I first met fashion designer Cecily Chudacoff a few years ago when her son and my daughter were in the same Kindergarten class. Throughout the time I've known her, I've come to admire her wonderful relaxed, bohemian style that's so perfect for San Francisco. Cecily was a former interior designer for five years, but then decided to follow her passion for fashion design. In 2012, she completed an Apparel Arts certificate program and now she's focused on pursing her dream in the fashion world. She works out of her studio in SF's Mission district, creating designs for her brand, Cecily Chudacoff Couture where customers can shop online. All of her clothing and scarves are made in San Francisco from concept to production.
This fall, she's launched her own line of Luxury Circle Scarves ($150 each) featuring five different prints and fabrics. These scarves that layer beautifully thanks to the soft fabric she uses. I have the Mustard X Woven Rayon Crepe Circle Scarf (pictured above) and I love how the beautiful mustard and indigo print spruces up any outfit instantly. And it's so soft and cozy! Here in San Francisco, you can pretty much wear one of her scarves year round!
A quick note for holiday shopping: Cecily will be selling her wares at the SF Bazaar at Nightlife at the Academy of Science in SF on December 8th from 6pm-10pm.
I had a chance to talk to Cecily Chudacoff to find out more about her amazing fashion business and what inspires her to create all the beautiful things that she does!
How did you decide you wanted to work in fashion?
It was no surprise to me how much I loved the apparel design classes as Apparel Arts. As a child, I was obsessed with clothes and fashion, and I even tried making clothes for myself with an old sewing machine. Yet it never occurred to me that being a fashion designer was an option for a career. So, as an adult student, I realized that it IS totally possible...and here I am!
How would you describe your style for Cecily Chudacoff Couture?
I would describe my style as modern and feminine. I always follow my interpretation of the principle of design "form follows function". I believe that clothing should be totally comfortable, wearable and then, beautiful. Have you ever bought the most gorgeous piece of clothing, only to watch it hang in your closet day after day? I certainly have. I may as well just hang it on the wall – beautiful piece, uncomfortable and ill-fitting. I basically strive to make clothing that is super wearable with beautiful elements and is no fuss.
Tell us about your new scarf collection. What inspired you to create these prints?
So, we live in San Francisco, a city with the most unfortunate microclimate, right? Someone should write a song about SCARF weather! I came up with the idea for the Luxury Circle Scarf Collection because I couldn't ever find that perfect-weight, no-fuss scarf that wasn't too hot, but still kept my little neck warm and cute against the San Francisco fog and wind. The answer to my search is the simplest design with exciting and current prints and colors. I'm using a rayon "crepe de chine", a fabric which is basically made of regenerated wood pulp fibers. I've paired the simplicity of this fabric with current and sophisticated prints and colors that I've sourced from various textile designers.
How long have you been sewing? What are your favorite kinds of clothes to make for yourself?
I learned the very basics of sewing when I was twelve years old. I didn't continue sewing though, and only began again, seriously, about ten years ago. The certificate program at Apparel Arts not only taught me pattern making and design, but also construction of clothing and quality sewing skills. I also studied couture sewing with Susan Khalje, a top couture sewing instructor.
I love the fact that I can make custom clothes for myself, especially pants. I have a hard time finding pants that fit me. I'm shaped like a boy, with pretty much no waist, so the pant size that fits my hips and legs is usually tight in the waist. I'm in the process of developing a pant that is equally stylish and beautiful as it is completely comfortable.
What are you working on now?
I interned for a time at local couture bridal shop here in SF. There I learned about making flowers from fabric and it has always stuck with me. I recently started playing around with some fabric scraps from a blouse I'm working on and came up with a silk flower necklace that I absolutely love! It's a ready-made chain woven and adorned with pure silk georgette or crepe de chine flowers, in really beautiful colors. These necklaces will be available on my website soon. Each one will be made to order.