Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Style: Shauna Moustache

Graphic designer and artist Shauna Moustache has been known to be stopped on the streets of her San Francisco neighborhood by visitors wanting to take photos of stylish and hip Mission dwellers. An eye for unconventionally tasteful outfits and a desire to make this world a more esthetically pleasing place make this Iowa native a prime candidate for Progressive Pleasures. And guess what? She's also a vegetarian, an urban biker, a composter, a recycler extraordinaire, a DIY master with a green thumb -and she makes the most delicious pad thai.

Which are your favorite pieces and why?
Tough question. My favorite furniture items are probably my antique bed frame, which I purchased from Zonal in Hayes Valley, and my loveseat, which I got from Mickey's Monkey in the lower Haight. The loveseat came with matching arm covers that my Grandma made into pillows.

Sofa Mickey's Monkey: shoes: Painted Bird; Peacock: Mickeys' Monkey

I got my favorite pair of boots from a vintage store in Brooklyn. I spotted them in a window display and it was love at first sight. It took me a day of internal reflection to overcome their sticker shock, however, proof that used doesn't always mean cheap.

Pants : Painted Bird, Shirt: Thrift town, Boots: Beacon's Closet, Brooklyn, NY

About a year ago I found a bag with oversized sheet music printed on the front and back. It was in great condition when I bought it and has since deteriorated with my love and daily use.

What percentage of your wardrobe is used?
80%? I tend to buy underwear, socks, and pants new. The majority of everything else that I own …including furniture, kitchenware, and decorative items… is used.

Shauna's colorful closet

Why do you shop used?
• Hunting for amazing, unique items is fun
• To support establishments that save amazing, unique items from going to the dump
• Old stuff is made better
• No wasteful packaging
• To lower the harmful production of items that already exist
• It's more affordable
• You don't have to deal with nasty food courts, teenagers, or a nauseous mixture of perfumes

"The record player was my dad's in the 70's!"

Do you use stuff for other purposes?
I drink wine out these adorable little non-wine glasses that I bought used in Shasta (CA). The guy who worked there said that the glasses were originally jam containers. Reusable packaging!

Hiking in style (flannel from a flea market in Berlin, Germany)

Do you mend or discard?
Finding an amazing article of clothing and having to leave it behind because it doesn't fit is a common thrifting scenario. I got a sewing machine to fix this problem. If I don't love an item enough to alter it within a few months I try to find it a new home. If it's just a hole or a missing button, I mend.

Where do you shop?
The Alemany flea market is a gold mine. And if you can mask your excitement about the unbelievably low prices, you can typically bargain for cheaper.

I mostly shop at Thrift Town, Mission Thrift, Clothes Contact, and The Painted Bird. They all have their own unique charms and are walking distance from my house. Mickey's Monkey and The Apartment are my favorite non-clothing, second-hand shops. I also love stumbling upon the garage sales that pop up in the Mission every weekend.

Do you have a favorite city or town for vintage/thrift store shopping?
Thrifting in small towns is one of my favorite things to do on road trips. Small town thrift stores are very hit or miss but they are always less expensive and picked over than ones in the city. Plus, you can get a pretty good sense of the town by seeing people's second-hand items.

Small town score

My favorite city to thrift in is Portland (OR). The Bins is the mother ship of the Goodwill there and if you have the patience to sift through mountains of unorganized castaways, you can leave with treasures that cost a buck a pound.

What are your suggestions for recycled gift ideas?
When I lived in Portland (OR), my friends and I would host "naked lady" parties. These were potluck-style gatherings where we would bring all of our amazing clothes that we'd never wear again and place them in a pile on the floor. Then we would simultaneously attack the pile, quickly trying on potential new items before all of the good stuff was gone.

When everyone finished, we would eat and go around the room displaying our finds and learning stories about the item from the previous owner. We would donate all of the leftover clothes to a local women's shelter.

What are your tips to earn karma points?

I think being mindful about how your personal consumption impacts the environment is a good start. Some suggestions are: buy organic food (it lowers the amount of pesticides going into the earth and your body), shop local (it decreases the petroleum used to transport goods and supports your neighbors), bring your own to-go containers when you shop and eat out, compost, share, bike.

You can admire Shauna's work on her website and you can run into her on Saturday mornings at the Noe Valley Farmers' Market, purchasing organic goodies from Happy Boys Farm.