Monday, June 30, 2008

Under Pinnings

This week we'll be focusing on the things you wear under your clothes - slips,camisoles, stockings, and more. What you wear underneath can make that great outfit fit just right- or add a pop of color to an otherwise simple garment. Stay tuned...

(Vintage Collage by Made Maka.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fashion Forward Thanks you!

Dear Readers,

Thank you for supporting us and helping make us Best Local-Topic Blogger in the East Bay Express 2008 - Best of the East Bay Reader's choice poll. We really have enjoyed working on this, and we look forward to bringing you more great fashion news and finds. FF.

Fashion Focus Friday: Molly M Designs

You may remember the East Bay jewelry designer Molly M from our green week in April. With beautiful laser cut designs and many pieces made from recycled materials, it's easy to be pretty in green with Molly M. Fashion Forward recently caught up with Molly to chat a little about her line.

FF: When did you start designing and making your own jewelry?

MM: I started making my own jewelry when I was in middle school - mostly beaded jewelry. Many years later, I learned how to use a laser cutter when I was doing my masters in architecture. We used the machine to cut out the pieces for architectural models. I quickly saw the potential for the machine to make intricate and unique jewelry.

FF: Tell us a bit about your design process.

MM: I start by sketching and thinking about a concept that I want the jewelry to embody. Then I scour around for materials, thinking about the concept, and how designs that embody the concept will fit with the materials I'm interested in using. So part of my work is conceptually driven, part is driven by the inherent beauty in materials.

FF: Who inspires you, and who are your favorite designers?

MM: I like a lot of op art and minimalist art like Sol LeWitt, Ellsworth Kelly, and Bridget Riley. I also get inspired by natural forms.

FF: What are your favorite local shops or designers?

MM: Drift Denim is a great store. The owners, Alfonso and Johnelle, own three or four stores in downtown Oakland and have been a pivotal part of the new energy down there. One of my favorite designers is Julia Turner. I took a jewelry design class from her once and have always been inspired b her beautiful work. She mixes enamel, gold, ebony, etc. in a really amazing way. Alice Roche is doing really awesome work with silver.

FF: What advice would you give to other indie artists?

MM: Get your stuff out to the public, even if it is not perfect. Street fairs like Feria Urbana and Capsule are inexpensive and will give you a lot of exposure.

Find Molly M at:
815 Washington St
(510) 444-8815

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Sale at Magnet!

30-50% off on She-Bible, Del Forte, Rachel Comey, Charlotte Ronson, and more!

2508 San Pablo Ave

Get summer sass without leaving the house!

If you're having trouble finding a great swimsuit near your house, or if it's just too hot to brave the shopping scene, look no further! At Fashion Forward we've rounded up a few of our favorite online resources to help you find the perfect summer look.

Couture Candy has a huge collection of swimsuits in a variety of styles. They also have a neat feature that lets you see the suits from all angles - very useful when you can't try it on! Here's a few of our faves:

Sophia in aqua by Kushcush

Reversible bandeau bikini by Marysia Reeves

Goldie Cover up by Brette Sandler

Although you may only remember Delia's from middle school, this catalog/online store actually carries a great selection of inexpensive suits in a variety of fits. We especially like their selection of longer torso styled one-pieces and their bright, fun patterns.

Retro dot bikini with boy shorts

Heart Cinched Bandeau One-Piece

A great place to find simple suits in mix-and-match styles is J.Crew. With bright, fun colors, and tops ranging from demis to halters to bandeau, J.Crew is the perfect place to find the ideal bikini for your body type. 

They also have some really pretty patterned pieces as well, like this Florentine print one-piece.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Swimsuits in the East Bay

If you were inspired yesterday to go out and get a cute summer swimsuit, we have a few recommendations for places to shop. If you really dug the vintage look and would like the real deal for yourself, two of our favorite East Bay vintage shops, The Pretty Penny and Down at Lulu's, both carry a great selection of retro maillots. Unfortunately, my camera is M.I.A., so I wasn't able to capture any of these beauties on film, but rest assured that the selection is awesome. And the ladies at The PP promised a new selection any day now. Be unique and buy vintage!

And although we don't usually like to recommend shopping at the bigger chain stores, this season there are some great finds in a variety of price ranges at some of the bigger box stores. Our favorite selection of retro style swimsuits this season is at Urban Outfitters.

This cute sailor style suit would work on a variety of body types (whether sleek or curvy) and is simply adorable. We also really liked this ruffly black one-piece because of it's boy short style bottom with those cute little ruffles for extra coverage on the thighs.

And if you're looking for a two-piece with more coverage (and you didn't get enough ruffles with the one-piece) check out this adorable navy bikini.

Although it seemed the bulk of UO's collection this season is vintage-inspired, they do have a really pretty deep-v navy one-piece that's very sexy.

A great store to find simple but sexy suits is American Apparel, the best place in the East Bay to find this season's metallic and cut-out styles. It's also a great store to find really simple, solid color one-pieces and basic bikinis. Our favorite looks from AA are:

If you're feeling bold and sassy this summer, check out this awesome number reminiscent of 80's aerobics classes and combining two of this season's best looks - the bandeau bikini top and the deep-v one piece.

AA also has a great selection of cut-out suits. We especially liked the side cut-outs on this aqua swimsuit.

And if you're looking for something in metallics, check out this sexy bandeau bikini top in a shiny purple. We also just love American Apparel because their models look like real people and all of their clothes are made in California! Yeah!

Get swimming at:
2590 Bancroft Way
(510) 486-1300

2315 Telegraph Ave
(510) 981-1641

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fashion Forward needs your help!

Dear readers,

We need your help this week finding the best places to shop for swimsuits in the East Bay. As much as we love it here, we've noticed we're in a bit of a swimsuit drought. So, if you know of a great place to shop for suits this side of the bridge, send us an email and let us know!


Fashion Forward

Summer 2008 Swimsuits

This summer season there are a variety of swimsuit styles to chose from to suit any body type, from classic bandeau bikinis, to metallic throwbacks to the 80's, to retro styles that would woo any pin-up girl. Take a look at our recap of this season's latest looks, and check back in later in the week for the best local and online resources to get your own.

The hottest trend this summer is the cut-out style swimsuit. A great way to transition from your typical one-piece to buying your first bikini, the cut-out brings you the best of both world. Pick one in a great summery pattern to really be on top of the trend.

If you're not a fan of the plunging neckline style, go with side cut-outs or even the Monokini (shown below). Choose the location of the cutouts to highlight your favorite feature on your body. These suits are really great for tall, sleek physiques.
If you're ready to make the dive into a two-piece, the hottest look for bikinis this summer is the bandeau-style top. With more coverage than the string bikini, this look also has a little bit of a retro vibe.

We've noticed a lot of great metallic looks as well as adorable patriotic stripes (both pictured below).

FF's favorite beach look this summer, however, is the retro maillot that has appeared in various reincarnations.

Perfect to show off your curves, this style is super flattering and very retro chic.

Fun in the sun!

It's been hot as hell, so what better way to cool off than to throw on a sexy swimsuit and some sassy shorts? To get you ready to beat the summer heat, this week Fashion Forward will bring you the latest trends in swimwear and shorts and help you find where to buy them. Stay tuned!

Photo of retro swimsuit by Skinny Dip

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Inspiration Points

FF's mission is to bring you the best the East Bay has to offer in Fashion. There's a lot to be found here, for sure- even if we're not named along with London, Paris, Milan....

Here are a few other blogs from parts of the world that are not generally known as style destinations.

Come Thrifting with Me, is a style blog from Singapore. Check out the outfits and handbags this blogger scores! And, check out some street scenes in Singapore.

Check out Fashion Fabi's blog from Honduras. Who knew you could find YSL pumps and thrifted designer sweaters there?

So' Fashon is Romanian designer/blogger Diana Bobar's blog space where she talks about her fave fashion finds and SATC - it is also where you can check out some of her newest designs., is another Romanian fashion blog. This blogger is also a content manager at , a Romanian online fashion mag! Check out the daily outfit pick and then take a look at the egirl site.

Support the Arts! This Friday at Maniac Gallery in Oakland.

Maniac Art Gallery Opening This Friday June 20th!
From 8 to 11pm.

"MANIAC presents (EDIT) The Uncertain States of America, an exhibition of new work by six contemporary emerging West Coast artists working in social or political fashions from the metropolitan bases on the West Coast including San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. As an addendum to the 2006 internationally traveled exhibition The Uncertain States of America, EDIT presents new work from Chris Sollars, Mads Lynnerup, NDFTBK, Erin Allen and Taha Belal." Read more...

This is a chance to see some great art, support a local gallery, and to wear that great dress that has just been hanging in your closet!

MANIAC is located at:
387 17th Street No. 204
Oakland, CA 94612

Free Mimosas! Drift Denim Party! This SUNDAY! June 22nd

Join Drift for a fabulous Mimosa and Denim Party. This Sunday June 22nd from 11am to 3pm.
Drift will have mimosas of course, and special guests Herringbone Apothecary, Oneculture Denim, and DJ enaturalselection! And, 15% to 60% off denim. Fantastic!

815 Washington Street
in Old Dowtown Oakland.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Anniversary Party at Down at Lulu's this Sunday!

What woud WWWD do?

If you're not very fashion savvy, but really can't be bothered to drag yourself to the Walgreens to pick up the latest copy of Vogue, then do yourself a favor and check out WhoWhatWearDaily


A store, a gossip mag, and a fashion encyclopedia all-in-one, WWWD is the ultimate resource for the latest trends and street fashions. With new daily content with links to where you can find it online, you could easily supply yourself with a complete wardrobe without ever leaving the house.

FF's favorite part are the daily emails full of tips and techniques to look super fab. Once a week they also have awesome little videos to demonstrate how to wear the latest looks. 

Get savvy at:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Global Inspiration

While East Bay ladies certainly have style, it is sometimes fun to look to other parts of the world for style inspiration. And, with so many blogs dedicated to street style, it's now so easy to see what people are wearing, from Mexico City to Jakarta!

Here are some of FF's faves: is a street style site from Helsinki, Finland. The people spotted all have a fun and fabulous sense of fashion. The site also lets you know where they found their articles of clothing. (Most are thrift-ed finds or handmade!) Check out how they fearlessly pair unlike colors and wear far-out designs without a care. Great ready to be inspired to experiment with what's in your closet!

Facehunter is another street style site that travels to various cities like London, Mexico City, Paris, etc., and presents a variety of style. Look to London for how to wear current trends. Check out Parisian street style for timeless fashion combinations. And look to cities like Stockholm and Mexico City for fun and off beat outfits. is a more encompassing site - they scour the globe for the best in modern art and design. They also have a great fashion section! I mean really, where else can you get the scoop on Ukranian fashion week? They also have a Street Stalker section on their site. Check out a complete profile on people from London, Seattle, and Montreal!

There are many other sites out there with style from around the world- have fun and be inspired! Here at FF, we may just have to start posting some pics of our local fashionistas.

Monday, June 16, 2008


You may have already noticed a few references to the website Etsy scattered throughout our posts. Well, if you haven't already checked it out, you better do it now.

In a nutshell, Etsy is the ebay of handicrafts. But don't worry, these aren't your grandma's crocheted potholders. Most of the items for sale are high quality, beautifully made pieces ranging from jewelry, to furniture, to stationery, to soap. Basically, anything that anyone can make is on this site.

A few of my favorite features are the homepage - which has a handpicked selection of pieces with a unifying theme that changes a few times a day (great gift ideas!) - and the Shop Local option - which allows you to search for products by town (shop local, while online! Yeah!).

Many of our favorite East Bay companies and designers sell their wares on Etsy. A few examples (which you may remember from previous posts) are:

Etsy has saved my ass on numerous occasions, helping me to find gifts for impossible people - like my brother. Last Christmas he received a gift entirely found on Etsy, including soap made from beer and cuff links made from Star Wars action figure heads. Priceless. So, the next time you're looking for a gift, some local designers, or are just really bored and want to look at paper-mache deer heads, check out Etsy!

Viva la internet!

While we certainly encourage getting off your bum and spending your hard earned cash in our beautiful East Bay, some days you just really can't be bothered to get off the couch. So in a little change of pace, this week Fashion Forward brings you all of our best shopping picks from the interweb. Stay tuned for our favorite places to find cute clothes, fashion advise, and adorable accessories, all at the click of a button.

Photo source: