The de Young museum’s foray into fashion these past few years can largely be credited to Jill D’Alessandro, curator of costume and textile arts. Since joining the museum in 2002, the Fulbright scholar and East Coast transplant has schooled us on the sartorial arts with such exhibitions as “Vivienne Westwood: 36 Years in Fashion,” “Yves Saint Laurent,” and of course, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.” Here, she picks the best of SF in regards to style and design.
Atelier:The Workshop Residence
Bay Area arts patron Ann Hatch “has done it again with The Workshop Residence. Her art-filled shop is truly novel in concept.” Artists and designers are invited for one-week to two-month residencies to create exclusive work. Shop limited-edition pieces, including Martha Davis shoes with black acacia wood heels.
Retail Redux:M.A.C., the Yellow Building
Last May, Ben, Jeri, and Chris Ospital opened a second location in a converted 1860s stable known as the Yellow Building, also home to Sightglass Coffee, Dig Wine Shop, and Piccino Café. Shop for European and Asian labels, including Dries Van Noten and Commes des Garçons, as well as skin-care, home, and pet products from local brands.
Landscape Design:Presidio Habitats
“San Francisco strives to remain in harmony with its abundant natural surroundings.” This exhibition of landscape habitats designed for specific animals defines this ambition. “‘Winged Wisdom’ by Philippe Becker Design for the American Robin is one of my favorite commissions.”
Eyewear: Spectacles of Union Square
“Their selection of eyeglasses is so good, I am considering giving up my contact lenses.”
“Owner Donald Gibson has created an antique oasis on Clement Street with a beautiful assortment of everything from French tableware to Central Asian textiles.”
Custom Bags:April in Paris
French artisan leather worker Béatrice Amblard uses her centuries-old craftsman techniques learned at Hermès to create “some of the most exquisite leather goods in the city,” including iPad cases, Kelly-esque bags, and modern dog beds.
Artful Shopping:La Boutique L’Art et La Mode
In an airy bi-level loft, La Boutique is part contemporary art gallery and part curated shop with such labels as Athé Vanessa Bruno and Zadig & Voltaire. The store “brings a fresh European aesthetic to SF.”
Gardener’s Go-To:Flora Grubb
Bursting with exotic blooms and succulents, Flora Grubb is an oasis. “Flora’s delicate sensibility permeates her arrangements. Shoppers can bring home garden-inspired products, as well as the garden itself.”
Brimming with sleek, low furniture and mint-condition accessories, Valencia Street’s Monument is the still “the best place in the city for midcentury modern design.”
Shopping District: Valencia Corridor
“On the weekend, I like browsing the boutiques on Valencia Street. The renovation in 2010 [of the blocks between 15th and 19th streets] has made the experience all the better. I love the tree grates that are now cast with Day of the Dead celebratory images. My favorite shops are Dema, Gypsy Honeymoon, and Casa Bonampak…to name a few.”
Edited by Chloe Harris Frankeny. This article was published in 7x7's June issue. Click here to subscribe.