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At Home With San Francisco Designer Camelia Skikos

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Photos by Aubrie Pick

When we met San Francisco designer Camelia Skikos, she was in the throes of finishing her Fall 2014 collection. She welcomed into her gorgeous Diamond Heights digs where she works from her home studio. Her adorable 3-year-old Sebastian Luca was on hand to show us around the place, and we just so happened to bring along the beautiful Sami Swanson, who showed how amazing Skikos' designs really are.

You'll find Skikos' spring and summer 2014 collection at Wonderland SF starting Friday, March 14. Mark your calendars for a kick off event that evening, where this multi-talent will also show not only her clothing but also some of her paintings. The event starts at 6pm, RSVP here. The very next day, Skikos is headed south to show her fall collection at L.A. Fashion Week, get more information on that here. Check out her home and gorgeous designs in the gallery, and get to know Skikos a little better in our interview below.

How did you get into fashion design?
"While I was studying art in Romania I was encouraged to experiment and learn about all forms of visual arts that were available at that school. I tried different things like painting, sculpture and graphic design but fashion seemed to me the perfect medium to express my creativity at that time."

Where are you from and how did you wind up in San Francisco?
"I grew up in Iasi, Romania. After moving to London and working a few years for different British brands, I decided to move to San Francisco where I was offered a position at Levi Strauss."

What are the challenges and/or advantages of being a designer in the Bay Area?
"San Francisco is a very inspiring city to live in. You can see art in every form just by walking around the city. From graffiti art, music and architecture they all influence and inspire my work as a designer in many ways.

The challenges could be the limited resources in terms of access to a wider variety of production houses."

Can you tell us a little bit about your Spring 2014 collection? What inspired it and what are some of your favorite pieces?
"Fluid and constructed, delicate and strong, using contrasting fabrics like silk and neoprene, soft and hard, shiny and matte, as well as contrasting tones of reds and blues, this collection investigates the possible ways of rendering the concept of duality and contrasting elements like fire and water."

I also collaborated with photographer and cinematographer Milos Vlaski who used photography as a medium to create the kaleidoscopic prints that translate in my collection through the sharp and strong juxtapositions of shapes and colors creating a visual and tactile accumulation of contrasts.

And how about your fall collection?
"Fall/winter 2014/15 was inspired mainly by San Francisco: The map grid of San Francisco inspired me for the details, the urban landscapes and architecture inspired the shapes I used in the collection, and the vivid colors were inspired by all the street art around the city.

With Juxtapositions of fabrics and leather as well as the use of bold and strong color, the collection reflects a visual accumulation of contrasts that are very specific to San Francisco."


In general how do you stay inspired and creative?
"Traveling, seeing new places and people always inspires me. Getting out of the daily routine even for a few days always brings back my creative energy. I try to get out of the city as often as possible… going to the sea, to the mountains, or just visiting little towns is my favorite thing."

How do you balance your work with being mom to your 3-year-old?
"It's not always easy to keep everything balanced but luckily I have the freedom to make my own schedule. I usually work very intensely between 10am and 3pm then I pick up my son from preschool and we go to the park and play for the rest of the day."

Where are your favorite places to shop in San Francisco?
"The Hayes Valley boutiques."

Do you have any favorite haunts in Diamond Heights?
"Glenn Canyon Park."

How about the rest of the city?
"Valencia Street and Hayes Valley."

Time for the lightning round! Beach or mountains?
"Mountains"

8am or 8pm?
"8pm"

Beatles or Stones?
"Stones"

Favorite lunch spot?
"Le Zinc"

Facebook or Twitter?
"Facebook"

Dogs or Cats?
"Cats"
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