Scott Ian McFarland Runway Collection Preview

This Monday, I had the opportunity to take a peek at Scott Ian McFarland‘s latest collection, which will be on the runways this Sunday for San Francisco Fashion Week.

I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised to find a small intimate gathering when I walked into Jillian’s. The venue was cozy, with dim lighting and wood-paneled walls that reminded me of a cabin in the woods. It was a classy affair with crudités, french bread, and cheese to snack on and waiters taking drink orders.

I browsed through racks of men’s and women’s sweaters, cardigans, coats, beanies, scarves, and knit leggings and played dress-up with the models. The knitwear collection worked well as a cohesive unit and I was impressed by how easy it was to mix and match individual pieces.

At first glance, the collection seemed basic, but upon further inspection, I discovered intricate knit work and lacing, interwoven braided ribbon, ruffled piping, and a palette of grays, deep indigo, and pearlescent hues. The first thing that came to mind when trying to describe it was Alice in Wonderland meets Where The Wild Things Are. The pieces possessed the effortless comfort of Max’s wolf pajamas and the whimsy of Wonderland. It was a match made in children’s book heaven.

Most of the pieces were masterfully crafted by Scott Ian McFarland himself, a rare feat in a world where many fashion designers do not sew their own designs. As a formally trained sculptor, Scott brings a fresh perspective to the San Francisco fashion scene. He experiments with three-dimensional shapes, color, and texture in a way only a sculptor can.

The inspiration behind Scott Ian McFarland’s latest collection is androgyny, the 1920s, ships, and the blues.

Androgynous influences are obvious in the gender-neutral colors and silhouettes, while the 1920s shows itself in the form of loose-fitting cuts and breathable fabrics. The ruffled piping and knitted diamond-shaped patterns reveal ships’ masts and sails. But the blues? Really?

I thought long and hard about how a musical genre could act as the inspiration for a clothing collection before I decided to do some research of my own. The term “the blues” comes from the use of the indigo plant in West African cultures during death and mourning ceremonies. The mourner’s garments were dyed blue to indicate suffering. The indigo plant was also grown in many plantations in the southern United States, where slaves sang of their suffering as they worked in the fields. These songs were called “the blues”.

It was no coincidence then that Scott Ian McFarland used a deep indigo color to accent the neutral grays, pinks, and tans in his collection.

Although Scott Ian McFarland is relatively new to the fashion world, I have high hopes for the new designer and I’d like to see how his clothing translates from the runways to the streets!

by Samantha J. Yee, originally posted on Sam Goes Glam

styling men by Lexie Tiongson


Whew, sometimes it’s a tough one. But, recently I’ve found myself styling men more often than usual. It’s funny because when I was talking to my friend Bryon about wanting to style men more, he told me that I’d probably recommend polka dot pants! I actually wouldn’t mind seeing that on a guy, but as a starter… I styled a couple of men this past weekend and told one of them to wear a polka dot denim button-up.

One of my really good friends, Nathan introduced me to Indochino, a custom online menswear tailor. He’s really into suits and the whole “Financial District” look, obviously. So, he asked me to help him style while Indochino had their traveling tailor here in San Francisco.

I really fell in love with the variety of fabrics they had. You can basically customize the whole suit. From the lining inside to the lapels, and even the vents!

The one thing I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about menswear are the accessories. Even though they can be so basic, a printed or patterned tie can really say a lot. I fell in love with this striped knit one so much! I might buy it for myself. The Vincero Gray 3 piece suit also caught my eye. Would love to see it on a guy some day 🙂

Even though suits may seem very straightforward at times, there’s always a way to take it to the next level. With styling a lot of men and talking to them about their personal feel on suits, I’ve noticed that they forget to add color.

I can’t wait to see Nathan in his three custom made suits. I know he’ll look fly walking around in the “FiDi!”

by Lexie, the elle tee

In Her Element – A Conversation with Chloe Nelson

While moseying around one of my favorite spots in Minneapolis – the Walker Art Center – Chloe Nelson caught my eye. Admittedly, I was on the lookout for individuals who illuminated a kind of natural sense of style. I hoped to find someone who didn’t look as though she spent hours getting ready in the morning. Ms. Nelson, an employee in the Education and Public Programs department at the Walker Art Center, exudes a natural beauty aesthetic that fits into what I hoped to find. I spoke with Chloe about her experience as a recent Minneapolis transplant, her favorite things about fall, and her style choices.


LM: With the changing seasons in Minnesota, there’s oftentimes an awkward transition. What do you like about fall?

CN: I like all of the trees changing colors. I’m really excited for fall because I was in California last year and, you know, there’s really not that much of a change, but in Minnesota you get those dramatic seasonal changes and it’s really visible. It smells different – it smells like pumpkins, it smells like fall…

LM: And are you from San Francisco?

CN: I’m from down the peninsula.

LM: Some of our ArielSimone team is down in San Francisco. What is different here in Minneapolis verses in California when fall arrives?

CN: Well, I feel like California is generally more… sporty. I’m from Silicon Valley so …I feel like I had to dress casual and dress, you know, like jeans and sweaters. And I feel like because people know that it’s going to get really cold in Minnesota they, dress more playfully and more….more to American roots. Like plaid and…

LM: Here?

CN: Yeah, I would say that. I mean, San Francisco is different than the peninsula, obviously. But I would say people dress pretty similar in areas in San Francisco and Minneapolis, but obviously it gets a lot colder here so you need to brace yourself.

LM: And this fall, is there anything that you’re doing particularly different for your style?

CN: I was going to try to wear more neutrals. To wear greys and blacks and browns.

LM: Which you’re doing today…

CN: Which I’m doing today, I want to simplify my wardrobe. I’m trying to pare down my wardrobe, to make things have lots of different iterations.

LM: Cool. And, how does working in a museum that is very contemporary, you know impact what you wear.

CN: I think that you want to look nice. You know, I think you see a lot of cool clothes and interesting patrons and interesting art and I think that there’s constantly … just a creative energy that you want to … be a part of it. It’s encouraging, but it’s also very non judgmental, too. So I think that’s awesome.

LM: Awesome. (Pointing to bracelets) Betty …. Who is Betty?

CN: Betty is my grandmother. These are both from her. And this was a friendship bracelet with some of her friends. It’s from 1943.

LM: Oh my gosh…

CN: And, when she passed away my Mom gave it to me. And a lot of people think it’s for like penicillin allergy or something, but…it’s just a little thing. I like delicate jewelry.

Paralleling her love for delicate jewelry choices was Chloe’s overall unassuming, minimalist vibe from head to toe. She offers us a great reminder of the beautiful simplicity in going back to the basics for fall.



Until Soon,


Lauren Miller

P. R. Episode 10: Dance with the Rockettes

This week the designers meet Tim at one of NYC’s major landmarks, Radio City Music Hall! They are introduced to the famous Rockettes who perform a short number. Heidi joins the kick line then announces the challenge: design a new costume for the rockettes.

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The winning costume will be produced and worn during a rockettes performance. Linda Haberman, the Rockettes director and coordinator, asks the designers to make sure to keep in mind the variety of events they perform at, so the looks need to be versatile, glamorous, contemporary and have a modern aesthetic. Past costumes are presented so they can be studied by the designers, then they are sent to mood for fabrics. At Tim’s initial visit, he’s so worried about the designers looks that he sends them back to mood with an extra $100 to get  more materials, since sequins and crystals are so expensive, he wasn’t to make sure the designers amp up their looks. A few designers decide to stay back to work and not go to mood.

Top 2 Looks


He had a great idea and he ran with it! This is classic and beautiful without overdoing it!


Dmitry’s background as a professional dancer definitely helped him in this challenge. His look is gorgeous and the movement is amazing!

Bottom Look


Sonjia was confused the whole challenge and it really showed in her final look. It’s unfinished and the feathers are obviously not the best to dance in.

The season is almost over! Ven is gone, and soon they’ll be going back home to create collections! We can’t wait.


Hello San Francisco, It’s Time to Party!

Hello, San Francisco!

It’s time to party! Start picking out your favorite outfits and join us for a night of fashion, drinks, music, and fun at the ArielSimone launch party at The Bold Italic HQ  NEXT Thursday, October 4, 2012. This event is so special that Adrienne will be flying out to SF to join us.

As you know, we have been in the process of rebranding ArielSimone. Our goals we to complete our brand with a new logo, font and experience. We also had the goal of spreading the great news to our new community while developing an exclusive ArielSimone retail site.  What you can expect is exactly who we are:  fun, flirty, and sophisticated.

So this event has to be too! We have been in great communication with our new SF industry friends and have several exciting treats and surprises for our guests. ArielSimone always has new and fresh styles that can be customized to fit YOUR body so we are excited to have a short runway presentation showing off our Spring/Summer 2013. We know that there is something extremely special in wearing a garment that is made just for you so we are offering reduced pricing on all our garments for guests who attend.  If you are not able to make it or simply can’t wait until next week, Shop ArielSimone now.

All proceeds for this event will go to BlackGirlsCode, which teaches young girls from underrepresented communities about computer programming and technology. We met this amazing charity back in May when we were searching for organizations in SF with purpose and passion. We were immediately inspired by the work that Kimberly Bryant is doing– bringing technology into the minds and lives of minority girls. Mentorship is something that we really care about at ArielSimone and so we wanted to get involved. We visited them during one of their workshops and are now in partnership with them to create a workshop program for the girls on fashion and technology. We can’t wait to share more about those classes so stay tuned!

More About BlackGirlsCode

BlackGirlsCode is a non-profit organizaton that equips girls ages 7-16 with in-demand computer skills. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after-school programs, they aim  to increase the number of women of color working in technology and give underprivileged girls a chance to become programmers of tomorrow.

BlackGirlsCode is proud to say they’ve completed their first year as an organization, during which time they had the honor of bringing technology and entertainment to many wonderful young girls of color. By teaching these girls computer programming and coding, BGC hopes to foster a true love for technology and the self-confidence that comes from understanding the greatest tools of the 21st century. That is something that ArielSimone stands behind.

So who doesn’t love a little philanthropy with their fashion? To RSVP for our amazing event. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

SFMOMA with a Documentary Neuroscience Type

This past Saturday, after a lovely brunch with friends (lovely = bottomless mimosas), I headed to  SFMOMA with my good friend William (who is a documentary/neuroscience type) to ponder the new Cindy Sherman exhibit, to drink Blue Bottle coffee on the roof and to discuss why all the men at the gallery were gorgeous, but gay.

The first things that caught our eyes were the light installation that was hanging from the roof about 6 stories high. Jim Campbell: Exploded Views  exhibition has been on view since  November 5, 2011 and will end September 25, 2012– only 5 more days to see it. What looked like just lights flickering on and off, were actually a very technical LED light pattern wired to display projected images, which instantly I recognized as modern dancers! I later discovered that it was the infamous (and SF favorite) Alonzo Kings LINES ballet. Such a fan. It was by far my favorite work in the whole museum; I wanted to stand there for hours. There are some videos available online if you aren’t able to get to SFMOMA in time.

The Cindy Sherman photography exhibit was fantastic. Most of the artists perusing the gallery were very stoic even though the work was both provocative, ironically disturbing while also being dark. In most cases, the images were familiar in a hilariously depressing.

Here is what she looks like with out all the makeup and characterization….

As one of the most influential artists of our time, Cindy Sherman has created a provocative photography collection that explores the ever expansive range of identity and representation. Utilizing herself as a model, she transformed her appearance by using wigs, costumes, makeup, prosthetics, and props to create intriguing tableaux and characters inspired by movies, TV, magazines, and art history. Love it.

by Nkechi Njaka
[Source & Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

She’s Got Style by Lexie T.

When I opened up my e-mail and saw that Dan had sent me the photos from this shoot we did withOlivia and Jen, I jumped for joy!


Dan and I haven’t done a colorful shoot together recently and our goal is actually to get more out in the next month or two. The most recent colorful editorial we did was this one, back in May.



We added a little funk to this shoot by adding these glasses. Dan got really creative with that idea, hah! I really really love how this shoot captures Olivia’s personality. Some people think that models are really stiff and don’t like to have fun during shoots… but this girl, she’s got that good attitude.



Every shoot I style, I typically have a favorite look where I say, “WE NEED TO SHOOT THIS.” But, during this shoot, I liked it ALL. Part of it is because we all communicated really well as a team with what we all wanted. That’s what collaborations should be like, ya know?



These photos are amazing, needless to say and I can’t wait to show you what Dan and I have next for a fashion editorial 🙂 Stay tuned!

Photography by Dan Rappa
Modeling by Olivia Frischer-JE Models
Styling by Lexie Tiongson
Hair & Make-Up by Jennifer Toy 

P.R. Episode 9: Textiles with Mondo

This week was the Textiles challenge, and 8 designers remain! Mondo appeared as the guest after his emotional experience during his season’s textile challenge where he revealed his HIV + status to the world.

The designers were given one hour to create their very own printed textile on the Intel Ultrabook, and challenged to represent their cultural heritage through their print. For the first time in Project Runway history, their cultural dossier was delivered by family members, and they got to spend two days with their loved ones.

Top 2 Looks


I’m so glad he won this week! He definitely deserved it. His jacket was out of this world amazing, and he created three pieces, which is a challenge in itself given the time limits on the show.


She killed this challenge! Her print was nice, but the way she used it to create those amazing slacks was better, pants are difficult to drape. Even though she did a black top, it really stood out with the back drape perfectly fitted sleeves, and interesting front detail. And I also must mention how well she styled her look!

Bottom Look


Oh Ven… He once again did the flower layering effect, and the judges roasted him for it, even to the point of bringing Tim Gunn to the runway to discuss what went on in the sewing room. I think he’ll get one more chance to show he can do something else before he’s voted off.

Who to Watch

Elena – She was rejuvenated emotionally by her mother’s presence, but her design this week was lacking. She’s got to find balance.

Ven – I’d re-watch this episode just to see Tim call Ven’s design an homage to a menstrual cycle!


Stay tuned for Thursday nights 10th episode, to see if Ven can get it together!

Artist Interview: Tushita Chechani by Joanna

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the new University of San Francisco MBA students, Tushita Chechani. She instantly attracted my attention with her distinct style and elegant jewelry.

After getting to know her a bit better I thought you would all want to hear about her adventures in the fashion industry and her aspirations for the future. She has an incredible story and a very bright future in design.

Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field. What steps brought you to this point?

I grew up in India, San Francisco is now home where I live with my husband and my five month old Golden doodle puppy. My mom is a textile designer and appreciates all forms of design and art, so I always appreciated art, especially traditional forms, early in life. I started making jewelry in school because I couldn’t find what I wanted in stores. Soon I was designing stuff for friends and holding small exhibits while I completed my undergrad. After school I started working in Advertising with Lowe Lintas and work got so busy that I did not even realize it when I stopped designing [for a while].

Did you study your particular field formally? Where?

I have an undergraduate degree in Business from Gujarat, India.

Where are you currently studying and what do you hope to do with your current studies/what is your focus?

I am currently studying for my Masters in Business Administration at the University of San Francisco. I enjoy analytics as much as design 🙂 I hope to do something that involves both after school.

Could you tell us about some of your work?

I like my jewelry pieces to be statement pieces, something that can be worn with multiple things. Something that’s timeless and not just trendy. I try to keep them eco-friendly and vegan. I don’t use any leather products because of personal beliefs.

When did you first discover your creative talents?

I am still discovering them 🙂 On a serious note I remember trying to make a head band with changeable colors when I was about 9.

What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

Travelling and exploring traditional art forms always inspires me. When I can’t take international trips I love to take off in nature for a trek or walk and listen to music to stay motivated.

What is the hardest part about your work?

To manage all the other aspects like marketing and sales.

How would you describe your style?

This one is tough! Maybe a mix of elegant and edgy.

What is your approach to design? Or your method? Ritual?

My work is more material centric than design centric. I usually put music on, spread all the beads and material I have and play around with things until I am satisfied.

Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?

I love traditional Indian jewelry. I also love Lanvin Jewelry.

What was the last thing you ate?

Peach Panna cotta

How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

It’s tough. I try to not make stuff just because there is a demand for it. So I take custom orders where customers want something specific. But otherwise I try to make stuff I love and I would like to keep if it doesn’t sell, which is probably not a good business idea.

Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?

Be fearless.

Tushita is truly an inspiration. We look forward to seeing what she creates next as she combines her business education with her creativity and love for art and design. Don’t forget to check out her virtual store: ChechTJewelry or contact her if you are interested in custom orders.

Tushita’s Virtual Store.

The Beauty of Rinata

If you didn’t know, I only write about things that I love, food being one of them. Last week as I drove around looking for great Italian, I unexpectedly was drawn to Rinata, the quaint restaurant tucked between a bakery and a balloon shop.

Sitting down I was surprised at how simple and beautiful it was, then we met our server/bartender. His cool demeanor made us feel as if we were the only patrons in the busy restaurant. As we challenged him with questions on the menu, he nonchalantly stated that he knew pretty much nothing about it, as it had changed when he was on vacation, his vacation being a mere 4 days. Nevertheless, as any ignorant traveler, we kept asking him questions to the point where he had to go chill with the chef for a bit.

During our Rinata Q&A with our clueless yet elegant server, we decided on an appetizer. We were presented with baked eggplant stuffed with goat cheese and served on a red sauce.

Next we tried the spagetti and meatballs, as well as the calamari steak and pinto beans. The food was decadent, made in house, and savory. My mouth is watering as I type. Even though I was full to the point of pure exhaustion, we knew we had to try desert with the luck we were having. To our amazement, even the desert was delicious!! The peach cobbler was warm, sweet, and a la mode. The perfect finale.

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Rinata is in my top spot for Italian, and we’ll definitely be trying more of the menu before the end of 2012. Be well and until soon…