Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coming Up - Vogue's Sally Singer plus Local Designers

Don't miss the opportunity to see Anna Wintour's right hand - Sally Singer, Features & Fashion Director of Vogue magazine. She'll be at the Commonwealth Club this Tuesday for "Why Fashion Still Matters" and will share how Vogue is responding and adapting to this unchartered, new era for the fashion industry. The event starts at 6:30pm with check-in at 6:00. For more information and tickets, click here.

From the creators of the popular Capsule Design Festival comes UNION - an independent design festival in Hayes Valley this Sunday. 130 designers, from fashion to crafts, will be out with their best. The festival runs from 11am-6pm on Hayes Street at Octavia. For more information, click here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

IFCSF Earth Month Mixer Points the Way Ahead

The Innovative Fashion Council recently hosted a networking event and cocktail party to celebrate April as Earth Month. The event was held at The Entertaining Space, a fantastic facility close to the San Francisco Design Centre that can also accommodate film screenings within the comfort of your own living room.

Flat screens on the walls were playing reruns of Project Runway, a show that proved to be inspiration for St. Vincent de Paul Society's annual Discarded to Divine event (coverage to be posted soon). Sally Rosen gave a brief talk about the evolution of the event, which raises money to help the poor and the homeless. As the event’s creator, she was looking for a creative way to use the piles of women's clothing that come into St. Vincent de Paul every week. After seeing an episode of Project Runway she decided to contact the local fashion schools in San Francisco and engage their students to transform these discarded items into one-of-a-kind couture ensembles. The idea worked, and the event is now in its fourth year of partnering with the De Young Museum. This year's event had 125 handmade pieces to be auctioned and included an appearance and gown designed by Project Runway’s Sweet P.

Deepa Natarajan, who is the Program & Tour Coordinator for the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, offered the second inspiration for the night. A lover of fashion and plants alike, Deepa has been working very hard to help people make the connection between fashion and plants, especially with her own colleagues. The 34-acre garden contains an array of fibers and dyes that are used in sustainable fashion, and she'll be hosting a Green Gala fundraiser on Sunday, June 28th where models will glide down a runway in a redwood grove. Local designers will show pieces made from materials found in the garden, and local wineries and caterers will provide seasonal and organic food and wine. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

The IFCSF continues to offer networking mixers and educational events as a resource for the local sustainable fashion community and enthusiasts. Be sure to join our Facebook page for updates and invitations to events. Also thanks to our sponsors for the night, which included The Entertaining Space, Swan's Neck Vodka, Perkins Coie, VehicleSF, DJ Melvin "J and Warren diFranco Photography. Also thanks to Art Point who offered IFCSF attendees a special discount to their fundraising 80's bash (ArtPoint Turns 21) later that night at Mezzanine.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Recycled Rules the Runway

"Someone's trash is always another's treasure."  

St. Vincent de Paul took this to heart while hosting the 4th Annual Discarded to Divine event on May 7th, 2009 in San Francisco.

And what a turnout it was!  A lively, eclectic, fashion forward crowd was energized to see fashion innovation at its best, and more importantly came together to support those less fortunate.

Utilizing recycled materials from donated clothing at St. Vincent de Paul,local designers and students (from the Academy of Art University and FIDM) created updated looks for auction.

A few crowd favorites were the "Ode to Spring" boots by Nancy Dong, made from discarded leather.  Reminiscent of the Nancy Sinatra days, these white boots with 'peek-a-boo' cutouts, silk ribbons, flowers, and beads were a steal at $250!  

The raincoat dubbed "Le Plastique Fantastique" made exclusively from Fiji water bottles had me wishing for rain.

Project Runway designer, Sweet Pea, made an appearance with her luxe cocktail dress made from a Vintage Oriental coat.

Winning the highest bid at $700 was a gorgeous silk drape coat that had everyone in awe.  With styling similar to that of Oscar de la Renta meets Elie Saab, it's hard to believe this beautiful creation was made from recycled silk dupioni pants.

Even more amazing is that the FIDM graduate, Joseph Singh, only began designing two years ago!  And to think this was the first time he'd ever presented...But three months and 250 hours of design work brought his vision to life.

 "If you think you can't, you can", he says.  Spoken like a true designer.