The Boutiques…California Crown

California Crown

This is Jay Perlman and this is his work. I’ll let him do the talking. – PH.

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“People often ask me ‘why do you make clothes?’ or ‘what inspires you to make these collections?’ I used to have a long, overblown, much more scripted version of this answer, but in reality, the reason is that I simply make clothes that I want to wear. They are clothes that are missing from my closet that I NEED in my life. It’s a blended process of personal necessity mixed with the desire for creative expression. Thanks to a bit of luck, as well as meeting amazing and helpful individuals, California Crown has turned into a full time business.”

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“Having been an athlete for nearly my entire life, I always look for clothing to be comfortable while still maintaining a high level of utility. To be able to wear an outfit that is comfortable enough for the couch, technical enough for active movement, and stylish enough for Pharrell to rock at the Grammy’s is truly the ultimate goal.”

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“I love my home, and I love how rooted I am in this incredible state. With unparalleled natural surroundings, amazing history, and its deeply eclectic culture, I always knew that California would be incorporated into my work. Yet, the people that I have met here have possible been the greatest part about living here. There is so much love and passion, that it is hard not to connect with everyone around you. Thankfully, I connected with Pete, and was fortunate enough to be a part of the VSR. Couldn’t ask for a doper way to start the weekly grind.”

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Not only can Jay design great clothes, but he has a way with words. I particularly like the way he finished his story! There is plenty more of California Crown to come. Look for another spotlight here soon with some of Jay’s sexy friends doing the modeling duties. That’s all I have to say about that for now. Until then….

California Crown

Emily’s Post….Neo Vintage

Hello!

As you may have noticed, there’s been some changes to The VSR lately when it comes to format, content, etc. You also may have noticed that I’m here now, too. Being a part of this incredible project has already brought so much creativity into my life, and I can’t wait for what has yet to come. If you’d like to know more about my vision when it comes to The VSR, please refer to the ‘Biography’ section of our blog.

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Anyway, first and foremost, I’d like to formally welcome you to Emily’s Post. As the ‘Editor at Large’, I’m obviously contributing to all areas within The VSR, so you may be wondering why there is a need for this particular category. The Valencia Street Review covers style in every context, but here at Emily’s Post, the focus is more private. Emily’s Post is where I will write about my own personal fashion and taste. Providing a feminine flair, this area of the blog will showcase my own ideas of style and culture within San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.

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For my first post, I thought to keep things fairly simple. Our VSR/coffee meeting was on Union, so naturally I dressed in a neutral, Autumn themed outfit that was inspired by the chic vibe of this San Francisco shopping district. When it comes to fashion, I have a large range of inspirations. Today, I went for something that could possibly be described as “neo-vintage.” With the weather getting cooler and the leaves changing, the scarf/sweater combo seemed appropriate. To make it a little more stylish, I added the trousers and the 1920’s inspired hat. I think what really completed the ensemble, however, was the dark lipstick. To put it simply, it was the perfect outfit for coffee talk and photo snapping.

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That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by!

The Lamppost…California Crown

California Crown

I was talking to Jay Perlman of California Crown yesterday over coffee. He had just come back from an epic and inpromptu trip to Norway and Denmark. Tickets are ridiculously cheap and it turns out that Scandinavia is teaming with gorgeous people! I must go now!

Anyway, Jay is very industrious and persistent and his clothes look great! His clothes really capture the layed back California vibe as well as adding elements of street couture to any wardrobe. We are looking forward to spotlighting California Crown in the coming weeks. Until then, check out their line from SFFW 2014.

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California Crown

The Lamppost…A by Anuhba

A by Anuhba

SF Fashion Week gave the VSR an amazing opportunity to meet all types of people within the Bay Area fashion community.  Previously, we spotlighted one of our favorite designers from Saturday’s runway show. Now, we’d like to draw your attention to another incredible designer we saw that weekend.

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A by Anuhba, an organic designer brand focusing on women’s coats, was founded by Anuhba Srivastav. Anuhba was born in Lucknow, India, capital city of Uttar Pradesh, near New Delhi, and attended school in Pune, the second largest city in Maharashtra. She told me that she had wanted to be a designer since the 9th grade. So, while living in India, she worked as an assistant designer for Ritu Beri, an internationally known designer from New Delhi and the first person of Asian descent to head the French fashion brand Jean-Louis Scherrer.

In 2010, Anuhba interned for two months in New York as a design assistant for Donna Karan / DKNY. Abuhba told me that is was “life-changing” and that she “learned a great deal about international fashion and design.” Anuhba had visited the U.S periodically since 2008, and moved here permanently in January of 2013. Having already started her brand and showing her first exhibition in New Delhi in 2012, she wanted to take her collection to international levels, thus the move to San Francisco was a practical one. In 2013, she was a part of SFFW’s emerging designers, and said that it helped her to become involved in San Francisco culture and local fashion.

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A by Anuhba‘s  mission is to create organic, sustainable, and classic fashion for women that will last a lifetime. Focusing on outerwear, the signature style is Nehru jackets transformed into chic trench coats for women. The Nehru jacket is usually associated with menswear, but Anuhba wants to break that stereotype and introduce modern styles, colors, and ideas into her women’s coats. Being an organic brand, all of the materials and fabrics used are hand-made by Indian artisans. “Kahdi” is an Indian term used to describe handspun or handwoven clothes, something A by Anuhba takes great pride in producing.

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I asked Anuhba about her collections, and she told me that the SFFW 2014 collection was particularly challenging. In last year’s collection, the coats and jackets were all cotton. This year, however, she took on the challenge of using wool as a primary fabric, mixing it with organic Italian silk to create beautiful pieces. When looking at Anuhba and her team’s work, you can see the amazing dedication put into each piece of clothing. She described how even the button holes of the jackets are hand-made, something that is not usually done in clothing. Did you know it can take almost an entire day just to create one single button hole for a jacket? Well, it does! You can imagine my awe when learning about the skill that goes into these beautiful coats and jackets.

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Anuhba hopes that through her designs and loyalty to Indian craftsmanship, she can redefine what it means to be a designer brand and make organic, hand-made clothing a norm in the fashion world. Her work is truly beautiful, and her team of artists that work within the A by Anuhba brand know their craft. I’m sure that with the help of people like her, the fashion community can indeed become a place of wholesome, organic clothing, both in the materials themselves as well as how they are created. – E.

Emily’s Post…Emily

I received a letter of praise for my work on the *VSR on Sept. 14 from a very bright and articulate young women named Emily. I love letters. Especially good ones. What made it so good was the way she started – “My name is Emily Pinnell-Stewart and I am…” (a clear sign that she knew who exactly who she was!), all the great achievements, future aspirations and complete certitude of success in the body of the text, and the way she ended – “You will definitely be hearing from me again!” As you can clearly see, this leaves me with no other option but to proudly introduce you all to The Valencia Street Review’s newest Editor At Large…

Emily Pinnell-Stewart

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…and rest assured, you will be hearing a lot more from her!

Welcome aboard E! – PH.

The Lamppost…Michel Ange.

Maison Michel Ange

As you all know, this last week The VSR had the amazing opportunity to attend San Francisco Fashion Week 2014. It was a week full of fun, style, and change (especially for us!). The most exciting part of this event was, of course, the weekend runway shows. We’ll be doing a highlight of what we saw later, but for now, let’s turn the spotlight on one particularly awesome designer.

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Maison Michel Ange, or as we call him, “Miguel” is a fashion student, designer, and true artist. This last Saturday I had the pleasure of viewing his current collection on the runway and was even able to exchange a few words with him backstage after the show. As I learned through our interview, Miguel was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in Barcelona, Spain. This didn’t surprise me. From the way he spoke to the confident gleam in his eye, it was obvious he was a very cosmopolitan person.

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He told me he’s lived in San Francisco for 5 ½ and has been designing professionally since 2010. When I asked him how long he had wanted to be a designer, he replied “Always. I’ve been designing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always known I was an artist.”

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His current collection, which won him a scholarship to study at The Academy of Arts here in SF, is inspired by British Punk of the late 70’s and early 80’s. His designs, which included leather, fur, denim, spikes, and all the things we love about punk rock. They were dark, sexy, and right in your face. The models strut down the catwalk in laced-up boots, watching the audience as if they were thinking “What are YOU looking at?” Everything about them demanded your attention. What really made his pieces stand out, however, was their mixture of modern flair. Much of this attire could be worn on the street without causing too much of a fuss (but would definitely still turn heads!)

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Miguel’s story is fascinating, and his designs are incredible. This isn’t his first time around the block, and it most certainly won’t be his last. We here at The VSR can’t wait to see what he’ll create next. Until then, as Joe Strummer would say, “Roots, Rock, Rebel.” – E.

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Maison Michel Ange