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By Pete Hopkins
It’s been raining a great deal. No fashionistas in sight. What do you do when Life gives you lemons? Capture umbrellas in the dark!
This is a project that I’ve been working on for a while now. It seems like a perfect time to spotlight the other work that I do. When I’m not chasing you beautiful people around, I’m busy chasing the light. I look forward to sharing more of my work with you in an upcoming publication entitled “Umbrella.” I’ll keep you posted on when you can order a copy. For now, you stay dry and I’ll go find the umbrellas . Thanks and enjoy! – PH
The Date: December 17, 1977. The Place: SNL Studios, NYC.
The Perpetrators : Elvis Costello and The Attractions
Due to a last-minute cancellation by The Sex Pistols (criminal records + poor management = visa restrictions), Saturday Night Live asked Elvis and Co. to fill the vacancy. Columbia Records wanted the boys to play “Less than Zero” to promote the American releases of My Aim Is True and This Year’s Model. Elvis had other plans.
After about 16 seconds in to the song, Elvis stopped the band and said to the audience “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no reason to do this song here.” He then launched into one of the tightest and most raucous versions of “Radio Radio”, defying Columbia, defying SNL, and cementing himself and his band into the annals of rock and roll history.
You may ask, “What does this have to do with style?” I’ll tell you. I’m a sucker for well dressed rockers. Elvis Costello and the Attractions (aptly named) were no exception. From drummer Pete Thomas’ ironed on t- shirt slogan “Thanks Malc” (a nod to Malcolm McLaren’s bungling of the Pistols’ appearance) to the various shades of blue blazers, vests and jeans in the front line. Check out keyboardist Steve Nieve’s jacket! To top it off, the performance that night on SNL was spot on perfect, the exit was true punk disdain and the impromptu action took huge balls to pull off. They did it and the world is a better place for it. – PH
↓ a few more examples of the boys in fashion action ↓
Dark Garden Corsetry and Couture
Hello, everyone! Before I get started, let me ask you this: Have you ever worn a corset? Well, I haven’t. Not a “real” one at least. That changed when Pete and I took a trip to a little boutique called Dark Garden.
Located in Hayes Valley, Dark Garden specializes in a vast array of corsets, as well as offering a beautiful selection of lingerie and accessories. Anthea Tuley, sister to owner Autumn Adamme, was kind enough to let us try on pieces from their collection and take photographs. The quality of their work is top notch! Considering this is a favorite spot for Dita Von Teese and countless other corsetry aficiandos, it’s evident they really know their craft.
To begin, I was fitted for a black Cincher. A cincher, or “waist cincher,” is a simple under bust corset that can be worn under or over clothing to smooth out the waist and create an hour glass shape. Next, I wore one black and then one blue Sweetheart corset. A “sweetheart” is an over the bust corset and refers to the heart shape of the neckline. We paired these with a few accessories to create some great ensembles. I particularly loved their hats and crowns.
The staff really know everything you need to know about corsetry. They are highly attentive and will answer any questions you have, as well as help you get those corsets on nice and tight (deep breath!) Also, you can have custom corsets made for you in any size, style, and color for various occasions. Don’t forget! Dark Garden has a booth at The Dickens Holiday Fair (Nov.22 – Dec 21 @ The Cow Palace, SF) so when you go, be sure to check out their selection. Have a great weekend, and try to stay dry!
I’ve been thinking about avant-garde fashion lately. Designers like Gaultier, Kawabuko, Westwood, and of course McQueen come to mind. Visual artists and performers such as Leigh Bowery, Basquiat, Bowie, Lady Gaga keep popping up. Punk, Glam, Rock, Emo and Goth, Club Scene and Boho…all the color and attitude of the streets mixed with the aristocracy and couture of classic and modern dance. One man seems to embrace all these influences with ease and grace and he’s been doing it since the early ’80’s. If you haven’t heard of him before, now is the time. May I present to you…Michael Clark
Greetings! It’s been a rainy holiday season thus far, but I don’t think California’s dry landscape is complaining. This time of year is one of my favorite times for style, especially in San Francisco. Yes, it’s busy with everyone’s frantic Christmas shopping, but everything is just a touch more beautiful than usual. The shops have their holiday displays and everyone on the street is covered up in their winter apparel.
Coat: Tulle Shoes: Qupid Pants & Sweater: UNIQLO Purse: Betsey Johnson
Earmuffs: Ugg Lip: Mac Viva Glam/Sephora Gloss
I love the colors, sights, and just overall atmosphere in Union Square right now. Big cities can be some of the best places to celebrate the season, and if you haven’t been downtown yet, you should make a trip. You can celebrate with ice skating, shopping, caroling, and other joyous activities. Also, don’t forget to stop by Macy’s to check out their holiday displays. We found this cute nutcracker by “Holiday Lane”
Happy Holidays from The VSR!
I’m excited about this! It’s time to add music to the mix. I’m open to all genres, as long as they have STYLE. Does that make me a tastemaker? Maybe…This is a perfect place to start, though. Instead of my words, let’s just listen and let the artists’ speak for themselves…
“Take Five” by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
*click on album below ↓ to learn more about Dave Brubeck – PH.
Artwork by S. Neil Fujita
Kamakazi Butterfly Jazz Trio
First off, the name implies that there are three members of the group. One of the guys was busy…being somewhere else. Who cares! Their moniker is so cool (as well as their own names!) that they get a pass this time. It’s not like jazz musicians keep regular time anyway.
(I know, I’m sorry…couldn’t resist – PH)
I imagine these guys are gonna be laying down jazz on the block for the rest of the holiday season. Check them out in front of Gooring Bros, Union Square and around town as well. Nice work Kai and Dillon! Now, if we can only find Nico…
Three Young Gents
These guys caught my eye, while strolling through Union Square on Black Friday.
Ryo (center) and his two friends (sorry guys! I forgot your names… – PH.) look really good, don’t you think? I love the chances that kids are willing to take, in regards to fashion. I take a lot of inspiration from the youth. They always keep me on my toes. Nice work!
Spencer’s Flat Top Boogie
I was window shopping the other day @ Paul Smith when I saw store manager and friend, Spencer Carlin sporting his new clean Flat Top Boogie. He said it was a nod to Boris Karloff in “The Black Cat” circa 1934.
Come to think of it, He could pass for a young Karloff himself, only better put together! By the way, go to Paul Smith and buy everything!