News & Runway

Labor Day Style with SFGirlByBay’s Victoria Smith

image: Sarah Deragon

image: Sarah Deragon

Victoria Smith was a blogger before the word existed. Starting SFGirlByBay in 2006, Smith was a digital trailblazer in an era when similar sites — and style — were still finding their footing. Now having been featured in Forbes, Lucky and NY Times Magazines, SFGirlByBay is still paving the “bohemian modern” style path, especially in Smith's hometown of, natch, San Francisco.

Last week's travels found me in the Bay Area and before I even grabbed my first Peet's coffee, I had SFGirlByBay pulled up on my phone, peeping Victoria's shopping and design picks for the perfect SF weekend (hello, Reliquary and Mill Mercantile!).

In typical JB form, this trip was a bit last minute and now, with Labor Day upon us, it should come as no surprise I'm sans plans. If you're in the same boat, check out Ms. Smith's advice for a tres chic holiday, west-coast style.

Julie Bensman: Let's cut to the chase: What are the Labor Day party essentials?

Victoria Smith: I recently tried a delicious cocktail made with Prosecco & Aperol (an Italian aperitif), garnished with a fresh orange slice. I'd serve that to start, paired with my specialty: grilled artichokes. Next, grilled salmon, fresh corn on the cob, a Caprese salad made with heirloom tomatoes and fresh burrata cheese — and a dry Rosé to pair. For dessert, a fresh baked peach pie a la mode!

JB: Which style rules should a hostess keep in mind?

VS: I'm not one for rules, but I think if you're inviting friends over, it's nice to make them feel like you've made an effort on their behalf, so I always have fresh flowers and lit candles. Make sure to have lots of wine, beer and a specialty cocktail on hand. The final ingredient? A fun mix of people!

JB: What's on your party playlist?

VS: Andrew Bird, Jack White and a lot of 80s stuff like Elvis Costello, The Cure and The Cars.

JB: How will you be spending this Labor Day?

VS: My home is being photographed for a UK-based design book, so I'm heading to San Francisco's Flower Mart to pick up some fresh blooms to style. Then, I'll head out on a big hike at Fort Funston with my dog, Lucy, followed by a casual barbecue with friends.

JB: How valid is the "never wear white after Labor Day" rule?

VS: In California, I don't think too many people pay attention to that, let alone any fashion rules. People here seem to think for themselves when it comes to fashion. If anything, we wear a lot of black!

JB: And finally, what are you most excited for this fall?

VS:  I'm working with Makeshift Society's founder Rena Tom on opening a new creative co-working clubhouse in Brooklyn. I'm designing the decor, so that's going to be keeping me hopping!