In Marin / CURRENTS
With back-to-school shopping on the minds of many, now is the perfect time to learn
about this fashion-minded local. If you haven’t heard of Simon Ungless, you are in for a
treat. Allow us to introduce you to a veritable force of the fashion world
who resides quietly (most of the time) in Larkspur. A former roommate
of and frequent collaborator with designer Alexander McQueen in
London in the ’90s, Ungless made his way to the West Coast in 1996
to become director of fashion at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco,
where the program enrollment has grown from 200 to more than 2,600. MIMI TO WLE
11 QUESTIONS FOR
1Favorite fabric for this fall? I’m going to be rocking corduroy this fall. Washed and softened.
2If you were to make a suit for Barack Obama, what color/fabric would you use? Prince William? Prince
Harry? Tony Blair? Barack Obama in charcoal vicuna.
Prince William in black melton; it tailors beautifully and
will give a very powerful shoulder. Prince Harry in navy
worsted. The dark blue is perfect for the touch of redness
in his hair. Tony Blair in a straight jacket.
3Opera/Symphony season is coming up — anything the ladies and/or men should not wear? What
color is definitely in? No fur, ever. None of those hideous
skirts that are both long and short at the same time. No
amusing printed shirts on men — ever. There is no one
color that is in; it’s all about wearing graphic, large-scale
stripes in multi colors. Think Dior couture. Fabric is much
more important than color. Bands of contrasting fabrics,
unexpected textures put together.
4Why Marin? My first weekend in S.F. back in 1996, a friend took me for a drive; we got coffee in Mill
Valley and then took Highway 1 to Point Reyes. I fell in
love instantly with the coast — plus I get to drive over the
Golden Gate Bridge twice a day; I never get tired of that.
5If you were to create a list of S. F. and Marin’s best dressed, who would make top five? Marka
Hansen. Head to toe, the most stylish person in Marin.
Epitomizes lifestyle chic. Gladys Perint Palmer (San
Rafael), as she has amazing pieces and finds in her
wardrobe. Tatiana Sorokko (Mill Valley) has impeccable
taste. Julie Chaiken (Tiburon) knows how to dress the
modern woman. Toni Wolfson (Mill Valley) is one of the
nicest and chicest women I know.
6Favorite food, and where you like to eat it? India Palace Restaurant in Mill Valley
— I’m addicted to vindaloo. India Palace is the
only place I have found that can make it spicy
enough for me. It’s a non-share meal.
7Do you have a favorite guilty-pleasure fashion TV show? Anything with Lisa
8Favorite fashion blogs? Stylebubble. com.uk. Suzy Bubble finds the things others
are too lazy to look for. And fashionschooldaily.com.
9Thoughts on Marin style? It’s about freedom. Mixing chic with lifestyle. Making up your own
rules, as there aren’t any. Travel finds mixed with heirlooms mixed with Union Made. What’s amazing right
now are the teens in Fairfax. They all look like they
came off of Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent runway.
10Advice to tweens on finding their own style? React against things. That’s what we
did. Make your own clothes. Don’t blend into the
crowd; there’s plenty of time to do that later. Oh, and
please, no more purple hair — we did that in 1977; it’s
not so interesting.
11Advice to tweens’ moms? Mothers! What are you thinking? I see way too many way-too-short
skirts and shorts in Marin on way-too-young girls.
And say no to the nude colors. Your daughters
look naked. For guys, take him to Union Made
for shirts and educate him on the finer things in
life. You’ll set him up for life. M