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

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 

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: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ ChechTJewelry or contact her if you are interested in custom orders.

Tushita’s Virtual Store.

The Art & Healing of Yoga by Nkechi

The Art & Healing of Yoga by Nkechi

Wow, what difference morning yoga makes! I had the most amazing day last Saturday– I challenged myself to double up on two morning yoga classes, which is something that I have never done before. And it was particularly special since both classes were offered in non-traditional spaces and were sized at over 100 yogis.

The first class was the Flavorpill event the Art of Yoga. My guess is that 300 or more yogis gathered at the SFMOMA for a free class taught by Elise Lorimer. We were greeted by Naked Juice reps (delicious smoothies and coconut water) and DJ J Boogie was awesome at creating a fun practice environment with music.


The class was a pretty advanced beginner Vinyassa class, which makes sense given the large group and the diverse yoga levels. There wasn’t  a whole lot of room to do crazy balances and inversions however I did feel incredibly strong and present in my practice and was able to nail a couple of balances that I have been working on for a couple weeks.




My new yoga friends from lululemon athletica (above) and I rushed from SFMOMA to SF Union Square for another amazing massive yoga class—this one being for cancer research.  Yoga for Hope is amazing event for yoga beginners and experts created from the City of Hope’s efforts to expand awareness of the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection. As an integrated wellness practitioner, I love the way that this facility incorporates complimentary and integrative therapies such as yoga and meditation in the patient treatment programs; it is so needed in the hospitals! I bet there were at least 400 people there! It was such a gorgeous, sunny day and the class was both reflective and restorative.  

Last year, Yoga for Hope raised over $30,000! It was so powerful to offer prayer and acknowledgements to those we know whom cancer, diabetes and HIV have affected. I love offering my practice to others, and it was really meaningful to me to think of those in my life who have or have had a chronic illness.  The cool part about this event is that after the yoga class, there were several workshops and demonstrations offered. My favorite was the Whole Foods workshop where we could sample a delicious quinoa breakfast salad as well as organic granola and fresh organic fruit.

Post yoga glow— I was feeling extremely revitalized and amazing and I had so much of the day left! This ArielSimone headband is one of my recent favorite things to wear to class, as it keeps hair and sweat from my eyes. This top is also ArielSimone and can be worn to and from yoga over any yoga tank or sports bra– I love that it nicely converts to a casual outfit after class. It was perfect post-yoga outfit for the errands that I ran in the city before rushing off to meet up with friends. 

Powerful words to reflect on….

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

~ Denis Waitley

Meet the Community Manager of Popular Social Media Site Copious

Almost right when I arrived in SF, I had the amazing opportunity of meeting Kaitlyn, Community Manager for Copious through involvement with a Copious photo shoot.  Instantly, I felt that Kaitlyn was  going to be a great person to get to know as a newbie in SF– the whole combination of new fashion tech start up plus creative opportunites was encouraging.

We have been very impressed with how our relationship with Copious has evolved– ArielSimone has been super successful with 6000 followers to date! We have Kaitlyn to thank. So now, we want you to meet her because she is just sooooo cool!


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AS: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

KB: I’ve worked with start-ups for three years now ranging from international communication platforms to social enterprise.  I’m currently working in the social commerce space as the Community Marketing Manager of Copious, a social marketplace to buy and sell the things you love.  Right now, marketplaces are set up as a ‘one size fits most’ package.  Copious, however, creates a unique experience for each user based on the their interests and social connections- essentially, an E-bay meets Pinterest marriage.


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AS: Could you tell us about some of your work?

KB: With Copious I’ve had the privilege of getting my hands dirty in all types of projects, from marketing videos to fashion shoots to creative marketing campaigns.  I’m the touch point to our community which is an amazing privilege since our community of buyers and sellers include some of the most creative and inventive people across the US.

Right now I’m managing the sweepstakes we’re running for a trip to New York City for Fashion’s Night Out.

AS: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

KB: The Copious team is incredible.  I work with some of the most intelligent and innovative people in the industry so I’m constantly learning and trying to push boundaries.


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Not only that, but I get to interact with our eclectic community of buyers and sellers directly who inspire me on a daily basis .  I love finding ways to collaborate, like when we were able to get ArielSimone pieces in our first fashion shoot [styled by the elle tee].  After all, the only way Copious succeeds is when our sellers succeed.

AS: What is something that you always carry with you?

KB: Purse essentials: Android phone, wallet, gum, a spare of flats and five shades of lipstick (you just never know).

AS: What is the hardest part about your work?

KB: Both the hardest part, and in my opinion, the most rewarding part of working at a start-up is the unknown element.  You have to constantly poke, prod, innovate, redesign and take big risks in order to keep moving forward.  There’s never a dull moment working at a start-up, but then again why would you want things to be dull?

AS: Could you share one goal that you have?

KB: To be on the cover of Forbes.

AS: How would you describe your style?

KB: Boho rocker meets gold-centric drag queen.


AS: What it is that you love about your work?

KB: I’m constantly introduced to incredible minds within our Copious community of online sellers and buyers.  That always keeps my wheels turning.

Working in Silicon Valley has allowed me to meet so many brilliant entrepreneurs.  It’s a really inspiring environment and always keeps you thinking about what’s next.

AS: How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

KB: Give artists a social and sustainable platform to do business.

AS: Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs/artists?

KB: I think it was best said in Galaxy Quest: “Never give up.  Never surrender”.

by Nkechi Njaka

ArielSimone Summer Newsletter– Updates, Recaps, News!

Recaps & Highlights

2012 is FLYING by! We can hardly believe that it is summer already. But! It has been an incredible year so far. As we enter into the third quarter, we want to share some of the things that have been going on in both Minnesota and in California.


We have already hired 2 new interns for the summer that support Nkechi and our operations team in San Francisco. We’ve also added some very talented guest bloggers this season and we hope to continually provide interesting and relevant content for all of you! We have decided to be more strategic with our postings– we feel that our blog supports the re-branding of ArielSimone. We have carefully chosen writers who are fun, approachable, stylish and girls we would want to hang out with! Make sure to check it out!

We’ve also added a new online retail space--Copious , which is a fashion tech company in SF. We actually were able to be a part of their website photo shoot, where we pulled ArielSimone pieces. We are excited that one of our skirts made the landing page!!

We are finally listed on I like What You’re Wearing— check out our current listings and these gorgeous images! We are thrilled.

Something else we are thrilled about are our new product– headbands! We are excited to be moving into accessories, and these are just so stylish and fun and can be worn on any occasion. These are a must for summer! Make sure to stay connected to hear about all of our amazing summer promotions.

What is going on in SF 

As you know, last quarter we had a big change– Nkechi moved to SF to expand ArielSimone. She is working with a talented team out in California on a re-branding project which is expected to launch the first week in September. We have strategically planned to reveal our make over during SFFW, where we hope to show our S/S13 collection. The uncovering of our new image will also happen to co-incide with our very own, brand-new retail website and an SF launch party! We are so extremely excited about this! Stat tuned for more details soon.

Fashion Shows

Of course we can’t forget the shows. We had a very fun time showing at KTWIN Show at The Brick (Downtown Minneapolis).


Upcoming

We have several things coming up in the next few months that we are really excited about. Here are a few shows to put on your calendar:

Fashion Fighting Stigma– St. Paul-  August 16th 2012 Landmark Center
SF ArielSimone Launch Party- San Francisco – September 7th, 2012
MNFW The Shows-Minneapolis- September 25-27th, 2012
SFFW– San Francisco – September 24th-30th, 2012

Make sure to keep coming back to learn about upcoming events, new garments, behind the scenes at photo shoots, fashion tips and more! Also, our Facebook fan page has a lot of really great daily updates to keep you in the loop about styling, events and inspirations. Thank you for your support–ArielSimone is not what we are without all of you. Wishing you a fresh, happy, and love-filled Summer 2012!

Summer Parties by Lucie Jane

One of my favorite things about summer in the cities are outdoor parties and events.  The art and music festivals are amazing, and backyard BBQs and friends gatherings make my night.

I also am super excited about my family’s summer trip to San Francisco, and along the West coast.  We will be spending a week around California, and then will spend a week or so traveling to Vegas, the Grand Canyon and a few other touristy locations 🙂  Maybe I’ll even get a chance to see Nkechi while I’m out there!

Here are a few photos of a couple of fun parties I already have attended this summer season!

Kevin and I at his fraternity’s summer kick off party.
Kevin, myself and Kevin’s dad at a family shindig 🙂

And one fashion shot kevin snapped while out at a summer party 🙂

xo, Lucie Jane