Last Saturday Wear Your Voice was thrilled to attend our first fashion show since our launch, and we absolutely loved it! Oakland Fashion Network (OFN) presented a total of thirty-eight looks from fifteen Bay area designers at their inaugural ‘Make It Reign’ runway and trunk show. The event was held at the adorable Urban Stitch Boutique (formerly Runway Style House), owned by fashion expert and designer curator, Alanna Rayford. Co-founded by Oakland designers Paula Pfotenhauer (designer of JEAJA) and Sherry Koyama (designer of Harumi K), OFN’s mission is to connect local designers and industry professionals to share the joys and fears of making it into the the professional world of fashion design. A WAY more in-depth article about how dope OFN is and how they’re working to achieve their mission is soon to come, but for now, let’s dive into the designers, shall we?
Ya know that part in ‘Push It’ where homeboy pipes in, saying “This dance ain’t for everybody – only the sexy people…”? Well, that dance and this line have that in common. Futa Kashmir is ultra lux ghetto fab, and it is most definitely bringing sexy back. Jocelyn Bada, designer of Futa Kashmir, always wanted to recreate her grandmother’s peach, floor-length, cashmere dress, and thus, her one-hundred percent cashmere line, woven entirely in Oakland, was borne. But believe you me, this line ain’t no granny wear.
My first notes for the show were “Walking Sex”, because this little number – and I do mean little – was the first to grace the runway. Jocelyn says she made this playsuit with Iggy Azalea in mind.
Jocelyn is dedicated to making super high-quality garments with a textile that last a lifetime. She searched until she found a cashmere source in Scotland that treated the animals with respect, combing the cashmere from the animals instead of killing them. She sticks to one-hundred percent cashmere instead of a blend, so her lifelong pieces get softer with each wash.
This sultry off-the-shoulder piece is a “dress”. Or, even for most brave people, a sweater. Either way, it’s smokin’ hot. See the photo of the final runway walk for the full itsy-bitsy, ever-so-leggy effect.
Cashmere Futa Kashmir blazer/cardigan with men’s tank and pants – WHAT! Who knew? Men’s cashmere pants!
Jocelyn says, “Cashmere is so delicate – it’s like working with gold.” Speaking of gold, all the gold chains on her garments are plated with twenty-four carat gold. Bling bling, baby. And speaking of bling, Jocelyn was sporting some pretty amazing tooth bling, done by Foxy Bling, “The Tooth Fairy”. Check out our Instagram to see her tooth bling!
See what I mean about the” dress”? Skimpy, no? I’m telling you, this is the sexiest cashmere you’re ever gonna hope to find!
Harumi K is a clothing line designed by OFN co-founder, Sherry Koyama. Her line features spirited pieces with an urban vibe.
Chevron patterns are all the rage these days, but if you ask me, chevrons are forever.
The versatility of Harumi K garments allows you to mix and match them with items from your closet.
Sherry showed a diverse range of garments: a dress, a cotton top with a pencil skirt with piping detail, a color blocked silk tank top, a moleskin cape, and a solid black pencil skirt. Surely you can find endless to incorporate these items into your wardrobe!
All Harumi K clothing is manufactured in Oakland. Way to keep it local, Sherry!
Harumi K’s full debut collection will launch this summer. Keep your eye out for her !
Limited Union designer, Maurice Shipman, continually works to improve his craft with construction featuring fine cuts in an attempt to better articulate the body.
I’m generally not a big fan of camo, but even I appreciate this innovative denim soldier crew neck! Limited Union everyday denim trousers feature an iPhone storage compartment in the back right pocket.
This summer jacket is constructed out of silk dupioni and waterproof nylon, making it perfect for layering. It features a western back and front yoke with patch pockets under the front yoke to carry whatever your big heart desires. I’m telling you, that western back yoke looks dope!
This denim jacket with gold zipper detail features a front and back flap yoke, and two front pockets.
Vermeulen & Co. is ‘slow fashion for women on the move’. Sounds like you, right?! These red plaid cotton sailor pants paired with a matching capelet is one of my favorite looks from the evening, oozing unmistakable character and attitude.
Vermeulen & Co. designers, Bree Hylkema and Kyra, produce elegant garments, such as this fleece hourglass dress, that flatter a woman’s curves and are made out of fabrics with a great feel.
All Vermeulen & Co. garments are made locally, designed with a conscience, and range from sizes 2 to 18.
Carly Helgeson started sewing at a young age, and eventually went on to study at Apparel Arts, where many of the designers are honing their craft.
Her model worked the hell out of that shift dress and gold jacket!
Carly’s style works for a broad range of body-types, offering comfortable class.
Mademoiselle Lamb made its debut at ‘Make It Reign’, and what a debut it was!
Designer Callum Lamb says, “Honest. Quirky. Profound. Delightful. Light-hearted. These are the words Mademoiselle Lamb whispers in my ear as I work slowly, painstakingly, with the cloth. She guides my hand as I gently pleat and smooth, pin and adjust, and cut away until I reach the core: the garment worth wearing.”
Callum’s light-hearted designs exude class and ease.
Think Uptown effervescence…feminine, chic, classic…
We seriously freaked out about these west coast aqua sharkskin shorts. I mean, look at that construction! Bellow pleats in the front + double darts in the back = perfection all around.
We at Wear Your Voice can’t wait to watch this amazing line become a sensation! Way to channel your muse, Callum Lamb!
I have to say, I have a bit of a woman crush on Paula Pfotenhaur, designer of JEAJA. She is just a very cool woman, who designs a conscious, expressive line that celebrates the individual. The looks Paula presented at this show are pretty much what the twenty-year-old me would’ve thought I’d wear as a “grown up”. Incidentally, the nearly thirty-six-year-old version of me loves the line, too.
Paula explains, “I am galvanized by women who embrace their full figured bodies, mature curves or lack thereof, and just go on and turn heads with their vibrant style!” This means her garments hug the body in all the right places and flow loosely in all the right places. While Paula generally works with dynamically patterned knits, the garments from her new mini-collection shown at ‘Make It Reign’ reflect an evolution in her designs.
This project is especially near to heart because it gave her the chance to work with her son, Elijah Pfotenhaur, mural artist and owner of Painted Ladder Graphics. Drawing inspiration from ornate Edwardian wallpapers and the beautiful markings on butterflies and moths, she and her son applied stunning stencils to undyed natural fabrics such as hemp, silk, tencel, and organic cottons and wools.
After visiting over a hundred factories in China and Vietnam during her thirty year career in the garment industry, she vowed never to place an order with a fabric mill. Instead, she salvages pre-existing fabrics she finds, usually at a great discount if not free, often at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. Ninety percent of JEAJA manufacturing is done by people in the Bay area, including Paula herself. Her five years of quality control inspection experience resulted in an extremely sensitive eye for detail, and she only accepts the best craftsmanship.
Elijah’s hand painted and stenciled designs will only gain more character as the items wear, and wear they will. JEAJA clothes are all intended to spend more time on you than hanging in the closet.
JEAJA can be found at Urban Stitch Boutique (formerly Runway Fashion House), Resurrect, Loft 1513, and Kate’s Closet. She will be opening her studio two days a week for retail starting next month – it is located at 319 14th St., between Harrison and Webster, upstairs. Go check her out, and buy some of these awesome designs before they get snatched up!
– All images by Monica Payne
– Makeup by Janny Zheng and Kristine Rose Raqueno
– Hair by Altana Danzhalova
– Behind the Scenes Coordination by Jules
– Show curated by LaChe Milo
– Show emceed by DeAngela Cooks
– Show deejayed by Triangle Man
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our OFN ‘Make It Reign’ post-intermission coverage!