Monthly Archives: October 2010

Paddington Bear: The Metreon, San Francisco

After I took this shot I was scratching my head for a moment, trying to think of who she looked like. It felt familiar yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it hit me…

“Dude! That coat reminds me of Paddington Bear!

Even though the sleeves are a wee bit longer than they should be, I actually like it on her –  it contributes to her look. She’s so freakin cutesy that the longer sleeves make her ever more so. But then you see that patch of exposed skin on her thigh and you think “HEY NOW! Not so innocent, eh?” This isn’t a piece by piece replica of Paddington Bear but it is a good interpretation. Instead of knee high boots she uses (above) knee high socks.

Is that weird? Is it weird that this outfit is young and girly yet sexy at the same time? I guess this situation is similar to the controversy revolving around those sexy Glee pictures in this months GQ. Aww crap! Come to think about it, I don’t even know how old she is! PLEASE! CHRIS HANSEN, I CAN EXPLAINNNN!!!!!

**This girl is also a local fashion blogger so please show some love and visit her site! (**


Filed under Winter/Fall, Women

Indie Bazaar 2010: Great Jewelry, Even Greater People

Can I be a complete and utter asshole for like, 2 seconds? Okay, so let’s be honest: when you’re walking down the street and you spot one of those tables with handmade jewelry/goods sprawled out onto a table, do you really give a shit? I mean seriously, it’s bad enough that your parents keep animal figurines in the house so why buy more? I don’t want a statue of a cat! I want something cool!

There were a bunch of really nice, custom made hats. (

When I first heard about the Indie Bazaar I was under the impression that the majority of these folks were selling just that: animal figurines and random nothingness. But being a good sport, I decided to check out this Indie Bizarre. What should I expect? Will there be grandmas and grandpas schlepping around fanny packs and purchasing flattened wine bottles to display over the fireplace? I didn’t come here to shop, I came here to scrutinize and judge.

But after looking around I started to feel a bit confused. Why aren’t there any bad/horribly designed figurines? And why is everything… cool?

I loved the rustic feel of their booth. It was very "gypsy"

All of these necklaces were original pieces from the early 1900's and were redesigned for a modern twist.

Perhaps I underestimated the powers of Batman (Owen Geronimo) because damnit Janet, this shit is pretty damn good! Taking a look at these items you couldn’t help but think “Wow! Someone really cared about this product!” The jewelry was crafted beautifully, the clothes were of great texture and quality, and the various knick-knacks were quirky and fun. Why can’t they sell this stuff down by Union Square?!

A cogs and lace belt buckle (Sayuri Designs)

(Sayuri Designs)

I'm feeling very thirsty....(Found Jewelry)

The Indie Bazaar lasted a girthy 5 hours which gave me plenty of time to walk around not once, but maybe 6 or 7 times. I chatted with a few of the artists and I got a peek into their world. Was it all glittery and gold? Surprisingly…no. A harsh reality struck when artist after artist, the same reply echoed across the room.

Me: How’s business?
Artists: Good! Well… there are a lot of people looking, but not a lot of people buying.

Some artists sold one item while most didn’t make a single sale. It was truly heart breaking. How can these true artists go about unheard of?

Check this out: This artist (Heathered) used maps of various locations and transformed them into little wallets! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

I was SOO gonna buy this: the same artist (Heathered) that created the map wallets also uses vintage newspapers!

HAAAAY GUURRRL! Keyboard cat meets Pickle surprise (

Give me a T-Shirt with a kitten and I am a happy man (

Maybe it's the Asian in me but I'm a sucker for anything cutesy like this (

After hearing the war stories of various vendors,  I had to step outside and get some fresh air. With rain pouring onto my face and cold air slabbing my neck like a wet towel, I started to think about these vendors in a different light: Despite our gut feeling to turn away from anyone selling us anything, we really need to give these artists a fair shot. These are the kids who grew up creating macaroni necklaces for their parents. These are quiet ones, always keeping to themselves and constantly drawing in their notebook.

One of the vendors from Fat Ninja

A cutie from Eclectic Gems. Oh, and check out that feathered head piece! Shweeet! (

Is this not the GREATEST SCARF EVAR?! I need to buy this AND that kitten shirt! (Factory 150)

Who did you want to be when you were younger? Did you wish to be an astronaut? A fireman? A dirty politician? The artists that showcased at Indie Bazaar are of a rare breed: they are doing exactly what they’ve always wanted to do as a child. In a way, artists are the only real people on earth. Their creations are simply bursts of creative energy converted into solid form.

Kinda looks like a flying V guitar!

These were some of the most detailed and sturdy necklaces I've ever seen (

As a fan of "chocolate" I was CONSUMED with joy when I saw this shirt. If only they had a men's version :/ (

Maybe that’s why Batman created this show:  to give the local artists a fair shot. A chance to be heard, to be seen, and to be appreciated. Even though dollar bills weren’t falling from the sky and into their pockets, I could still see smiles across their faces because at the end of the day, this is what they love to do. None of this stuff was mass produced but rather, built from scratch. From tired and mangled hands, chiseling away until all that was left was something perfect. This is art. This is style. It’s local, it’s current, and it’s a lot better than the crap they sell at the mall. Viva la (local) Artistas!

Ivan Lopez

Oh, and you should also buy a necklace or too while you’re at it! (locally, of course) :D


Filed under Special

Like Father, Like Son: De Anza College, Cupertino

This is going to sound uber materialistic and I should probably be tossed in a flaming bush for saying this but…. I wish I were closer to my grandparents so I could inherit all of their cool swag. Vintage ties, old school tie bars, and items that they had to “save 50 pennies” for. It’s these items that truly give life to an outfit; it adds an extra dimension that cannot be bought or fabricated: history.

Me: So what’s your favorite part about your outfit?
Him: Hmmm…I’m really not sure…
Me: How about the bag?
Him: Oh, well this used to be my dads when he worked on a submarine. He carried all of his blueprints in here.

Something tells me this guy is hiding something. Nuclear codes? Weapons of mass destruction? New naked photographs of Vanessa Hudgens?! OH THE MYSTERY! When he opened his bag it was pretty much the size of an apartment. He had like two books, a bunch of papers, a thermos, pens, pencils, and other things that I didn’t get a chance to look at due to the huge size of that thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found OJ’s glove in there.

So here’s to giant vintage bags, nuclear codes, and keeping it in the family.


Filed under Men, Winter/Fall

If the Rain Must Fall: San Francisco in the Rain

Due to the crappy Indian summer we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks, I’ve been waiting all season for the rain to fall. And not just those late night showers that creep into the wee hours of 4 a.m – I’m talkin’ about real rain! That get up, put on some boots and a sweater cuz baby, it’s RAINING!

The interesting thing about this outfit is how well the orange shopping bag goes with her outfit. It actually adds that needed "pop" of color.

I think there’s a sense of romance in the air during rainy weather. No one is parading around the street like a jackass, taking full advantage of the sun. Instead, rain makes everyone… peaceful. The strangers of the street keep to themselves as they rush to the next available awning as if they were back in grade school playing “lava monster”. So how do the ladies and gentlemen of San Francisco hit the wet and slippery streets? With style.

A straw hat (meant for sunny weather) used in rainy weather?! Now THAT is a rebel!

Colorful Willy Wonka bag? No. Makeshift black hijab? YES!

Meet Derek: A San Francisco Based Indie Fashion blogger. Be sure to check out his very stylish site at:

Despite your instincts of trying to stay indoors all season, be sure to hit the streets. I mean really walk around, and just enjoy this wonderful weather. Not only is this weather perfect for photography, it’s also perfect for meeting people. Everyone hides out in coffee shops and bookstores so it’s such an easy task to walk up to an attractive lady and say “crazy weather, eh?” But if you’re not a horn dog like me, trying to use the weather as an excuse to hit on girls, then just enjoy the view. You’re bound to meet some very interesting, and very beautiful people. Enjoy the weather, San Francisco.

Meet Alison Messinger: Fashion Stylist/blogger of


HOY! Keep your eyes open for my blogpost on Indie Bazaar, coming this Wednesday! See you there :]


Filed under Men, Special, Winter/Fall, Women

You Say You Want a Revolution: Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Okay seriously, can the placement of this photo be any better?! This outfit was made for this scene!

One of the best nuggets of style advice I’ve heard (and incorporated into my own lifestyle) was from a guy I don’t remember in a magazine I can’t recall (probably GQ): “Your outfit should never be perfect – it should have flaws. Having a flaw (a frayed cuff, a wrinkled tie, a hair out of place) will give it personality and life.”

I mean when you think about it…as stupid and opposite thinking as it may sound…he’s actually right. There are those outfits which feel like they’ve been pressed right out of a factory. It’s plastic, unauthentic, and not stylish at all. Flaws (be it a mismatching sock or a pocket square undone) not only make our outfits human, but they also make us less mannequin like.

So despite the pristine condition of this guy’s pants and shoes, I think he balances it out well with the negative break and the slightly frumpy sweater – It feels very Beatles to me. So here’s to fashionable flaws! Cheers matey!


Filed under Men, Winter/Fall

A British Girl in American Clothes: Pier 39, San Francisco

Me: Excuse me
Her: Yes?
Me: Hi, my name is Ranier and I’m a fashion and style photographer. I was wondering if I could take a picture of your outfit.

(her friend looks at her with eyes wide open)
Friend: holy SHIT!
Her: Well…I don’t know
Me: It’ll be very quick :)
Friend: Go on!
Her: Well… oh right!

She kinda looks like a British girl dressing up as an American – but with better shoes. The problem with shooting in high impacted/touristy areas in San Francisco is that, well…. you’re in spots where there are billions of tourists (which is not what San Francisco is about.) Now, even though I’d much rather saunter through a  neighborhood like Hayes Valley, these tourist spots are prime targets for my fashion photography. However, it’s always hard to find a good subject to shoot because most tourists walk around with GAP fleece wrapped around their waists *puke*

So it was definitely a pleasure to see such a fine lady like her walking around in such a San Francisco-esque outfit. Based on her outfit, I totally thought she was an American. Oh well, surprise surprise!

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Filed under Winter/Fall, Women

The Girl You Wish You Knew: De Anza College, Cupertino

In case you haven’t heard, UFC ring girl Arriany Celeste was recently featured in Playboy magazine. Now of course, I’m not gonna post nude pictures on this site nor will I get the beautiful Arriany Celeste to pose for (sigh) – but here’s the next best thing!

She’s gorgeous, she’s stylish, and she’s… Asian? Close enough! Alyssa is one of those girls that is so pretty that you’re just happy she knows your name. And like Arianny, Alyssa also does a bit of modeling herself. “Ok yea, so what? She’s cute! What about her outfit?”

I was listening to 2NE1 before I got to class and then I spotted Alyssa. As I was photographing her outfit I couldn’t help but notice how “K-Pop” this outfit felt. I mean it’s not screaming Asian but it does have that feel. It’s fitted where it needs to be (skirt), and flowy where it should (the top). And how about that million dollar smile? I think we should give Alyssa a round of applause ;)

Alyssa: I love this watch. It reminds me of my childhood

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Filed under Winter/Fall, Women

The Angel of Style: De Anza College, Cupertino

I was driving down Stevens Creek Blvd when I saw this guy standing at the corner wearing these white Angel wings. I literally stopped traffic for a good 2 seconds just to see who this was. I had my camera ready but I wasn’t about to jump out of my car and harass this man for a photo op. We went our separate ways but I kept wondering “who is that guy?”

2 days later, three of my friends and I were jamming on the guitar and singing songs about god knows what. A commotion erupted behind me and I saw the angel man speaking to a woman as they paced around the outside tables. He walked off with what appeared to be an irritated expression. Do I still approach him? It’s now or never. Fortunately, this guy was very nice, and extremely calm about it all. Usually when I photograph individuals they get all excited or nervous – but this guy? Nothing. It was almost as if he had done this before.

I mean LOOK at this outfit! I have NEVER in my LIFE seen someone sport wings and pull it off. NEVER! And as costumey as this may seem for some of you, the outfit itself is actually well tailored. The jacket is perfect in length (which most guys mess up on), his shirt is short enough to give length to his outfit, and his pants are skinny with just enough heft in em. But seriously… WHO IS THIS GUY?! What is his story? Where did he come from? Is he really an Angel? Where is going dressed up in that awesome outfit?

I started to ponder about this outfit for hours and hours and I could picture him as an actor, a rockstar shredding on a white electric guitar, a male model, or even an dancer. This is the kind of stuff I love to see: 100% unfiltered personality, pure bravado, and the ability to wear something without worrying about what others may think. Take a look everyone, because this is what style is made of. We need to construct a statue for this man! WOOT WOOT! VIVA LA ARCHANGEL!


Filed under Men, Winter/Fall

Guess Her Ethnicity: De Anza College, Cupertino

What ethnicity do you think this girl is?

a.) Mexican
b.) Colombian
c.) Native American
d.) Puerto Rican

Put your pencils down and pass your scantron to the left. If you guessed A, you are wrong. Actually, if you guessed B, C, or D, you’re still wrong! Believe it or not, this (incredibly pretty) girl is Indian. We all know that Indian women are one of the most gorgeous women in the world but one thing that people don’t realize is that Indian women can look very ambiguous when it comes to race. Some Indian women, like the one pictured above, can look completely Latin.

But before I get off topic and rant about how much I love Padma Lakshmi and Aishwarya Rai, let me take a moment to discuss the color of your skin in relation to the color of your clothes. You see, most people think that the color of your clothes should match other parts of your outfit (ex: your shoes should match your belt, your hat should match your shirt, etc). However, what a lot of people do NOT realize is that your skin color is also a part of your outfit.

If you’re aware of your own skin tones not only can you pick outfits to compliment such features, but also hide them. Have you ever woken up to find a nasty zit placed meticulously on the most EXPOSED area of your face? FEAR NOT! If you use colors that contrast with your skin, you could easily distract the chaos above with something flashy below.

Look at the color of that dress, doesn’t it gives off this sweet/candy tone to her skin? It’s not too bright, and not too dark. The fainted rose color acts as a backdrop to her rich features and dark hair. Now if you’ll excuse, I have a few Padma Lakshmi pictures that are in need of my ogling :)


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Filed under Winter/Fall, Women

Are You Beautiful Today?… De Anza College, Cupertino

If I wanted to, I could totally rip on this outfit. Not that it’s a bad outfit, but it definitely could use some editing here and there. But you know what?…I’m not gonna do it.

When I photograph people, I see all sorts of outfits and vibes. Some people emit confidence, while others seem a bit cocky. There are those who are edgy and stylish, and some who are classic and simple. However, my favorite type of outfit to photograph is the one that makes a woman feel beautiful. I can’t really pin-point what I see, or what needs to happen in order for this “beauty” to come out, but I know I can feel it. It’s this radiating glow that a woman gives off where she just looks happy. She looks happy, she feels bright, and you can just tell by the way she walks that she woke up that day feeling great about herself.

If you can make yourself feel that way, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing Chanel, Gucci, or Goodwill; as long as you can feel it, that’s all that matters. Granted that she would look a lot better in a full version of that skirt (in dress form), I still like this picture. She looks happy, yet shy, but also like she’s trying to refrain from letting out a giant smile – it’s kinda cute :)


Filed under Winter/Fall, Women