As we arrive at the Zarif Soulye Fashion Gallery (ZSFG), we’re greeted with a live band and the exciting sight of live mannequins posed and still in the gallery’s tall glass windows. In one window they are clothed in jewel-toned, beautifully cut women’s spring wear. In the other, sexy crocheted bikinis, intricately woven in various bright colors, with plenty of skin shown. My favorite thing: these were clearly attractive women, but they were real women; as in blemishes on display and they didn’t give a hot damn! They knew they were beautiful regardless and were posing as if their life depended on it. I give that the old “two snaps and a twist” of approval. Get it girls!
ZSFG is owned and operated by Jowhari Zarif Trahan. Oakland born and raised, in 2013 she decided to create a type of space where “fashion and photography [could] meet.” Zarif Soulye Fashion Gallery thus was born as a space of creativity, networking, discovery and encouragement. Every month Jowhari showcases indie designers.
Two weeks freshly graduated from the California College of the Arts and just 21 years of age, TasLeem Lee is certainly not stopping to catch her breath. Her women’s summer/spring collection is truly beautiful in its color palette, structure and attention to detailing. Feminine, sexy, classy and oh so flattering to many sizes, it stays true to her favorite fashion era with 1950’s nostalgia apparent throughout. My favorite piece from the collection is this one piece jumpsuit shown below on the left. I love everything about it from the sheen of the fabric, bright contrasting colors, mixed textures, golden zippers and funkily angled pockets:
Creator of clothing line I Am Very Conceited has already gained some notoriety in the fashion industry for her high end couture designs. She has been mentioned in British Vogue and Conde Nast: Traveller, amongst others. This Sunday she debuted her very first swimwear collection: “Untamed” , that consists of intricately crocheted patterns and peek-a-boo designs. These delicate pieces might not sculpt or conceal much, but the good news for us bigger busted or fuller figured women is that they can be made in any size and I think I could even slip in underwire (I’m pretty crafty). This is a swimwear line not for the timid. Think double sided sticky tape because things definitely need to be placed just so.
You can find Jowhari’s footwear line “Zarif Soulye” (translates to Elegant Footwear) at ZSFG and more info about her space here: https://www.facebook.com/Zsoulyegallery
I Am Very Conceited‘s swimwear collection “Untamed” will drop the first day of summer!
Stay tuned for Tasleem Lee’s collection…
Photographs courtesy of WYV writer Chani Bockwinkel