San Francisco Folsom Street Fair

This uniquely San Francisco event returned for its 23rd year. People from all over the world attend this fair and this is not your typical street fair. The Folsom Street Fair focuses primarily on the leather and BDSM fetish community. Although it has its roots in the San Francisco gay community, the event has become more mainstream over the years drawing attendance from a wide cross section of the San Francisco community. The dominant theme is still leather and corsets but you never know what you’re going to see here. It’s not for the easily squeamish or the ultra conservative but if you go with an open mind, you may enjoy the wide variety of interesting costumes and toys for the bedroom.

Corsets are always popular and this one comes equiped with its own shield.
The Janus spanking booth is always a big crowd draw.
It’s not all about alternative looks. This is about as All American as they come.

The full gallery of the 2006 Folsom Street Fair can be found here.

Images from the 2005 Folsom Street Fair can be found here.

2007 Folsom Street Fair

Macy’s Passport Fashion Show

For the past 24 years, Macy’s Passport has increased social awareness of HIV/AIDS related issues, and raised nearly $22 million to benefit HIV/AIDS research, care, prevention and education programs. This year’s Passport show featured guest designers Richie Rich and Traver Rains of Heatherette. Sean John (the design, not the person) opened the show, M.A.C Viva Glam returned again to close the show.

As fashion shows go, the Passport show is by far the biggest and longest running show in San Francisco. It involved hundreds of people and includes very high production value rivaling some of the most elaborate stage shows. Although this year’s show still takes top ranks as the biggest fashion show in the city, it’s starting to look like a one trick pony. They seem have a formula and each year they make small substitutions to some elements and slap a new year on the program. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a formula that works but for patrons who attend each year, it can get a little repetitive. I mean how many times do we need to see M.A.C Viva Glam close the show with a sea of red gowns? This year’s show also seemed smaller and shorter as they cut out the Barbie kids segment. By far the most popular segment is the underwear segment. 2(x)ist replaced Calvin Klein as the designer for this year’s show and Bali was featured for the women’s segment. With all the designer lingerie labels out there, you would think they could do a little better than Bali. As in the past, there was a student design segment featuring selected designers from Academy of Art University.

The Passport show is completely produced in Los Angeles with most of the talent casted there. There is very little about the show which ties it to San Francisco other than the Student design segment. Wouldn’t it be novel if they offered a segment to feature local designers? Even if they didn’t include any local designers in the runway portion, they could still invite local designers to show during the pre and post parties which always include local restaurants offering samples. As it stands now, it feels like a show canned in Hollywood and dropped into San Francisco. Many in the San Francisco fashion community attend the show and this year was no exception.

San Francisco student designer Jason Christopher Peters was spotted on opening night posing with models Leigha (left) and Brooke (right). Fresh back from N.Y. Fashion Week, Jason tells me he has accepted an internship with Betsey Johnson in New York.

Also in the crowd was Michael Moskowitz of Gytha Mander whom I met at Gen Art’s Inspiration Defined show back in April. Michael designs an amazing line of finely tailored men’s wear and women’s wear and just has to be seen to be appreciated.

FIDM student designer Alli Lake was also in attendance checking out the crowd. Alli is working on a line of women’s swimwear.

Of course, no gallery of the Passport show would be complete without the token underwear shot so here’s one for the girls…

…and one for the boys.

This year’s image gallery contains 721 images from the opening night show. For comparison, you can also check out last year’s gallery. The images from the 2004 show can also be found here.

Gen Art Fresh Faces In Fashion Show

The Gen Art 3rd annual “Fresh Faces In Fashion” runway show was the biggest to date with over 1,000 San Francisco fashionistas in attendance. For the past 12 years, Gen Art has showcased the best emerging fashion talent in high-profile, group runway shows in both New York and Los Angeles. In 2003-4, the Gen Art runway expanded to include shows in Miami, Chicago and San Francisco. Gen Art shows invite the best new design talents in women’s wear, men’s wear and accessory designers to show their designs, free of charge, to a high profile audience of industry, press, celebrities and potential consumers. The ‘Fresh Faces In Fashion’ show focuses on emerging fashion designers who have launched their own collections in the past five years and who have already created at least one prior collection.

This years’ lineup included Bacca Da Silva, Black Horn, gr.dano, The 615 Project, and Verrieres & Sako. I have been personally following the designs of Jill Giordano and Brian Scheyer of gr.dano for the past few years when they first showed their line at the Effection fashion show way back in 2003. Their line has been refined over the years and the Spring ’07 collection is among their most refined and sophisticated to date. The collection was inspired by the 1964 film “I Am Cuba”, which contrasts the luxury of the mid-1950’s Havana jet set with the struggles of the Cuban working class. gr.dano’s ready-to-wear line elegantly emphasizes the variants of structure and fluidity with the glamorous and practical aesthetic that was mid-century Cuba.

Bacca Da Silva had the largest collection with both a men’s and women’s line. The menswear line included sticking pieces which combine luxurious cashmere and silk shirts, and polos with flashes of high design and dramatic colors. With his attention to details, Bacca made sure his models displayed his signature belt prominently by tucking in part of the shirt as they strut the runway.

Francisco Chaydez of Black Horn showed their Spring/Summer ’07 line which is a mixture of feminine, everyday casual and edge creating a look that is fresh, stylish and sharp. Black Horn represents a style that evokes a casual sexiness while showing off remarkable tailoring. Sparks of color and subtle fabric textures add to the simple color palette and strong garment shapes.

Jeanne Feldkamp of The 615 Project designed a line for women with a fresh, sophisticated take on style. The 615 Project blends a modern, wearable silhouette with old-world glamour. The sprint/summer ’07 collection plays on this convergence of new and old with pieces inspired by the contrasts of Cuba: lush, tropical colors and elegant retro-inspired shapes mixed with rough textures and unexpected materials such as jute and hemp.

Stephanie Verrieres and Kimie Sako are a dynamic design duo with a desire to create clothes that have a sleek sophistication and timeless-nostalgia. The Verrieres & Sako women’s wear collection is a melding of the designer’s unique cultural backgrounds and similar design aesthetic. Their selection of the fines fabrics evokes luxurious femininity and their love for sharp tailoring and fabric manipulation has become their signature technique. The spring/summer ’07 collection highlights the designer’s signature flair for fabric manipulation and dramatic style. The look borrows elements from the mid 20th century, encompassing streamlined suits and cocktail wear in neutral linen hues and smoky gray silks. Silhouettes synonymous with bygone eras accompany modern style and rich fabrics for a powerful new fashioned look. They closed the show with two beautifully tailored elegant gowns worth of a showing at the Black & White Ball.

As with any Gen Art fashion shows, the runway show is just the beginning. The after party ran pass midnight allowing patrons plenty of time to mingle and network with some of San Francisco’s most fashionable crowd. The party also showcased accessories designers Rebecca Ciccio (handbags), Tessapoppy Design (jewelry), and Tracy Matthews Designs (jewelry).

Gen Art produces dozens of events per year which include movie screenings, art exhibitions, and fashion shows. Membership in Gen Art includes complimentary or discounted tickets to all Gen Art events and is well worth the price of membership if you’re a social butterfly looking to make friends and network.

The runway gallery contains 621 images and the after party gallery contains 163 images. You can also check out a slideshow of 179 selected images which includes two images of each garment.

Check out the slide show of last year’s show here.

Portions of text were supplied by Gen Art and used with permission.

Melissa Rose Bickerstaff to appear in cycle 7 of America’s Next Top Model

Back on March of 2006, I received this email from model and fashion designer Melissa Rose (“Melrose”) Bickerstaff.

This is Mel Rose and I am writing to you for two reasons. The first is to eventually order some prints from you from the effections healing show you shot in 2004 – I also need a favor from you. I am trying to get a job with a company that needs me to take all of my photos off of the internet. I can go into further details after June but I am needing to take some photos off of your Web site.

My first thought was that she was auditioning for Project Runway since she is a talented designer who took home the “Best of Show” honors and “Most Creative” award for her work in the Art Institutes’ student fashion show in 2003. March 2006 was right around the time Project Runway was holding open calls for the next season and a few other designers I knew including Sari Pace and Bruce Beasley had gone down to the Los Angeles auditions. But when Project Runway debuted, there was no sign of Melrose so I knew it wasn’t that show.

Fast forward a few months and I’m having lunch with one of Melrose’s friends and she tells me that Melrose had indeed landed on a reality T.V. show which had already been filmed. Since the show had not been announced yet, the embargo was still in effect. Well, just last week I received this link showing where Melrose had landed. Melrose will appear in season 7 of America’s Next Top Model. If you click on the more info tab, there’s a video preview clip. From the looks of the other models, I think Melrose will do well. America’s Next Top Model debuts on September 20th on the CW network.

Here’s a shot of Melrose (right) backstage at a fashion show in 2003.

Images of Melrose’s fashion design can be seen here. Use the drop down menu and select Fashion-Melrose.

Technorati Tags: Americas Next Top Model Project Runway

IcerAir returns to San Francisco on November 4th

ICERAIR returns to San Francisco and it’s bigger than ever. While not as radical as last year’s ski jump down the steep hills of San Francisco, this year’s event will feature bigger jumps down a 100-foot high ski and snowboard ramp descending from the scoreboard at AT&T Park (formerly SBC Park, formerly PacBell Park). The ramp will extend over 350 feet in length and will be covered with over 200 tons of snow. ICER AIR is scheduled to take place on SaturdaY, November 4th, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. In addition, ICER AIR will feature the inauguaral San Francisco Ski and Snowboard Festival. The SF Ski Fest, co-organized with SnowBomb.com, will feature the best new gear from industry leaders such as Head Skis, Ride Snowboards, The North Face and many others on the promenade level of the stadium. Every major ski resort from the Lake Tahoe area will be on hand with special promotions for ICER AIR attendees.

Read this PDF for more info

Check out last year’s historic ICER AIR photos

Hidden feature of iTunes 7 now works with multiple music libraries

Apple released a major release of iTunes on September 12th. Among the major features is hard to find feature that allows you to manage multiple music libraries. After starting iTunes, hold down the option key on the Mac or Alt key in Windows. The Shift key also works in Windows. You will be prompted to ‘Create a new library’ or ‘Choose a library’. The feature comes in handy if you want to sort your music by iPod models or simply create a separate library for iPod synching vs another one that will not be synced to the iPod.

Check here for more information of the new features of iTunes 7.

Even more features.

Gen Art Launch Party For ‘Fresh Faces In Fashion’

Launch Party for Fresh Faces in Fashion

Gen Art Platinum & Higher Level Members and Fresh Faces in Fashion Ticket Holders

Monday, September 11th, 2006
7:00 – 10:00pm

W Hotel
181 Third Street
San Francisco, CA

Gen Art is proud to invite Platinum and Associate Producer members and Fresh Faces in Fashion ticket holders to the launch party for Fresh Faces hosted by the W Hotel. Come join us for this private reception and enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres compliments of the W Hotel, and get ready for the big event on the September 16th, 2006.

Check out my gallery from last year’s launch party here.