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Serial Cultura

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Oakland-based designer Jen Jennings' fourth collection for her geometric-inspired line Serial Cultura retains the patterned perfection of former seasons in more subdued fashion. While she's currently using more muted colors than the lime and fuchsia she loves, the Parsons graduate and textiles aficionado is still using her signature combination of hand-dying silks and digital printing. Repeating shapes created in Photoshop are scanned onto fluid-like shirts and dresses, a process that can take up to a week per item. The resulting triangle bias tops and wrap dresses, which are all made in California, are captivating and now being sold everywhere from New York's Kaight, Riyadh's Vibe, and LA's Reform School.

Images by Scott Clark.

Foodzie

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A pre-lunch visit to the online marketplace Foodzie is not for the faint of heart: the startup’s efforts to highlight the products of independent food producers includes images and details about cheeses, chocolates, and sauces that will make your mouth water. The artisan product provider earned recognition as one of BusinessWeek’s Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs earlier this year, and the results have been delicious.

While working for a private label market in North Carolina, Emily Olson, one of the three member Foodzie founder team (above in the middle), realized how hard it can be for small producers to get their products in front of retailers. The stories behind the foods and companies weren’t being well conveyed, and she set up shop with Rob LaFave and Nik Bauman to create a marketplace where producers could promote their products easily. “This lets them focus on chocolate or what they’re really good at,” said Olson, whose notable finds since starting the site have included truffle popcorn and almond butter crunch toffee. “We see ourselves as part of a bigger movement around more sustainable and high quality food. And even in a recession, we’ve found that people may not be going for big extravagances but are still buying small luxuries.” Sounds like it’s time for a gourmet pickle party pack.

WordCamp

1.jpgA series of day-long workshops around blogging and usability trends are popping up over the next two weeks in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco in the form ofWordCamps. Domestic first-time WordPress users and experienced developers alike will be privy to conversations about monetizing blogging and managing content (not to mention the allure of microcelebrity) before similar events occur in Milan and San Paulo late this spring.

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg says the camps, which were created using a BarCamp model and now number in the hundreds annually, are a great example of the platform’s main goal of democratizing publishing. Users from Manila to Dallas have organized their own WordCamps worldwide and pulled in local resources for co-education. Mullenweg (pictured above), who is curating the San Francisco WordCamp at the end of May, says that product innovations have come out of the get-togethers (at which he’s been asked to sign more than a few laptops and iPhones). Not bad for someone who thought he’d never leave the Lone Star State.

Slideluck Potshow

Creative submissions have been extended until midnight on Monday for Friday's Slideluck Potshow, a collaborative artistic slideshow presentation and chance for food, drink and conversation sharing at San Francisco's South of Market photography center LeftSpace. Area and international creators alike present thought-provoking creative work around a theme. As this month's theme is "nourishment," participants are encouraged to bring a dish to pass (suggestions include seven-layer dip, lobster ravioli, barbecue tofu, or Meyer lemon bars"”it’ss a foodie group, after all). Photographer Michael Jang will serve as the guest curator for the event, which is a collaboration with the community and food movement organization Eat-Ins.

City Of Borders

After screening at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, the documentary film "City of Borders"Â about the patrons of Jerusalem's lone gay bar has made its way to the festival currently running in the City by the Bay. Director Yun Suh tells the story of Sa'ar, the city's first openly gay public official and owner of Shushan, the dynamic underground sanctuary where Palestinians and Israelis gather for entertainment and community. Simone Nelson, the film's co-producer and the president of Bay Area Women in Film in Television, explains, "We in the Bay Area (and the U.S.) sometimes live in a bubble and cannot imagine that there’s a place where there is only one location for gay people to meet openly. The participants in the film shared their stories at their own personal risk to help remind us that tolerance, peaceful existence and acceptance in our homes and cities should be basic human rights for all of us.”

Modern Design Function Exhibition

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When emerging designers submitted hundreds of furniture pieces to Thursday's Modern Design Function exhibition at San Francisco's Design With Reach, judges from Dwell Magazine and the SF Museum of Modern Art selected not one but three pieces from local applicant Dylan Gold. Gold used plywoods, plyboo and other responsible materials to create Stink Tree, the Cornered Table and Twisted. The latter is a reaction to Gold's observation of how regimented people can be. "I like things that fall out of line and definitely buck the trend a little bit, but not so far as to lose balance," he said. "I wanted to see something hard like wood used in a way that people were not used to seeing it, like crossing a plane into the spatial boundaries of another piece."

The 2,200 square feet of work space that Gold shares with seven other creators is blocks away from the Potrero Hill DWR where the showcase will take place. (Talk about knowing where your purchases originate.) The wood and metalworking shop is also a network for the tenants' artist and fabricator friends "where just about anything can be made," the designer says.

Coco Pit

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London and Paris-dwelling designer Coco Pit has introduced a lovely set of silk accessories in her debut collection, the imaginative “Forget Me Not.” Colorful turbans and scarves feature antlered-animal themes and geometric patterns. The wares can be purchased online and through Barneys, a retailer that’s not unknown to the fashion illustrator, whose work has been featured in Nylon, ELLE, and Bon. As a consultant, Coco also writes about design in her work for the marketing and technology firm getConfused.

Art & Copy: The Film

The San Francisco International Film Festival running now through May 7 features the West Coast premiere of “Art & Copy“, a feature-length documentary celebrating the work and careers of legendary advertisers. Stories about the creation of campaigns including Mary Wells’ colorful Braniff Airlines rebrand, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein’s “Got Milk?”, and TBWAChiatDay’s Lee Clow’s “1984″ commercial and current iPod ads are lovingly told. Doug Pray, who also directed the surf and family story “Surfwise,” doesn’t let many details about the industry’s origins or its current tastemakers escape him, whether in the form of staggering numbers about annual global ad spending or anecdotes about Madison Avenue agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (now referred to as DDB), which first paired copy writers and art directors and encouraged them to collaborate on print messaging.

Rickshaw Moleskine Covers

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San Francisco’s Rickshaw Bagworks (whose zero waste messenger bag was previously featured) is now creating customizable folios for Moleskine journals. The $50 folios include space for four pens and business cards and have a protected pocket perfect for receipts or maps. Each is made to order in the City by the Bay, and, should you feel stuck trying to pick a color combination, there’s a Flickr gallery chock full of customized fabrics to delight even the most hardcore Moleskinerie fan. Sustainable, awesome.

San Francisco: Pop-Up Magazine

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Literature and multimedia-loving San Franciscans will enjoy Wednesday's Pop-Up Magazine, a night of live presentations from contributors to Wired, All Things Considered, Harper's, et al. Award-winning artists and authors on stage at the Brava Theater will include New York Times Magazine contributors Michael Pollan and Peggy Orenstein; The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva; and photographer Todd Hido. Lest you be upset that the Pop-Up Magazine is a one-night only event, This American Life Live will be shown at theaters around the country on Thursday to provide your smart independent culture fix.

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