Go Your Own Way

Hippie fashion sense lives on

A few blocks down from Positively Haight, Villains (1672 Haight St.; Villains Vault, 1653 Haight St.) has a darker, edgier vibe, selling high-end denim, T-shirts with acerbic political messages, and designer skate and surf wear. You won't see any tie-dyed T-shirts here. In fact, General Manager Randy Brewer, sitting at his desk in a back office storeroom, says that when tie-dyed tees started to come back in fashion a few years ago, the store made a conscientious decision not to include them. "We're a fashion-forward store," he says. "That's not what we're about."

But, like his neighbors, he does comment that one cool thing the '60s had going for it — and that Haight Street fashion still subscribes to — is the meshing together of different styles and eras.

"In L.A., I notice women all dressing alike to some extent," he says. "But here it's not the case. They'll shop at thrift stores and they'll put together a $300 pair of jeans with a thrift-store jacket if it looks good. It's a much more individual style."

Smiling, he adds a word of caution for those who get too aesthetically hung up on the '60s. "Never get yourself stuck in any one time period," he says. "If the '60s look is in that season, that's great. But don't do the whole body that way. Mix and match. Nobody wants the exact '80s to come back again."

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