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

Women…Ginger Side of Life.

Ginger Side of Life

Recently, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Chelsea and Jesse, the dynamic duo behind the Ginger Side of Life. We had met previously at Banana Republic’s re-launch party and hit it off instantly. Shortly there after, I was following them around Chinatown, snapping away, voguing with the local merchants’ wares (much to their chagrin!), getting run over by dragon dancers, and experiencing the ‘ginger side of life‘.

Chelsea and Jesse are super fun and perfectly paired. I would follow their advice and their blog religiously! Actually, I do…

Thank  you ladies for a wonderful day of mischief at the Lion’s Gate!

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The Lamppost…SF Lived In.

SF Lived In.

Michael LaRocco’s iPhonic Pop Art Experience.

I heard about Michael LaRocco through a mutual friend, fashionista and admirer of the VSR, Tony Taylor – thanks T! Good tip.

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Michael and I met for coffee, “interviewed” each other about our origins, motivations, inspirations, projects and goals. That lasted longer than expected and I came way from it with a new friend and a fascination with his project, SF Lived In.  The visual concept behind it is very clever, clean and to the point. What impressed me the most is his view of the subjects at hand….It’s best if I let Michael explain it to you.

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What I will say is that it Michael’s work is well worth viewing and once you see it, don’t be surprised it you see it all over the city!

Good job, my friend! Looking forward to seeing more from SF Lived In in the future.

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Michael LaRocco