Street Seen

I sell a rat

Public street art as private purchase? Banksy's Haight Street rat turns up in Miami

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STREET SEEN Like many of his Bay Area art world peers, the beret-wearing rat that Banksy stenciled on the side of Haight Street's Red Victorian hotel in 2010 was in Miami for Art Basel week.

But sadly, our stenciled friend wasn't available for air-kisses. The rodent-adorned chunk of wall hung behind a velvet rope and its own security guard in the VIP lounge at Context, a new-this-year contemporary wing of the sprawling Art Miami art fair.Read more »

No brand

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 »

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 »

Weezy, take notes

Calling Lil Wayne -- events by Virgie Tovar, Bianca Starr, and Retrofit Republic make Bay fashion pop this week

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN Bianca Starr has not only owned a club (222 Club), boutique (eponymous), and soon-to-be clothing brand (same) in these foggy blocks — she also grew up in San Francisco and now raises and, presumably, dresses two brilliant little boys here. So after our photoshoot in advance of her locally made Wed/7 Style From Within fashion show, I ask her what Bay Area style means to her. She doesn't have a lot to say about color palette, designer influences, or silhouettes.Read more »

Cosmetic changes

Looking for a cruelty-free fall look? Swagger Cosmetics' got that shade

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN "Oh, now there's someone taking a picture of us," says Swagger Cosmetics founder Blake Karamazov, gesturing at a paparazzi who is snapping away through the cafe's plate glass window. No shade, shutterbug — drag visions being interviewed while eating vegan Asian pear pie at 2:30pm deserve a capture or 10. (But c'mon, next time ask first.)Read more »

Girl on wall

Badassery abounds at Los Muros Hablan, where Sofia Maldonado teaches her brand of Puerto Rican feminist street art

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN Welcome welcome, friends, to my new column. You'll wanna check back here for Bay Area style — clothes, weed, art, sex, y'know. But this week, international women's studies: a Puerto Rican street artist on domestic violence, in her home town.

It may have been the moment of my recent trip to check out San Juan's first street art festival.Read more »