May 26, 2015

The Do List: San Francisco Fashion Events Jan. 31-Feb. 6

Isabelle de Borchgrave, Marie de’ Medici, 2006, inspired by a 1595 portrait by Pietro Facchetti in the collection of the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome. Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel

January flew by, and this week lands us firmly in February 2011. How we ever got this far, we haven’t a clue. Good thing the SF Indie Fashion Calendar is always full of events to keep San Francisco fashion lovers busy with trunk sales, beauty happenings, fashion shows and places to shop from independent sources. Here’s our pick of top San Francisco fashion events this week:

  • Unlike most weeks, this one has not one, but two notable happenings on usually-quiet Monday night. As designer Joui Turandot prepares to move on to new pursuits and a new styling business, she is holding a closing party to bid adieu to her eco-friendly clothing label Vagadu. Stop by her studio for up to 50 percent off her one-of-a-kind clothing, as well as fabric freebies and some additional surprises (we hear those include celebratory singing and some bubbly).
  • Also on Monday, another eco-minded style diversion is a draw in SoMa, where local non-profit Global Action Through Fashion presents an evening on Fair Trade that includes speakers Jeff Denby of PACT Underwear, Tierra Del Forte of Del Forte Denim fame and Fair Trade USA, and Matt Reynolds and Scott Leopold of Indigenous Designs. It’s a chance to learn more about Fair Trade issues surrounding apparel production from some of the most prominent Bay Area players in the field.
  • On Thursday night, it’s your chance to get crafty with your Valentine’s Day to-do list during the monthly Craft Bar with Etsy Labs event at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, during which you’ll be able to make cards and envelopes (provided by local stationary company Hello Lucky) embellished with the help of letterpress printing courtesy of the San Francisco Center for the Book and pop-artist Sister Corita’s iconic love-themed images.
  • Saturday marks the opening of the much-anticipated Legion of Honor exhibition Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, on view in San Francisco through June 5. The first American museum exhibit of the Belgian artist’s work, the show features de Borchgrave’s elaborate dresses constructed entirely of hand-painted paper. Included are gowns inspired by early European and Renaissance-era dress, as well as more contemporary examples that draw from famous couturiers such as Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.

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

Photo courtesy of Andreas von Einsiedel for the Legion of Honor

All the Right Moves: Ethical Fashion Night





More often than not, it’s oh-so-easy to tell the difference between right (recycling) vs. wrong (the all-to-common San Francisco special: a left turn made from the right lane). But pondering the ethics of fashion has been known to leave us with a headache. Is it better to buy organic, even if it is shipped from overseas? How do we know fair trade is really fair? What does eco-friendly really mean?

Instead of ruminating over these style conundrums by your lonesome, you can do so among others while perusing apparel and accessories by environmentally- and socially-responsible companies during Thursday’s Ethical Fashion Night.

“[Ethical fashion] doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be difficult,” says Domenica Peterson of Global Action Through Fashion, the Bay Area-based organization behind the event.

Along with fashion displays from labels such as PACT, Vagadu and Indigenous, the event seeks to educate attendees about fair trade and socially-responsible fashion production methods. Music, food and drinks take the sting out of the learning process.

The event is open to the first 350 people to RSVP online.

Photos (from top): Escama Studio; Indigenous; PACT; Vagadu.

More San Francisco fashion events

Fashion from Art: Joui Turandot’s Vagadu


There are the fashion designers who create clothing that doubles as art, and then there are artists who create using fashion as their chosen medium. San Francisco’s Joui Turandot is decidedly one of the latter.

While her studio on the border between the Mission and Potrero Hill is dotted with fashion magazines and images torn from their pages, the real inspiration for the larger-than-life gowns and hand-sewn vests she creates under the label Vagadu has very little to do with what’s heading down the runways of today.

Instead, Turandot, who is opening her studio up this weekend for a sale event, draws inspiration for her latest work from her grandfather, the Greek-born artist Jean Varda, a well-known figure in the Bay Area arts world during the 1950’s and 60’s who counted Henry Miller, Anais Nin and Zen Buddhism philosopher Alan Watts among his close friends.

“He really lived life as art and never bought anything new, was poor as dirt, but managed to live the most incredibly rich life that anyone could have just because he brought so much to everyone who knew him,” says Turandot, who never met her grandfather but has spent years researching his life and is currently trying to launch a retrospective of his work.

While Varda was widely known for collages incorporating paper, textiles, fabrics and paint, Turandot relies on reclaimed fabric as her medium.

“I really source him a lot, not only in his sense of color choice, shapes, the way he uses shapes for the feminine form, but also really in the sense of taking these left over things,” she says.

Just as her grandfather used scraps and found materials for his work, Turandot employs only fabrics and textile scraps cast-off by other designers and retailers. The one-of-kind pieces that result are structurally complex, often involving multiple parts that can be worn together or separately, yet they manage to be disarmingly whimsical at the same time.

A series of vests adorned with hours and hours’ worth of hand-sewn tucks and folds are among the most versatile and universally wearable items hanging on her studio’s racks at the moment, while the dresses and gowns beg for a stage all their own – or at least the kind of wearer who’s not afraid of an audience.

The images below reveal just how different Turandot’s gowns can look depending on the viewer’s angle.

Want to check out all the angles for yourself? Head to the Vagadu Studio Sale this weekend, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 375 Alabama St. #490, New clothing by designer Giselle Shepatin will also be on display.




More local designers

Fashion News: SIGG Bottle Exchange, Mission Hipsters, Good Stuff for Indie Designers and More…

dunderdon-jacketWe finally returned our scary BPA-laden SIGG bottle to the manufacturer for a safe, non-toxic replacement. Want to do the same? Here are the details on the Sigg Bottle Exchange Program. In other news….

So you think you can spot a Mission hipster? Really, all we truly know about them is that no one will publicly admit to being one. In our ongoing thirst for knowledge, we learned a little more about the breed this week thanks to two intrepid reporters willing to brave the wilds of Dolores Park.

Know any high school students with fashion career aspirations? Tell them about the Art Institute’s Passion for Fashion Competition. It’s a chance to win tuition, a trip to New York Fashion Week and a gig blogging for Seventeen magazine.

Or perhaps you’re an emerging designer who’s decidedly past high school, but still looking for a career kick in the pants. Try the Start Your Own Fashion Business course gearing up next week at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.

Indie designers in need of a shorter, but still-inspiring day of fashion education will find just the thing in the upcoming Indie Designers Day Camp.

We love it when people send us cool ideas and keep us up-to-date on their news, but we must join the “how not to pitch a blog” chorus started over at Season Five.

So glad to hear that Rose and Radish has re-opened in a new location.

Not sure how much we care, but for anyone that does, SFLuxe has the lowdown on who wore what to last week’s hoity toity soirees.

Pixel Vision goes behind the scenes to the new Paul’s Hat Works, and we happily follow.

We’re always looking for good, fairly label-free basics for the boys in our lives, so we were puh-leased as punch to find new arrivals from Swedish label Dunderdon landing at Rare Device.

You’ve seen Valentino: The Last Emperor. Here’s your chance to score your own Valentino dress.

We remain excited about this weekend’s opening of Workshop, a creative space from the folks behind Indie Mart.

Check out the new houndstooth accessories from HomeRoom Clothing.

VAGADU will be the first San Francisco label to showcase local fashion at the W Hotel’s new Dish on Fashion event series, which launches this Thursday.

For more upcoming independent fashion happenings in the Bay Area, mosey on over to the SF Indie Fashion Calendar….

A Trio of Thursday Night San Francisco Shopping Events

jennifer-tuton-imageCraving an excuse to get out of the house tomorrow night? Here are three San Francisco shopping events featuring independent designers from the Bay Area and beyond.

Multi-Designer Trunk Show at Krimsa: Stop by this Cow Hollow trunk show event for 25 to 50 percent off retail prices on apparel, handbags, jewelry, belts, scarves, workout clothing, baby gear, art and skin products from designers such as Blix Bags, Sobella, Jennifer Tuton, Nature Girl Designs, Danielle Goodman, Sweet Tooth Designs and others. Along with great merch on the cheap, you’ll find discounted brow waxing services and chair massages from Stillpoint Wellness Center and free yoga passes to Aha Yogo (one of our faves and reason enough in and of itself to check this event out). A portion of the proceeds from each designer’s sales will go to a charitable organization of the designer’s choice. Trunk show takes place from 6-9 p.m. at Krimsa, 2190 Union St.

The Bar Code: Shop designer labels for spring and summer fashion finds at wholesale prices during this weekend’s The Bar Code sale. The four-day event kicks off tomorrow night with a part-ay featuring live painting and screen printing, music and beverage sustenance from 15 Romolo. Expect fashion finds from designers such as Bordeau, Tribute, Laurie B and Interlud alongside offerings from local boutiques Bell Jar, Backspace, Blanc, Candystore Collective and Waterlillies. Event takes place from 6-11 p.m. at Pier 3, Suite 105. Visit the web site to RSVP.

VAGADU New Studio Party: Join local indie designer Joui Turandot to celebrate the opening of her new studio with fellow artist Giselle Shepatin. The evening promises lots of wearable art, including Ana Lisa Hedtrom’s recycled Shibori tops, a sneak peak at VAGADU’s forthcoming collection of gowns for fall and clothing by Giselle Shepatin. 7-9 p.m. at 375 Alabama St. #490.

[Photo: Pendants by Jennifer Tuton]

There are tons of great fashion events happening this weekend. Check out the SF Indie Fashion calendar for all the details….