Oakland Parents got Some Style…

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Matt and Naomi. February 2016. Marin County, California. February 2016.

Matt is a food entrepreneur and Naomi is an emergency room Doctor. They live their very stylish lives in Oakland, California  – where all the “cool” Bay Area people live… For some reason, well for several reasons, Oakland has a lot more style then the rest of the Bay Area. In my opinion, that’s due to Oakland’s history, particularly starting in the 1960’s.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Black Panther Party, Hell’s Angels, bands like Sly and the Family Stone and the funk music scene all had a major presence in Oakland. It was in the 1980’s, where so many acts were born in Oakland, such as Digital Underground, En Vogue, MC Hammer and Tupac Shakur. For me, this style of 1970’s-1990’s fashion in music, particularly in rap, hip hop and rock taking place in urban neighborhoods has the most influence. I’m pretty sure that’s why, I always get lot’o style compliments when walking around Brooklyn and Oakland – – in these cities my “Mara-ness” is appreciated.

The style that was in Oakland, before it’s change to “hipster” culture, is what interests me the most. From the black turtle necks and berets of Black Panther members to the narrow bell bottoms of Sly and the Family Stone to the perfectly sculpted abs, gold chains and red bandana of Tupac Shakur (man, he was gorgeous).

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What do you think of Matt’s seer sucker blazer? Love the light colors, and that they are all wearing light fabrics, it’s all once again very French.

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Naomi and her new baby, her skin is flawless  -does breastfeeding do that? I lasted for two weeks total, with both kids. And I didn’t have a cool sling like Naomi’s – Miami is really hot, so it’s much more difficult to do “attachment parenting”.

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I love clogs, they remind me of Berkeley and my mom’s friend Linda. I would slip my foot into her sexy clogs and make that amazingly loud noise on the hard floors. “One day’, I thought to myself, “I’m going to make that clunking heel sound”…and not only did I make that sound, I never stopped.

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I kind of love Matt’s mustache, it’s not groomed and perfectly trimmed. I love facial hair, but when it’s messy – something about facial hair on men being perfectly groomed is not a look I appreciate fashion wise. The wave of Naomi’s hair is naturally beautiful – most people spend so much time flat ironing their hair  – but a little wave is so youthful.

 

Haute Halloween. Decades in Costumes.

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Araceli. Fairfax, California. Halloween 2015.

I wish it was Halloween every day, or Burning Man mentality every day. Some days I want to drape myself in gold chains, and look like a 1980’s rapper. Let’s be honest, every day I want to drape myself in gold chains, and dress like a 1980’s rapper.  Why don’t I?

Maybe it’s because of the confusion that dressing a certain way is to get attention, when for me it’s all about being creative. Putting together clothing and accessories, is a way for me to be artistic daily – so the next time you see me with my gold pointy nails and other ridiculously large gold accessories – just know this is another day of me executing my creativity.

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I love how as adults we like to dress up for Halloween, but in clothing worn during a specific era. Araceli is dressed in her favorite Flashdance 1980’s look. Leg warmers and off the shoulder grey sweatshirt. A lot of us love that film, Jennifer Lopez made a video replicating the famous audition scene (and I can write a thesis paper on the influence of a welding/stripper/professional dancer on me).

When Araceli leaves the welding plant, she teaches yoga at Marin Power Yoga, an amazing studio with Spinning and TRX. Unfortunately for me, I kicked Jamie, the owner in the face after an overenthusiastic “Airplane” pose. Jamie is currently undergoing nose re-construction surgery.  I keep telling him in Yoga, it’s all about positive thinking, as he has taught me – and basically he should be thanking me, for his new nose.

Obviously, I’m trying to be funny here, but if you want a booty that looks good in a high waisted 1980’s leotard like my gorgeous subject above, and you live in this part of the world, contact Marin Power Yoga immediatelyhttp://marinpoweryoga.com

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Barb. San Rafael, California. Halloween 2015.

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Barb spends a lot of time designing sets and creating amazing holiday visuals. She is the lead designer behind The Christmas House, a local favorite in Marin, at The West End Nursery, http://www.westendnursery.com.

Barb has a lot of costumes from her styling days, and what is annoying for me – is I can’t fit into any of them – it seems they are only made for “leggy models”. But I can appreciate from afar, and here is an amazing Gold Lame jumpsuit paired with a serious cwig. Her look seems like the early 80’s, when disco was reaching its end.

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It’s so fun playing dress up. When people are in costume, something magical happens. We let go of the person we think we are – we experiment and step outside of our comfort zone.

Meanwhile, if I had the genetics of Barb,  I’d be pulling off gold lame jumpsuits every day. We all know how jumpsuits look on the short and curvy…

Timberland’s. Huge Gold Hoops. MCM. So HAUTE.

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Cheryse. Marin County, California. March 2015.

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When I eyed I huge gold hoops, Timberland’s and an MCM bag inside Nordstrom – I pretty much lunged into Cheryse. She was so sweet, and accommodating to my crazy Mara requests. Like can you put your purchases down, and follow me outside for a brief photo shoot?

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Fashion Notes: t-shirt & jacket: Forever 21, www.forever21.com leggings, H&M, www.hm.com, boots: Timberland, www.timberland.com, bag: MCM, www.mcmworldwide.com

The MCM bag is AMAZING.  I can’t wait to be in NYC and see how the cities most fashionable puts together this re-emerging brand.

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So Cheryse has fashion smarts – Timberland’s are big again, and popping up on the feet of the most fashionable in major cities.  The new way to wear them? Pair them with a designer bag and a short skirt,  I’ve even seen them with long skirts.

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My love for large earrings will never fade..they are just sexy. Large hoops will automatically add some serious appeal. Love this mom’s look – take note. And I can’t wait to rock some Timberland’s with a super short dress!!!!!

Mara’s Run DMC Style. Gold Chains at Drop-Off.

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Mara. Marin County. September 2014.

Fashion Notes: Denim “dress”: Zara, Gold Heels: Vintage Yves Saint Laurent. Bag: Chanel, Gold Chain with Vintage Coin: Shandi Levy Jewelry, Bracelets: purchased in markets in Turkey and Botswana. Gold Oversized Aviators: Polaroid, Nails: Gold.

It’s an exciting time for me in fashion.  As you know, I am heavily influenced by urban street style. I’m an extremist in many ways, for instance, I love crazy, long nails or super short nails – but not into an in-between length.  Bigger are always better when it comes to earrings, partly because I have an insane amount of hair.  Small accessories are pointless, who would see them?

My friend Shandi Levy, NYC based jewelry designer, made me this special necklace with an oversized Napoleon looking man coin attached.  Shandi knows if I could, I would dangle a Mercedes emblem from my ear and neck – but those are hard to find in 2014. She found this enormous coin, to satisfy my craving for the oversized and gold accessories.

Back to my point, Chanel’s latest advertisements are taken on the street, with huge pad locks attached to gold chains – think bicycle locks, only Chanel and about $2,300.  Additionally, models are wearing bright, colorful sneakers..almost like those light up ones you see on toddlers.

Now wear did Chanel come up with this? On the streets of Paris, Rome, Tokyo, NYC and London – I’ve seen women wearing these sneakers paired with mini-skirts and shorts all over the place. And I keep repeating, RUN DMC style… The rap band Run DMC’s 1980’s looks are almost identical to what’s on the runway.

This is a thrilling time for me, because I love nothing more then huge gold chains, earrings and denim.. I realize this long denim jacket i’m wearing, is not really a dress..but that’s never stopped me before. I’m pulling it off….and thanking Run DMC for influencing style, even in 2014.

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Haute “Mom” Tattoos. Gold Cross. Cali Drop-Off.

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Juan. Dad. Chef. San Rafael Farmers Market. Marin County. August 2014.

Something about Juan’s look, made me want to photograph him.  His large gold cross and tattoo adorned arms, make him seem so tough – but Juan shared with me that his tattoos represent people he loves.  His arms are filled with names – so beautiful, including the name of his mother and grandmother.

After seeing this, I demanded Neal and Liam take a good look at Juan’s arm, while repeating, this is how you show your mama love!!! They both promised by age 12, they will ink “Mara” on their triceps. (come on, I’m kind of humorous, no?)

I realize this is not my typical fashion shot, but Juan has a great look – one that needed to be documented.  In addition to being a dad, Juan is a chef at Left Bank in Larkspur, California.  Left Bank is a great place to connect with locals, especially sitting at the bar.

Larkspur is a quaint town in Marin County, California.  The town has a really cool “old school” movie theater-  it’s a special spot to see a great film.  It also has a delicious Italian bakery and a “late” night bar (late for Marin County) called the Silver Peso.  Larkspur is home to famed restaurant Picco, a happening spot in Marin County.  The food is delicious and it has a vibrant scene, most nights.

Marin County has a reputation for being “wealthy bohemian”, (I just came up with that term) and the fashion is representative. People love to shop at consignment shops and big name thrift shops, like Goodwill.

Environmentalism is part of the culture, and the population is one that recycles and works hard to eliminate waste. But I love spotting serious designers in Larkspur, this upscale town has a Northeastern feel – and lots of Chanel and Celine are roaming around these streets – Which for collectors like me, is exciting – because I know what will be in the local consignment shops next season.