San Francisco Treat
Monday, August 6, 2007
When it comes 2 West Coast style, LA is king, as we who live here would like 2 believe...but when it comes 2 utilizing that style and making it more cohesive and fashion-conscious (not 2 mention eco-conscious and deeply rooted in liberalism and hippie-mentality), San Francisco has LA beat 2 a pulp!
On a recent and very lovely trip 2 the Bay Area, I was absolutely amazed and in awe of the style dripping off the citizens and inhabitants of the lovely city.
My great friend and fashion inspiration Ian lives there and he is the arbiter of SF style. There is a luxe-casual approach 2 dressing that is also deeply rooted in comfort. Here in LA we expose comfort by wearing flip flops (yuck) with everything but in my opinion, thats laziness, not comfort. Let's put on some sandals instead! Anyway, in SF, comfort is key-the temperate (okay, colder) climate dictates it and people get in2 it! My friend Fabian is never without a scarf, and he loves wearing Latin-inspired printed scarves tied around his neck, not draped, and in an interesting way. Almost cape-like and full and tasseled-amazing! Ian has inherited the scarf trend as well, and takes his more trad yet punk. There was a proliferation of skinny jeans on almost everyone but this trend is dying everywhere. Ian says, "no skinnys!" and I agree. Those in the fashion know are embracing the straight-leg jean, which I spied on the fashion saavy around town. And since the weather is dictating style in a certain manner, its no wonder that the sweater is a SF closet staple. I spied a fabulous sweater coat on a young woman at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park last Friday and I snapped a pic. Take a look. It is by Hengst, a great label that, no surprise, is coming out of SF (unbeknownst 2 me of course! I bought 2 Hengst tops 4 Spring at Cusp in May and have even seen the knock-off at H&M!). I stopped by the shop/showroom at 20th and Valencia and browsed the racks. There were all sorts of great tops, dresses, and sweaters, and a select fashion pieces that I absolutely love. Example: the Forever Suit, the Gold Dust Dress, the Lattice sweater, and the Parasol top. I'll be donning the Forever Suit, which I couldn't resist leaving without, at my next bash! Check out Hengst at: www.houseofhengst.com .
The sense of fashion individualism is evident and strong in SF. The great array of vintage all over the city is hard 2 beat. The hub and best of them are found on Haight Street and u can find very one-of-a-kind pieces and mix them in 2 your 'drobe. I added another vintage hat 2 my collection which I found at Aardvarks on Haight. Everyone recycles in SF and clothing is part of the effort! U see lots of hipsters in their vintage/new mix all around. This is so great 2 see-the individual comes alive and comes out by this unique pairing and in SF, it is a key way of dressing. Check out the pic of my other SF fashion inspiration, my great friend Modesty. She takes this mixed bag of dressing 2 heart and it is the core of her style. She's wearing a vintage sweater with her Chloe pants and vintage-inspired (and green!) platforms! Fab!
In SF, it's not just the girls with style...the boys have got it on as well. There is one of the most wonderful men's clothing shop on Market, near Castro Street, called Rolo SF. This is the only place I can find Yohji Yamamoto next 2 Diesel next 2 Prada next 2 Theory in a one-stop shop extravaganza, outside of NYC. Each time I go 2 SF I check out Rolo and see what the style saavy boys r donning. I so happen 2 be there when thier summer sale was still going on and the prices were great! Ian has a McQueen jacket on his buy list 4 Fall which we found on the rack there at Rolo. Definitely worth checking out each and every time! The shopping culture in SF is also expanding and becoming a force 2 be reckoned with. The opening of Barneys in mid-Fall is sure 2 blow the door wide open, and SF has by far the nicest Bloomingdales on the West Coast in Union Square! The designer boutiques on Maiden Lane are also coming up a notch with the first West Coast Helmut Lang opening there in Fall! Wow!!
Also while I was in SF I had the chance (I wasn't going 2 miss it-ha!) 2 see the fantastic exhibit, "Nan Kempner-American Chic". I have always loved 2 see what Mrs. Kempner, a SF native, was wearing 2 her many galas, parties, and front-row outings in her adopted home of NYC. Nan was a true fashionista: she was eclectic, style-conscious, and classic and knew what the pulse was before it even began 2 beat. She had a distinct love 4 YSL and Valentino and her eye was on the art of fashion, not just the utility of it. She was a very discerning customer and a fashion collector and all the designers knew this. The exhibit, which debuted in NYC in Spring at the Met, is now housed at the deYoung this summer. I would've snapped pics if I could but it is a must-see!!! See it in person and just live in the memory, and let this true fashion connoissuer be an inspiration 2 u as she has been 2 me!
My trip 2 SF has me very excited 4 Fall and the onslaught of the great buys I can't wait 2 get! I can't wait 2 be able 2 wear sweaters and coats and heavier knits! Hmmm...now that I think of it, why wait? I'll just have 2 travel up north and satiate my fix!