Sprung Over Spring Trends

Before the frost has had a chance to melt, spring is already in the air. I guess global warming is a bigger problem than I thought. However, the New York trend reports are to blame for this short-lived dry winter, not our carbon footprints. Unless you’re wearing a pair of red soled Louboutins.

No time to comb through the runway shows? Fear not, for I have broken it down into digestible chunks for you. Some of these trends may not come as a surprise, as fashion tends to cycle through several seasons and repeats itself in history. For example, midriffs are back in style, and harks back to the I Dream of Jeannie days. My favorite trend so far is the peek-a-boo fishnet and web-like wovens, as if lace took a turn to the dark side.

Which trend are you dying to get your hands on this season?

Red + Green Holidaze

There’s an elephant in the room and it isn’t white. Because white shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day, duh.

If you’re wondering what to wear to that white elephant party, look no further than your Christmas tree. The red, green, and sparkle that are associated with the holiday’s décor can be applied to your outfits as well. This is the only time of year that you can pull off these color combinations while being appropriately called the Grinch, Santa, or a Ho (ho ho). I’ve been nice and naughty; may I have hot coal with that?

Red and green can be effectively worn together with careful accessorizing. I cheated with this awesome 80s dress that has pops of bright red roses with olive green foliage, purchased at Salvation Army during one of their regular weekend sales (50% off all clothes!). All it needed was some TLC: I removed the shoulder pads, reinforced the buttons, washed, and pressed it. I didn’t think my outfit screamed Christmas until someone at work exclaimed, “What a great holiday dress!”

This dress is an example of 1980’s “power dressing.” As more women started to enter the work force in that decade, the emergence of shoulder pads became in vogue in order for women to feel equal to their male counterparts. The rise in shoulder pad popularity correlates with women’s increasing role in the work place, as evidenced in the 1940s war era as well. In fact, some fads synonymous with 1980s fashion can be traced back to the 1940s.

To soften the power-dress look and stay warm in the frosty weather, I added a vintage knit sweater cape with gold detail buttons that I found at Mercy Vintage. As there are no visible tags, I can only imagine it was lovingly knit by some adorable granny in her rocking chair with a pet cat named Sylvester at her feet. I completed the look with herringbone fishnets and a pair of high platform peep-toe pumps with rhinestone details to keep the outfit from looking dated. All I am missing is a poinsettia or mistletoe brooch on my cape.

Santa, I hope I don’t get stuck with a shake weight this year.

The Grinch

Attention All Vintage-nistas!

Coinciding with Fall Equinox (September 22), the Vintage Fashion Expo returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center for two days of fabulous vendors selling vintage clothing, baubles, and one of a kind items you couldn’t even imagine. Did I just die and go to Vintage Heaven? Yes, yes I did.

Shopping for vintage and thrifted items is definitely not for the faint of heart. Most of my friends ask, “How can you stand that musty smell?” followed by “Um, I’ll just wait outside” are the usual responses I hear. Their comments fall on my deaf ears, as I’m already knee deep digging through bargain bins or flipping through racks of clothing. Fear not, for as long as you are armed with a bottle of hand sanitizer for post shopping clean up, thrift shopping can be quite fun and rewarding if you just put in a little elbow grease. Or, you can shop in a fancy vintage boutique where they have perfected the art of removing that odor.

For the newbie, here is a quickie guide of popular women’s’ styles by decade from 1920s-1980s:

1920s Flapper era: boyish/straight lined silhouettes and looser clothing; shorter skirts, drop waist dresses, and pleats were popular

1930s Great Depression: longer hemline returns as well as a more womanly silhouette (natural waistline); bias cut dresses for a figure flattering look that was fluttery with draping and ruffles

1940s the war years: broad, padded or puffed shoulders and defined/fitted waist; pleated knee/calf length skirt; dress suits popular; peplums

1950s post war: feminine, flouncy dresses; circle skirts with petticoat; twinset sweaters; cigarette pants; the Chanel Suit was introduced

1960s counterculture & social movement: the Mod look with mini skirts/dresses with very short hemlines; the Hippie look with bell bottoms and frayed jeans; knee high boots

1970s glam rock & disco: hot pants; glitter and Lurex fabrics; zippered jumpsuits; flared jeans and trousers; the famous DVF wrap dress made its first appearance

1980s I was born: the return of shoulder pads for “power dressing” to reflect women in the workplace; the dance wear look with leotards, tights, and leg warmers; leggings; “Members Only” jackets; Doc Martens; influence of Madonna and Michael Jackson…..and the list is exponentially long

Some trends overlap in decades, and there are styles that I have left out to keep this brief. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and I am exhausted after all my research! If there is a favorite fad of yours that I didn’t include, please share.

Lights, camera, fashion!

Cute party dress? Check. Fancy handbag? Check. Hair perfectly coiffed and makeup flawless? Double check.

On September 6th, 2012, all of San Francisco’s fashionistas, stylish cats, wannabes, and socialites were dressed to impress as they attended Fashion’s Night Out (FNO). Boutiques, shops, and department stores took part in this fourth annual national event to celebrate fashion at its finest by offering an evening of shopping promotions, events, cocktails, and music. The crowd was diverse, ranging from young and old, the fashionable and the not so fashionable, native San Franciscans, and tourists from halfway around the world who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. “I think it’s a great how everyone comes together to celebrate fashion, dressed in their best. It’s also great to see all the new styles that are coming out,” said Ashley Jones, who has modeled for FNO for the past two years.

As I fought my way through the throngs of stylish folks, I couldn’t help but notice the trend of printed pants among the crowd. Whether it was geometric or tribal, from cropped trousers to stretchy leggings, it was clear that the printed pant is this season’s must have. What a perfect way to pack some punch into an outfit! I suddenly felt bland in my chosen outfit for the night. Note to self: must stop by H&M later to pick up some fancy pants.


The evening wouldn’t be complete without checking out Macy’s on Union Square. I made a beeline to the Impulse section on the third floor, where six budding designers in residence showcased their collections. As a part of the Fashion Incubator, a non-profit program run by Macy’s Union Square, the program aims to turn fashion designers into successful San Francisco entrepreneurs.

The simple, yet alluring silhouettes of Tony Sananikone’s line, “Sounthavong” caught my eye. Dressed in a sleek black Hugo Boss suit, accessorized with his own designed leather flower, Tony described his favorite designers. “I am in love with Chloe. There’s something simplistic about her and also in European designers. There’s something that’s very high quality about it and that’s something I kind of want to portray in my aesthetic,” said Tony.

Working my way through the crowd, I was drawn to the intricate and delicate detailed designs of knitwear from the line, “Mansoor Scott,” which is a collaboration between designers Sabah Mansoor Husain and Bethany Meuleners.  Their collection looked so comfortable and soft, I had to restrain myself from grabbing the sweaters right off the display. As a student myself, I wanted to know what kind of guidance these designers would give to someone who wants to study fashion design. “When you want to study design, it can be a little scary. Stick to it, and keep your own ideas and concepts, and don’t try to change it to what fits to everything else,” said Bethany. The single most exciting moment of their design career so far? “New York Fashion Week!” exclaimed Sabah. Great words of wisdom, and it certainly looks like staying true to their ideas has worked in their favor.

By the end of the night, my feet were aching in my cute shoes. Oh, the things I do for fashion! See you next year, FNO, hopefully in New York or Los Angeles!