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Japanese retail whips SF into a frenzy -- but are they that much different than the chain stores we already have?

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN To the casual observer, it may have appeared as if I had taken a painful, rainy early morning Muni ride into SoMa for the sole purpose of eating plastic-wrapped Japanese pancakes filled with red bean paste in a chain store. But to adherents of the Muji phenomenon, I was actually witnessing the birth of cross-Pacific retail revolution.Read more »

Icy hot looks

Get fierce with winter fashion -- club-ready stunners and wet weather must-haves from local stores

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STREET SEEN Our stylist for this week's "Icy Hot" photoshoot Dick Van Dick was a little twerked from the party scene the night before, but in order to properly express the fashion aesthetic of his Arcam style collective, he was good enough to indulge me with a single quote.

"I believe in the power of the retrospective fashion sense," the Bay Area native texted me. "Nothing new ever happens. Recycle, reuse, resell." Read: vintage couture, the eternal refuge of the low budget club kid.Read more »

10 winter essentials

Stay haute with our picks for braving the cold

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culture@sfbg.com

MARINE LAYER HI-LO CROPPED SWEATER, $88

American Apparel's appeal fades when we discovered this line of comfy basics made right here in the city. Marine Layer (2209 Chestnut, SF; 498 Hayes, SF. www.marinelayer.com) specializes in men's and women's tees, but we love its warm-yet-trendy cropped sweater, whose hemline dips low in the back.Read more »

Fatshion

Author, sex worker, and fat activist Virgie Tovar dresses for visibility -- and you can, too

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN "Can I do a small rant on boobs?" Fat activist Virgie Tovar's boobs — I can see most of them in the swank North Beach cocktail bar we're sitting in — are really big. Many parts of Virgie are, which is kind of her thing. The editor of the recently-published anthology Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love, and Fashion (Seal Press) talks dirty to telephone sex customers during the day, and carries her curves with a pride that runs completely counter-current to all the ways we are taught to be ashamed of fat in this world.Read more »

Likes the name

San Franpsycho and Mill get the Street Seen once-over

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN "People were like, we wanna wear some clothing from you guys," San Franpsycho owner Christian Routzen tells me from the behind the counter of his DIY brand's newish (it's seven months old) location on newly-trendy Divisadero Street. "But we didn't make clothing."Read more »

Celebrate National Toy Store Day at some of our fave local shoppes

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There’s perhaps nothing in your life that will ever get you as excited as when you a youngster with a toy trip trip on your schedule. Not even the Giants winning the World Series twice in three years or scoring free VIP tickets to Outside Lands can come close to eliciting that brain-paralyzing gush of euphoria and innocent bliss.Read more »

Cheap basics, side of rainbow magic: Uniqlo's full-size store opens this week

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"We're trying to impress you with the amount of colors we have for socks," says Aldo Liguori, Uniqlo global director of corporate PR as he guides us through his Japanese clothing brand's soon-to-be-open San Francisco store. There are indeed, a lot of sock colors. The three-story Union Square space is home to many wonders, however. Walls of affordably-priced cashmere sweaters, a magic mirror, color-shifting staircases, heat-generating clothing, and -- perhaps most compelling to your reporter -- a $9.90 special on "Japanese engineered denim."

They have eggplant, dark gold, forest-colored jeans. An autumn palette rainbow. Grab them while they last. "They are manufactured in ChIina," said Liguori in a reserved cadence befitting a person whose office is in the Minato ward of Tokyo. "But to Uniqlo Japanese standards." Read more »

3D knits, canapes, moving mannequins: Shots from Fashion's Night Out

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Shots by Bowerbird Photography

Models and mannequins started to blend together. Downtown SF was abuzz with fashion frenzy on Thursday for Fashion's Night Out -- a multi-store extravaganza taking place in urban areas across the country.

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Is it hot in here, or is that just Maru? Uniqlo brings techy wonderclothes, cult cat to SF

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It was a foggy, sloppy evening in Golden Gate Park, and I was activating my gloom-whine during our walk to Pasquale's but then: HEATTECH. Thanks Uniqlo! Your Union Square pop-up, and impending West Coast flagship store opening, half-translated catch phrases, mega-cheap Hiroshima-born line of basic clothing, and all, saved my dinner date. Read more »

Never underestimate the importance of lube: Fetish fashionista Seven Mitchell on life in latex

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Modeling by Karma Zabetch

“I have to tell my grandma I make clothes for rock stars.”

The Tenderloin neighborhood's vivid street culture and its residents' bold use of alternative sexuality makes it a perfect home for fetish designer and performer Seven Mitchell. Mitchell, a six-foot tall beauty, is a latex designer at Mr. S Leather, not to mention the host of Ice Queen Sundays, a weekly drag and performance night at Truck.

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