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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

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