Friday, February 26, 2010

Inspiration: Leia

May we introduce you to our dear friend, Leia? Isn't she just cute as a cupcake? Leia is the first in what we hope to make a series of inspiration posts based on our friends' personal style. (If you're interested in being featured, don't be shy--let us know!)

I've known Leia for a little while now, and have always been impressed with her style. Regardless of the event, she always, always, always shows up looking smashing. I particularly love her bold, yet tasteful use of color and accessories in daily life. I caught up with her on her birthday to snap some photos and she answered a little survey for us too. Enjoy!

1. What usually motivates your outfit when you get dressed in the morning?
Comfort is my main motivation. It’s rare to see me in high heels.

2. What’s your favorite reason to get all gussied up?
Weddings and birthdays aside, meeting up with my fashionable friends for whatever reason keeps me looking sharp. There’s nothing better than being complimented on your new shoes by your friends with good taste!

3. Something fashionable you’ve been drooling over lately?
I’ve been wanting a classic duffle coat, a la Paddington Bear. Gloverall, a British company, makes exactly what I’ve been looking for. Alas, they’re a bit out my price range.

4. Favorite places to shop?
I love the thrill of the hunt. I mostly shop at thrift stores. San Francisco has lost of great bargain shopping, but I find the thrift stores in “less hip” areas to have better deals. My mom lives in Albuquerque. Whenever I visit, I bring an empty suitcase to fill with treasures.

For new clothes I shop at Ross and Nordstrom Rack. For deeply discounted designer jams, I go to Loehmann’s and Jeremy’s. As a lady that loves a bargain, I can’t remember a time I bought a piece of clothing that wasn’t on sale at a regular department store. I always think I’ll find something similar at Goodwill next week (and I usually do!).

5. Most embarrassing fashion trend you’ve seen people follow recently? (Or that you've been guilty of!)
I get filled with rage when I see girls wearing leggings as pants. When did everyone decide this was ok? I do not approve.

In the photos above, Leia is wearing:
Dress: seven for all mankind (loehmann’s)
Rings and earrings: heirlooms from my great aunt
Shoes: Deena and Ozzy (Painted Bird)
Tights: H&M (yellow), Target (lace)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Mom, My Style Icon

Awhile back, we posted a link to the awesome Brooklyn based blog My Mom, The Style Icon . Today my Mom gave me a bunch of old photos so of course I couldn't NOT share.
In 1978 or 79, Before I was born and before my parents got married, they decided to drive across the US in a van and go exploring. This shot is from one of their stops along the way. According to my Dad, this was a trip of epic proportions and everlasting memories. His favorite part is when they stopped for a few days in Washington to pick apples and make some cash. My Dad jokes that each morning they would get up at the crack of dawn to pick the fruit alongside a bunch of filthy mouthed men that would sing crass tunes all the live long day. He also claims that all of the best photos were taken during the few days they worked at the orchard, but we will never see the them. My Dad accidentally opened the back of the camera before the film was rewound and it all got exposed to the sun. I like this shot the best because it embodies the easy California style I have always tried so hard to emulate but can never get quite right. Even the long shiny hair and graduated bangs is a style I could never pull off, but not for lack of trying. I used to look at all of these old photos and ask my mom why she didn't save her awesome bell-bottoms and cool knit sweaters for me. She looked at me like I was kind of crazy. I don't think she thought of herself as very stylish - and that is what made her so.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Business of Community

Finest Dearest on tour with Drowning With Our Anchors in 2008.
Pictured here in Tijuana with our beautiful friends from Maladie and other TJ bands.

In our days as band mates in Finest Dearest, Carly and I spent a lot of time deeply involved in the music community in San Francisco and across the US. When you're in a indie band where you have to do everything by yourself and with little or no money, everything sort of revolves around a barter system of favors: you book us a show in Minneapolis while we're on tour, we'll try to do the same for you when your band comes to San Francisco. During our travels, we also discovered a whole group of people that wanted to help bands without ever expecting anything in return, and we never got over this kindness. A good example was during our US tour a couple years ago. One night in Austin, TX, it became clear that we had nowhere to stay after the show. By midnight we were reaching out to everyone we knew to see if they could help out when our friend Phil texted us that we could stay at his friend's house nearby. This couple we'd never met left their doors unlocked and around 2 AM the five of us crept in as quietly as we could to crash for the night. We never even met them because they'd already left for work by the time we got up in the morning. This sort of thing happened a lot over the times we toured during the last five years, and I really do mean it when I say that we never forgot the kindness.

So what on Earth does this story have to do with fashion? A lot, actually. We're discovering daily the bond between members of the online fashion community (I'll be writing more on this later), and we're so happy to be a part of it! Now that we're starting this new venture, we are bringing a lot of what we've learned through our band experiences into the business. Without going into too much detail, we are really excited about the idea that as Fancy French Cologne grows, we'll be in a position to bring people that we believe in up with us. This was something we felt really strongly about in Finest Dearest, and definitely continue to care about today. You'll have to wait for more details as the site develops, but rest assured that we're doing our best to stay true to this spirit of community with our business.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love Soiree: The Economics of Art

While New York fashion week was all a flurry in snow and melodrama, Carly and I wandered over to a local event last Thursday to check out the goings-on in our local fashion community. The "Economics of Art"event, hosted by the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance (SFFMA), featured a panel of industry professionals from across the fashion spectrum, and was followed by a fashion show featuring three local designers.

Among the panelists were people like local designer
Bacca DaSilva; Corinne Phipps, founder of Urban Darling; JT Paradox from one of our favorite fashion blogs, The SF Style; and was moderated by Lorraine Sanders, who writes for 7x7's Glamwatch blog. It was a pretty robust conversation, and we definitely learned a bit about how people are dealing with the challenges afflicting many facets of the industry. I'm sure those nuggets of information will come in handy in the all-too-near future.

After the talk, we took in collections from recent RISDI graduate Blanch Consorti; the adorable Joy Fan (who we are hoping to convince to work with us soon); and a sustainable menswear designer (whose name I can't find anywhere!). The event was at this awesome salon called The Barber Lounge, so we go to sit in an old timey barber chair and watch the models strut past. This is a far cry from our days of melting from heat in a van driving across the Arizona desert, wouldn't you say?

Check out more images of the event at The SF Style and the Economics of Art's official site.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Salad Days

As you probably already know, Christine and I spent the last 5 1/2 years playing in a band called Finest Dearest. We don't have a regular Friday post today because last night we were practicing for our next and final recording this weekend at our bandmate AJ's house. AJ lives in a mansion guarded by a swingin' elderly gentleman who only allows artists to bless his awesome abode. About this time, we are starting to get a little emotional as our lives make a serious transition. With Finest Dearest, we got to travel all over the US with our best friends. We got to vent all of our frustrations and left over energy every week, twice a week, through our instruments. It was, for me anyway, one of the most precious times of my life.
Now that Christine and I are embarking on this new adventure, I'm only thankful that we get to continue working together. The time we have spent building relationships with our community and with each other will hopefully serve us well in our endeavors. If you want to hear what we sound like, you can go here, but we now currently reside on Facebook as an undying institution.

Monday, February 1, 2010

We had a time

Do we look exhausted? That is what 4 hours of walking the Westin St. Francis halls will do to you. Not to mention, answering the same questions about 100 times in a row.
When we arrived we walked into the first room that sounded intriguing to us and there were all these little groups of stylish ladies sitting around looking at swatches, taking notes and talking in what seemed like an entirely different language. "Where are you from?" someone asked. 'Um, here! San Francisco' we said in unison. It took us about 4 times of having been asked that same question when we finally realized that they were asking which boutique we were from, not which city. We ducked into one room that was empty with a nice looking lady in it and kind of begged her to tell us what the hell was going on. She was really nice and understanding and gave us a few much needed answers. Once we had regained our confidence, we started relax and actually find some things we liked.L: Corey Lynn Calter
R: Covet

Also found some nice basics by Maggie Ward and we drooled a little bit over gorgeous dresses by Dolce Vita .
All in all very educational. We are looking forward to March when we will hit up a bunch of shows in LA including D&A, Focus and LA Fashion Market.