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Wonderland

Wearable and Wall Ready

Stating the obvious, getting started as an artist or designer is not easy. You can have all the talent in the world, but if no one is willing to take a chance on you or if you donít have a network of people willing to help your career, establishing yourself can be a real challenge. Thatís where places like Wonderland SF Gallery and Boutique come in.

Founded by the same couple behind Chilliní Productions, Irene Hernandez-Feiks and Houston Feiks, Wonderland SF Gallery and Boutique opened a few months ago on 24th Street near Alabama in the Mission. The goal of its owners is to cultivate Bay Area fashion designers, painters, and photographers by providing exposure and opportunities, boosting not just the careers of the creative, but helping support the local economy as well. From their 12 years of working with local artists and producing events in San Francisco, Irene and Houstonís connections are a valuable resource for anyone starting out in the business.

The store carries a variety of goods, including menís, womenís and childrenís clothing and accessories, artwork, and more. Everything in the store is sold on consignment, so the prices are set by the designers. Clothing and accessory prices range from $15-$400, with most items averaging somewhere from $60 to $150.

Right now, for ladies you can find a sexy pink print dress from Silver Lucy Design ($110), a bold red and white dress from Camelia Skikos ($150), a classic navy Verrieres & Sako dress ($200), and a romantic black and white dress with a red bow from Effieís Heart ($72). The menís selection includes checkered Gytha Mander button-up shirts ($110) and a military inspired jacket from Endless Ammo ($150).

Accessories range from a black hat from Momoca ($46), striped wrist stockings from Threads by Cho-Cho ($40), and a black and white bag from Renata Martins Ipanema collection ($150). In addition to clothes, the shop has odds and ends, a sampling of which includes a tissue box cover from Yokomono Studio ($30) and a Yahzi Rose blanket for kids ($30).

Thereís also a variety of t-shirts available like prints of monkeys on typewriters on a blue background from Headline Shirts ($24), and a cassette tape on a black background from Otsutree ($30).

The artwork displayed and for sale in the store changes monthly, with openings happening every first Thursday from 6pm to 10pm. Currently, you can find paintings and drawings from local artists such as Mark H. Campbell, Charmaine Olivia, Chris Granillo, and Xiau-Fong Wee. Work is prices at $200 to $6,000.

Ireneís expert eye is evident in the layout of the store, influenced not only by her dozen years behind Chilliní Productions and her own experience as a fashion designer, but also by her parents who are both artists. For a place that carries such a wide variety of items from such a diverse group of artists, the overall feeling is not only surprisingly cohesive, but also very alive.

In addition to the stock for sale in the store, installations from local artists are suspended from the ceiling and student work is displayed in the front window. Best of all, none of it looks handmade, even if it is. Thatís often an issue that plagues similar boutiques/galleries throughout the city.

If the clothes and art arenít enough to get you in the store, thereís a trunk show coming up on August 3rd. In addition, every other Friday night they serve margaritas. Yum!