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Diablo Style Profile: Meet a San Ramon designer who makes more with less

Kristen Michael recycles yesterday's fashions into fun, contemporary pieces.

Meet San Ramon native Kristen Michael, facilitator of a unique brand of retail rehab across the East Bay.

Michael, 23, hunts down exquisite fabrics and gorgeous patterns at local thrift stores. Michael has developed an expert eye for seeking out potential in otherwise condemned and castaway garments. Where many clothes go to die, Michael goes to scavenge and save. Where others see irrelevant shoulder pads and peaked moo-moos, Michael sees a new high-waisted skirt or custom made razorback tank.

Michael’s lively patterned tops, skirts, and dresses, which she sells for $30–$40, are inspired partly by the earthy bohemian celebrity mom Kate Hudson. Michael has rescued and breathed new life into about 50 flowing custom pieces so far, and is now accepting custom orders. Check out some of Michael’s resurrected creations at kmichaelstyle.blogspot.com.