalized shopping experience,” explained site founder Ruchika Kumar, “the philosophy of better fashion is about fit.”

The retooled site was based on feedback from site users. Taken down for site renovations, the newly revamped site is now live and now offers its users a more seamless experience connecting them directly to the boutiques they enjoy.

The goal of Boutiika, which helps its users locate local boutiques to find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces, is to send people into the stores.

“You can’t match the boutique experience,” explained Mo Julapalli of Boutiika. “E-commerce is the craze, but boutique owners have a passion and want people to come in.”

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SF Fashion Events: 3 Fashion Shows, Urban Air Market + More

If you like a session beside the runway, this week’s for you. The only problem: a trio of worthy shows on the same night. We’ll let you decide how to fill up your dance card. Will it be the invite-only Academy of Art Fashion Show (there’s a public repeat on Sunday, though minus the presence of special guest such as Alexander McQueen’s Sara Burton), Runway 2012: Defined featuring San Francisco State University graduating designers’ collections or Bianca Starr’s Spring Forward Fashion Show with apparel from Wonderland, Sui Generis, Density Dept and Top Shelf? While you’re figuring that one out, look ahead to the weekend, when you’ll have the chance to engage in more independent fashion adventures during the return of Artwear at the de Young and Urban Air Market.

We’re adding new fashion happenings all the time. Find details on these and other upcoming San Francisco fashion events waiting on the SF Indie Fashion Calendar.

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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

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