Tracy Chapman crocheted at a Fashion Show in San Francisco

Tracy Chapman crocheted at a Fashion Show in San Francisco

As published on San Francisco Chronicle, Tracy Chapman crochets at a Fashion Show in San Francisco last week. No videos or photos found so far on the www…

California Academy of Sciences fashion event

By Valerie Demicheva, on September 20, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle

A white Astroturf catwalk came alive among the taxidermic zebras and antelopes in the African Hall at the California Academy of Sciences on Sept. 5. Local designers’ Lan Jaenicke and Ken Chen’s luxurious spring collections contrasted with Daniel Chimowitz’s studded denim wearable canvases – and that was the point.

“We specifically didn’t want it to have a theme,” said curator Negar Siadatnejad of the eclectic mix of designers.

Romanian-born designer Camelia Skikos presented a line of dresses with a palette of tropical green, blue and orange prints created by cinematographer Milos Vlaski. Juxtaposing silk and neoprene (usually reserved for wetsuits), Skikos evoked the elements of the natural world, namely fire and water. “It’s about duality, pairing very sculptural pieces with natural organic shapes,” Skikos said.


Sara Shepherd used charmeuse silk for its framing rather than flowing properties in her urban and very feminine collection made with meticulous tailoring and plenty of Victorian-era sensibility. Her pieces included an ivory skirt with pleated cape details, smoky gray Napa lamb leather shorts and a charcoal bamboo jersey dress with the slightest leather inlays.

The show’s finale was the most spectacular. Artist Lucien Shapiro’s masks represented either something he’d longed for or “experienced in my own life,” he said. One mask that dealt with what he called “sinking rejection” was made of nearly 1,000 beer-can tabs that undulated around the model’s face like scales on a fin.

The show concluded with a burst of applause from more than 200 guests, which included singer Tracy Chapman.

Earlier that evening, Chapman took part in the crochet jam organized by artist Ramekon O’Arwisters. Much like the assortment of designers that night, O’Arwisters’ 5-by-4-foot quilt welcomes diversity.

“Crocheting is a conduit for people to meet across social and economic barriers,” said O’Arwisters. “It’s something that my grandmother and mother taught me, and they were always the most peaceful.”

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