The Ridiculous and Sublime

Gorgeous Edwardian Ball Pieces By Yabette

by Christine Donley Allababedi

The San Francisco Edwardian Ball is right around the corner.  Swankety Swank is showcasing several fantastic pieces in stock that are perfect for the Edwardian Ball (and New Year’s Eve!) and Yabette is now taking orders for custom pieces.

You can find the pieces now in the Swankety Swank Shop.  For more information on ordering a custom Edwardian Ball piece, please email



crimson cape back web

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Swankety Updates: Trunk Sale wrap-up and new merchandise by Yabette, gibbous, and Rykovich.

As usual, it was an exciting week at The House of Swankety Swank.  A warm, mostly sunny afternoon brought lots of shoppers and artists to Saturday’s Trunk sale.    Old favorites and new guest artists provided a variety of unique, handmade products for our customers.   If you missed July’s trunk sale, fear not!   Just stop by Swankety Swank  Tuesday through Sunday to shop these artists and many more!  While you’re here, check out some beautiful new pieces from Yabette, Rykovich, and gibbous.   We’d love to see you, so come on by.

Trunk show street view with Kim of Krafty Kitten

Trunk Sale wrap-up

One of our longest working artists, Amy Barrios of ICJ designs, with us from the first year in our old shop on McAllister Street,  brought out some of her beautiful, classic jewelry.  Amy is a self-taught artist and former English teacher!  In fact, the name of her line is a play on words related to her past profession.  “ICJ’s name (Independent Claws Jewelry) is an allusion to grammar because the strands are just like independent clauses – they work independently or with dependent clauses (the pendants and clasps.) The hooks on the ends of each strand are called lobster claws; hence the name.”  Using  high-quality materials and stones, Amy’s necklaces can also be worn as bracelets or seamlessly combined with other strands to create your own unique, beautiful combinations.   If you didn’t get a chance to see Amy’s work at the Trunk Sale, please stop by and check out her jewelry at Swankety Swank.

Amy Barrios of ICJ designs
Table detail Amy Barrios of ICJ designs

We also  had several talented guest artists participate. Katya Khan of  Urbanomad with twine jewelry and other accessories, and Tiana Saul of Sayuri Designs (below with feather hair clips) both brought more unique and beautiful accessories to Swankety Swank’s customers.

Trunk sale guest artist Katya Khan of Urbanomad
Pretty display by trunk show guest artist Tiana Saul of Sayuri Designs

Adrian of Salvaged and Stitched brought these super cute salvaged pillows in whimsical designs.   Salvaged and Stiched is a local family-run business.  His pillows “are made with upholstery remnants, and have either upholstery or apparel fabric  appliques. Vintage buttons are used for eyes, leather or suede for beaks and thick wool or mohair yarn for delightful long slender legs.”  You can now find his work everyday at Swankety Swank.

Adrian of Salvaged and Stitched now found in Swankety Swank.

Kim of Krafty Kitten, makes the cutest, sassiest,  bones and flowers hair accessories.  A recent graduate of Art Institute of CA-San Francisco, Kim has been making work as Krafty Kitten since 2007.  She calls her grandparents her inspiration since they fostered her passion and skill from a young age.   Her grandfather passed on sewing skills he learned as a young man in Mexico, so her work continues a line of family tradition.  Some other inspirations are rockabilly, cholabilly, psychobilly, pin up, punk and mexican culture.   You can find more of Kim’s Krafty Kitten work at Swankety Swank.

Kim of Krafty Kitten helps a customer
Krafty Kitten table

New furniture by Yabette, clothing and accessories from gibbous and Rykovich

Yabette recently finished a lovely new table.   Turquoise blue with a hand-painted, green leaf adorns the top.  This piece, like all Yabette’s work, is a well-built piece of furniture that was in need of some TLC and refurbishment to bring it back to life and ensure it’s use long into the future.

Yabette Blue table with hand-painted green leaf, $250
Yabette Blue table with hand-painted green leaf, $250

Artist Kurtis Rykovich’s pop-surrealist style fits perfectly at Swankety Swank.  Kurtis has participated as both fine artist and a designer, and now he has some beautiful one of a kind, hand painted summer blouses and t-shirts, each with a custom, removal broach.   His hand-painted t-shirts come in sizes from Small to 3X.

Rykovich embellished blue blouse, $98
Rykovich embellished blue blouse, detail removable pin, $98
Rykovich sandy giraffe tee, $75
Rykovich sandy giraffe tee, removable pin detail, $75
Rykovich orange silk blouse, $80

We had heard that the designers at gibbous were passing a summer cold between them, so we were extra surprised when they re-stocked the store with quite a few newly created pieces.  When design calls, nothing can keep the designers at gibbous from answering!  We hope y’all at gibbous will be getting back to %100 soon.

gibbous calls themselves “a miniature fashion house of hearts and hands” that collects cast-offs of the past to create your re-newed, favorite, how-did-I -live-without-this fashion pieces.  I should warn you; much like a tatoo, once you get your first gibbous piece, you’ll want more and more.  The collective of 4 designers re-uses a variety of materials, victorian clothes, stained silk slips, buttons, coins, keys, to re-fashion material menageries, sans patterns, into unique items you’ll never find in any department store.  like all of our designers, gibbous creates pieces you can wear with pride.  they strive to undermine disposable fashions manufactured in far-off sweat shops one stitch at a time.

gibbous hat, detail 1, $60
gibbous hat, detail 2, $60
gibbous Hannah Patch Skirt $180
gibbous white blouse with pink details, $60

And a final reminder, stop by to see the Team Valor show, curated by STORM, before it closes.  This is your opportunity to see some original artwork by some of the Bay Area’s best comic book artists.

Team Valor show opening

Photographs and writing by Aurelie Sandrine

Indie Artist Trunk Sale This Saturday!

Swankety Swank Fashion Forward, March!
At Swankety Swank, we are bustlin’ with excitement about the vendors we have participating in this Saturday’s Indie Artist Trunk Sale!  Here are a few items by their respective creators so you can get a sampling of some of the amazing one of a kind handcrafted work that will be available to you!

Kim of Krafty Kitten has been sewing since she was 8 years old and is inspired by rockabilly, cholabilly, psychobilly, pin up, punk and mexican culture.  Above, Krafty Kitten showcases a blue and white polka dot halter dress.

Sayuri Designs creates handcrafted feather accessories for hat and hair!

Salvaged and Stitched produces unique hand made home decor!

Ryan Humphries creates etchings, woodcuts, screenprints, monoprints, drawings, ceramic sculpture and oil paintings. His work combines disciplined, delicate draughtsmanship with unihibited imagination.

Satin Corset creates jewelry that evokes vintage, antique and Victorian nostalgia.  They describe their work as “Sweet, vintage chic. Victorian opulence. Charmingly antique, rustic redux. Flowers, pearls, glass, antique brass, little details, sparks of color & whimsy.”

Yabette and the Swankettes at Lyres & Lace

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of accompanying Yabette and her Swankettes (aka:  models) Katherine, Eartha, Dex, and Andrew to the Lyres and Lace: Music and Fashion Show at the Swedish American Hall.  For this show, Yabette combined her sustainable and up-cycled fashion pieces with hand-painted canvas corsets and patches, creating wearable art.  When the crew arrived, we were immediately sent to a photo session set-up by the organizers.  It was a bit chaotic, as all the participating designers’ models came in and out to have their photos taken before going on the catwalk.  It was here that I got a really good look at Yabette’s work.  Her goals for “Honoring Beauty, Earth, and Age” were well represented.  Yabette’s artwork translates well to fashion because the expression of movement only enhances the beauty of her designs.  She was unique in having the only male model and the only plus-sized model in the show.   The setting of the Swedish American Hall was the perfect backdrop for this music and fashion show and we were really inspired by the environment, the musicians, and the other designers.   Overall, the night was a smashing success.

See something you love?  Can’t live without?  All pieces are available for purchase at Swankety Swank.

Photographs and writing by Aurelie Sandrine

What’s News at Swankety Swank?

I recently stopped by Swankety Swank to check out Yabette’s new work for TONIGHT’S  Lyres & Lace: Music and Fashion Show, tag-lined “Music and fashion of the romantic and bizarre” at the Swedish American Hall.  As usual, the store was looking dreamy, but the vibe was electric with creative energy.  Yabette was paiting and finishing up her work for the show.   She’ll  be showing her hand-made and hand-painted designs and Swank-styling all the models for the fashion show.   Some of your favorite Swankety Friends of all sizes will also be modeling in the show.  It’s great to see Yabette’s rich painting style and aesthetic used in another way.   The new pieces are beautiful; I can’t wait to see them on the Monsuiers et Madamoiselles tonight.   Are you free?  You should join us at the show.  The other designers showing are: stargarten x Daughter Earth (Isabelle Le and Katy Tanis), Claire Wheat-Fong, Leticia Huerta, The Street Collective, Black Lotus, and Lecon de Vetement. There will also be all-acoustic musical performances by Mariee Sioux, Foxtails Brigade and Judgement Day with surprise guests.  The event is hosted by Mary Van Note.

While Yabette was painting, Eartha Goodwin was busy finishing up Swank Speak! 4, which is looking really good.  Make sure you pick up your issue of Swank Speak! 3 while you still can.  Swank Speak! 4 will be released on June 18th at the Team Valor Reception.

I noticed quite a few new pieces, so I snapped some pix of  a few.  There are so many beautiful new things…some really special pieces sure to make anyone much happier (and for much longer) than another a la mode item from Forever 21.  Yabette recently finished a lovely Blue and Gold French Bergere chair, perfect for relaxing with a friend over a cup of tea.  Tres Bien.

Stop by and see us some time.

Photographs and writing by Aurelie Sandrine

SwankSpeak #3 Available Now!

SwankSpeak! #3
The 28 page second issue of SwankSpeak! is a meaty magazine created with sincerity, intelligence and love. This delicious issue #3 (limited print run) features:

Interview with artist, designer & Fleuvog Award Winner Phoenix Zoellick!

Photographic fashion story “Serendipitous Society” by Eartha L. Goodwin featuring a dozen Swankety Swank artists/designers and Jim Siegel. master of the Westerfield Mansion!

Creative Genius, a column about inspiration & art with essays by Tom Napack (Dangerous Muse), Konstantin Pogorelov (Couscous Collective) & Zan Christensen (The Mark of Aeacus)!

Muse of the Month Miranda Caroligne of the Haight St. boutique Trunk!

Galaxy Runway, a two page comic strip by STORM, creator of Princess Witch Boy!

If you love this issue of SwankSpeak! (And we think you will!) consider purchasing a year’s subscription!

Start Your Art Walk With Swank Style!

Divisadero Art Walk
Hey fabulous folks!  Do you enjoy art, good food and shopping?  Would you like to be a part of the exciting evolving renaissance of Divisadero Corridor?  Make sure you mark Thursday, June 3rd on your calendar because it’s time once again for the Divisadero Corridor Artwalk and Swankety Swank is the first stop!

Yabette & STORM

DJ Rio will be spinning funkadelic tunes all evening and STORM (SF Weekly’s Best X-Men Tarot Reader) will be reading 3 card spreads for ten dollars from 7pm to 10pm.  This a good opportunity to get a taste of the X-Men Tarot X-perience which is an hour long reading for only forty dollars!
Kurtis Rykovich's "Nesting Among Lemons"

Come check out the amazing artwork we have on display! The painting above is titled “Nesting Among Lemons” and was created by the fantastic Kurtis Rykovich!  We have two more pieces by Kurtis and you simply have to see them in person to experience their exquisite sweetness!  We also have gorgeous oil paintings by Simone Coulars, men and women’s clothing by amazing designers like DAS, gibbous, Wayward Shifties, Zunique, Wysterium, and many more, feather hairpieces by Eileen, leather cuffs and belts by Project TransAction, and SF Weekly’s Best Local Skincare Line By Nieves!  There’s much more to see and experience at Swankety Swank, so come on down to the Divisadero Artwalk and see for yourself!  Thank you for supporting local handmade goods!

The House of Swankety Swank Presents: The Emerald Moon Affair

Beltaine:  When sky and earth collide, the fires of creativity are ignited…
Emerald Moon promo
Lords and Ladies, don your finery and join us on May 1st from 7pm until 11pm as we celebrate the Beltaine Spirit of Spring’s Awakening with Art, Fashion, Music and Revelry!

Artwork by:
T. W. Chui
Laura Parsons
Kathryn Bernard
Sarah Woodward

Fashions by:


Music by Foxtails Brigade

Also featuring Heroic Tarot by STORM!  Receive a 3-card reading and discover reflection through STORM’s signature divination skills!

Join us as we reflect on the growth we have achieved this year and tie on a ribbon of intention on our Maypole!

$10 Sliding Scale Admission.

Emerald Moon promo back