IMG_20180302_140332When you’re dealing with an audience that is all about experience versus product, it leads to a redefinition of certain categories … She’s seeking experience over tangible items, which has led to what I call fast beauty. She wants the ability to grab one thing she can try once because she doesn’t want to be locked down forever. In the end, her shopping basket is going to be just as high, but the difference is instead of having a gigantic bottle of one thing, she is going to have a variety of single-use, travel-size, quick items. She wants to be mobile … 

Ingrid Jackel, CEO Yes To.

I guess I’m not this shopper because if I find a product that works for me I stick with it. These days even though it seems that we have more beauty and fashion choices, there actually is very little. Perhaps a lot of junk but not much quality. So when I discover something that suits me, I become a loyal customer.




Superstar Collection by Yuka Uehara for Tokyo Gamine

The private room was packed when I arrived last Tuesday evening at Dirty Habit Cocktail Bar in San Francisco for the launch of fashion designer Yuka Uehara’s latest collection. The crowd included guests invited by SFLUXE Damion Matthews and Nob Hill Gazette editor, Erin Carlson, as well as friends of the designer and friends of the performers.

Performers? Well yes, we were promised a “performance” and that was the talk of the evening. Under a cloak of mystery, there was quite a bit of chattering speculation:

I think there’s dancing …  I heard there’s a singer … What about the clothes? 

Ms. Uehara found her way to fashion after leaving medical school and working with her father in film. Originally from Japan, she now makes San Francisco her home where she’s found a fan base for her wearable art clothing and has developed a reputation for unusual fashion shows.

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Simone Vianna

Interior designer Simone Vianna drove from her home in Sacramento to attend the launch and honored the evening by wearing a vintage kimono from her collection.

“My friend is performing tonight,” said Jessie Boote, who was wearing a fabulous cut velvet kimono under an equally fabulous vintage coat.


Devlin Shand and Yuka Uehara

After about an hour it was finally showtime, which started with three ballet dancers in white over-sized shirts embellished with hand painted silk fabric. The short dance routine lead to disembodied singing and … a gasp of delight as doors flung open to reveal local photographer and singer Devlin Shand belting out a ballad by The Carpenters, I Need to Be in Love. He effortlessly donned a long halter gown with applied strips of silk and a fierce pair of stilettos that captivated many an eye, “Do you see those shoes?” someone whispered.


Jessie Boote

When Mr. Shand broke into another Carpenters 1970s hit Close to You, a guy standing behind me expressed a little puzzlement as to what his reaction should be to the unusual choice of retro tunes. He soon gave up and started singing along to the third Carpenters song,  Superstar. A dapper fellow standing next to me in a burgundy velvet suit joined in and so did I. What the heck, we knew the lyrics!

Turns out the the name of Ms. Uehara’s new collection is Superstar. I asked her what was the inspiration and she was right on top of her answer, “My family and friends, always.”

Five models closed the show strutting the runway in the Superstar collection: white shirts with silk fabric embellishments, palazzo pants, and hand painted leather jackets. The small selection is a standout for it’s creativity and quality.

Congratulations to Yuka Uehara!




debra-photoThe costume designer dresses somebody from the inside out. We care about what kind of underwear they’re wearing. It’s really important when you’re dressing somebody for a film to kind of think about what they’re wearing after they take their shower; what’s the process; what goes on underneath; what makes sense. And it’s a real internal process. The process of fashion is completely external. It’s disposable. It’s changeable. 

Debra McGuire, Hollywood costume designer.

Ms. McGuire is the go-to costume designer for television. Most recently she has designed for Fresh off the Boat, New Girl, and Speechless. From 1994-2004 her main designing gig was Friends.  She has worked on many a film as well. including Knocked Up and Righteous Kill.


downloadThe reason that I am a costume designer is because it is everything that I am interested in, and did on my own as a kid, all put into one job. There’s the drawing and painting of sketches. There’s the fascination with the history of clothes. I was always into fabrics. Costume design is giving an external look to a character. It gives an indication of things unsaid. 

Mark Bridges, American costume designer.

Congratulations to Mr. Bridges for his Oscar win last night – Best Costume Design, Phantom Thread.



Costume designer Adrian and Greta Garbo on the set of The Single Standard. 

I first realized Costume Design was an occupation while watching Greta Garbo in the 1920s film, A Single Standard. Adrian’s costumes succinctly captured a free-thinking, strong-willed character through her louche, striped pajamas. The casual, masculine silhouettes with a nautical flair were antithetical to women of the time, a radical rethinking of the uniform women were expected to wear. I was mesmerized. 

Anna Wyckoff, editor-in-chief, The Costume Designer: The Official Magazine of the Costume Designers Guild.

Adrian (1903-1959) designed costumes for over 250 films from the 1920s through 1941. He’s known for such iconic films as The Women (1939), Camille (1936), and The Wizard of Oz (1939). Adrian worked with many a film superstar including Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, and Katharine Hepburn.

Despite Adrian’s popularity and success in Hollywood, he was never nominated for an Oscar.

Speaking of the Oscars – they are fast approaching. Sunday, March 4th.


Nice belt detail on the hat.

I love the hat! We rarely see fashion hats on women, which is a shame because they really pop an outfit and create interest. A picture hat is a stylish choice and shows panache. The thin belt around the crown adds a touch of class.

There is such a void of interesting fashion in the burbs, that anyone with any sense of style really stands out. As did this woman at the Walnut Creek BART Station on a recent sunny winter day.

The dress looks like a wrap made of jersey knit in a fabulous colorful geometric print. She pairs it with brown boots, which is appropriate for the season. Her purse is just a big tan shoulder bag – simple chic that nicely ties in with the hat.


Thank you, Picture Hat Lady. You brightened my day.


Jane Birkin Lights Up Christmas Tree

… when I first went to Paris as a teenager, I could always spot other English girls because we put everything together so badly. French women start with the same ingredients, but they make better use of them. They were always so beautifully turned out with their velvet headbands and clip-on pearls, a scarf casually tossed over their shoulder. But after the counterculture swept through Europe, it became chic to wear whatever you liked, and it was our chance to laugh at the French girls. You’d see photos of Julie Christie coming down her front steps wearing a raincoat  over her pajamas with gum boots, spectacles perched at the end of her nose. It was so unpretentious – and so very English. It’s impossible to be stylish without confidence, you see. 

Jane Birkin – British actress and model.

I’d love to see an example of a British woman back in the day who styled herself so badly and a French woman who did it so perfectly.

Ms. Birkin is known for her effortless style. She sported a basket as a handbag back in the 1960s, which eventually inspired the Hermes Birkin Bag and she has made “borrowing from the boys” look tres chic for the ladies.

Speaking of European style, lately several women have complimented me by saying, “Your style is very European.” I think what they meant is that I have a put together look – my outfits are intentional and cohesive. That’s not at all American but perhaps it is European.

What American fashion strives for is more like Ms. Birkin’s effortless sporty look. I love that, when it works. Making it work, like she says, takes confidence and some instinct for fashion.

My style is vintage inspired with a modern twist here and there. Whatever I’m sporting for the day, a simple a-line dress or a pair of cords, I usually top it with a hat of some kind and that gives any outfit a vintage feel. I often tie a scarf around my neck, which adds interest, and my jewelry ranges from Victorian to Art Deco to 1950s kitsch. To make the look a little more modern, I’ll add a trendy item such as a hoodie.

Effortless is it not. I put a fair amount of thought into what I wear but that’s what makes fashion fun for me.