Marie Louise Hom and actress Connie Nielsen
There are two gala evenings each year that more-or-less define the San Francisco social world: the opening of the San Francisco Opera in September, and in March the Mid Winter Gala, which benefits the Fine Arts Museums.
Of all events, the Mid-Winter Gala is the evening which seems to invoke the most excitement. Yours truly began hearing mutterings toward the end of 2008 of who was going and, more interestingly, who was not.
By January, high-end stores throughout the City like Neiman-Marcus and Susan, or designers such as Lily Samii, Joseph Domingo and Azadeh, had already set aside gowns for their favorite clients. Should one wear long or short, formal or fun, big gems or costume jewelry?
Diana Britt, Zem Joaquin and Claudia Ross wore long.
Hillary Armstrong and Kimberly Sesnon did short.
Trusted fashion advisors, like Neiman’s Vicki Winston, ensured none of her ladies bought the same dress. John Hadeed of Torso Vintages scoured his sources for the most rare vintage pieces to guarantee that his clients were unique. And Vanessa Getty wore the most exclusive design of all — her own! Fashion is important at this event — it’s the place to be seen, but only if one looks fabulous!
(For our list of the evening’s “Fifteen Fabulous Looks” click here.)
John and Lucy Buchanan, with Kathryn Lasater and Alexis Traina
Fashion fun aside, it’s ultimately an evening of great importance to the enrichment of San Francisco’s cultural life, for the money raised supports programs of the Fine Arts Museums. We are told that this year’s event, chaired by Trevor Traina and Vanessa Getty, raised approximately $250,000.
Kathryn Lasater, Trevor Traina and Allison Speer
William and Vanessa Getty (earrings by Bulgari)
Generous sponsors, including First Republic Bank, Sotheby’s, Bulgari and PG&E, donated $80,000, thanks to the tireless work of gala co-chairs Allison Speer and Kathryn Lasater. In this economic environment, it’s not easy to get corporate sponsorship, so it’s a testament to their belief in the Fine Arts Museums that they lent their support.
Aubert Vanderlinden, Marcy Karpowitz, Kelly Grimes, Keylee Sanders, Sobia Shaikh, Justin Fichelson
Lia Aaron, Kimberly Miller and Andrea Schnitzer
This glamorous and fun event brought together 400 of the Bay Area’s young art patrons and leaders, including Lars Ulrich, Stephan Jenkins, Maxx Traina, Nicola Miner and Robert Anderson, Damion Smith, Kate Harbin, Jennifer and Doug Biederbeck, Juliet and Andre de Baubigny, Jeana Toney and Boris Putnanec, Becca Prowda, Daniel Lurie, Kendall and Gardner Robinson, Victoire and Owsley Brown, Christina and Jad Dunning, Summer Tompkins, Kelly Phleger Johnson and Don Johnson, Vandy Boudreau, Elizabeth and Paul Touw, Lisa and Jim Zanze, Amber Marie Bently, Lisa Sardegna, Allyson Jackson, Brad Harrington, Brian Wilsey, Stanlee Gatti, Peter Svennilson, Kim Miller and Michael Polenske, and Dr. Jordan Shlain, among others.
Drew Altizer and his team of photographers were there to take the exclusive shots from the evening, which you see here.
Stephanie Unger and Maxx Traina
Shannon Bavaro with Co-Sponsor Jordan Shlain, MD
Co-sponsor Amber Marie Bently in Pucci
Kate Harbin, Evie Simon and Cynthia Pillsbury
Kathryn Lasater, William Freeman and Kathryn Freeman
David Carrillo and Lisa Sardegna
Donna Hoghooghi in Lily Samii
Patrice Lovato and Kate Chung
Taylor Nagle and Jennifer Nagle
Melissa Barber and Alan Malouf
Lisa Grotts andKelly Shuda
Brad Harrington and Alyson Jackson
Steven Hawthornthwaite with Erin Hawthornthwaite in Isaac Mizrahi
Matt Paige and Katie Schwab
Sobia Shaikh with Lisa Alexander in a dress of her own design
Shell Cardon and Craig Cardon
Helene de Baubigny and John Golob
Dawn Dzedzy of Saks Fifth Avenue (right)
Daniel Diaz, Katherine Banks and Alan Malouf
Trevor Traina, Don Johnson, Summer Tompkins Walker
Victoria Reiser and Alex Chases
Ricky Serbin and Lucy Buchanan
Fred Moll and Allison Speer
Monica Maduro and Simon Cheffens
Andre and Juliet de Baubigny (in Azzedine Alaia), with Trevor Traina
Marie Louise Hom and Marc Hom
Kelly Phleger Johnson and Don Johnson
The dinner, catered by Taste, had a Warhol-themed menu, in keeping with the de Young’s “Warhol Live” exhibit: “Campbell’s” tomato soup with little grilled cheese sandwiches, followed by Cornflake-crusted fried Fulton Valley chicken, organic Yukon Gold potato & buttermilk mash, Bloomsdale spinach, baby french carrots, parsley, lemon & caper jus. Waiters wore wigs in homage to Andy Warhol.
Donald Van der Marcke and Summer Tompkins Walker
Afsaneh Akhtari with Joel Goodrich (in Chanel’s mens collection)
Fariba Rezvani, Jorge Maumer and Isha Abdullah
Allison Speer said that “The most memorable part of the night was when the whole party hit the dance floor for Wonderbread Five. They are a fantastic funk band! I have never seen our group get up so fast.” Another partier told us she especially enjoyed the music, which was from the Studio 54 era of the 1970s and ’80s. ”It was like prom, seriously, since there were no Gen ‘Y-ers’ and all the Gen X-ers were present,” she said. “It was great rocking out to the 80s!”
Patrick Barber of Sotheby’s (the Event Sponsor), with wife Melissa Barber
Rexanne Martin and Jill Hetherington
- Further Reading: Fifteen Fabulous Looks [sfluxe.com]
- Honorary Chairs: Vanessa Getty and Trevor Traina
- Co-Chairs: Allison Speer and Kathryn Lasater
- Premiere Event Sponsor: Bulgari
- Event Sponsor: Sotheby’s
- Co-Sponsor: Amber Marie Bently Jewelry
- Co-Sponsor: Bentley San Francisco
- Co-Sponsor: PG&E
- Co-Sponsor: Private Medical Services by Jordan Shlain MD
- Alcohol Sponsors: GREY GOOSE Vodka, and Swanson Vineyards.
- Music: Wonderbread Five
- Photography: Drew Altizer
Tags: Alan Malouf, Allison Speer, Alyson Jackson, Aubert Vanderlinden, Becca Prowda, Billy Getty, Boris Putnanec, Brad Harrington, Bulgari, Chanel, Cynthia Pillsbury, David Carrillo, Diana Britt, Don Johnson, Donna Hoghooghi, Doug Biederbeck, Elizabeth Touw, Erin Hawthornthwaite, Evie Simon, Fariba Rezvani, Hillary Armstrong, isha abdullah, Jordan Shlain, Jorge Maumer, Justin Fichelson, Kate Harbin, Kathryn Lasater, Kelly Grimes, Kelly Phleger Johnson, Kelly Shuda, Keylee Sanders, Lars Ulrich, Lindsay Bolton, Lisa Grotts, Lisa Sardegna, Marcy Karpowitz, Marie Louise Hom, Maxx Traina, Melissa Barber, Monica Maduro, Nicola Miner, Patrice Lovato, Paul Touw, Ricky Serbin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shannon Bavaro, Sobia Shaikh, Stanlee Gatti, Summer Tompkins, summer tompkins walker, Trevor Traina, Trevor Traina and Allison Speer, Vanessa Getty, William Getty, Zem Joaquin
A selection of items from Diana Vreeland’s wardrobe will be auctioned by Kerry Taylor Auctions in London on June 25th, 2013.
Notable pieces include an Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture ensemble, with Lesage embroidery, designed specifically for Mrs. Vreeland by Saint Laurent himself in 1986. There’s also a wonderful Yves Saint Laurent velvet evening jacket, designed in 1981 (shown above), and a Mainbocher coat.
The 2013 showing of artMRKT in San Francisco opened to a staggering 6,000 guests in May, and had to turn away 500, raising approximately $30,000 for artMRKT beneficiary, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s New Acquisition Fund.
Following the presentation of the 2013 ArtCare Award for Excellence in Civic Arts Patronage awarded to Mrs. Diane B. Wilsey, on behalf of the San Francisco Arts Commission and San Francisco Art Dealers Association, the Opening Night Preview Benefit provided guests with first access to the artwork, elegant catering (including specialty cocktails courtesy of Diageo), as well as a fantastic performance by the SF Jazz High School All-Stars Combo.
Among numerous Opening Night sales, Brian Gross Fine Art sold a major Robert Arneson self-portrait bronze for $200,000, and Alex Meyerovich Gallery reported the sale of a David Hockney lithograph for $65,000.
For more information, visit www.art-mrkt.com/sf
Just last year we spotted Cate Blanchett in various locations around San Francisco during the filming of a new Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine, and the trailer for it has just been released!
Jesse Draper has signed with 44 Blue Productions to take her online talk show, “The Valley Girl Show,” to television this fall and is developing a new business reality TV series called “What Women (Really) Want.” She recently shared her favorite Bay Area haunts with C Magazine’s Alyssa Fung.
In celebration of the U.S. premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, SF Ballet hosted a fundraising dinner on May 3, 2013, in a gorgeous tented pavilion masterfully designed by Riccardo Benavides in the Memorial Court between the War Memorial Opera House and the Veterans Building.
Inspired by the theme of the evening, many dressed in the most fanciful fairy tale gowns, while others went for a more modern look. Everyone looked absolutely lovely (not a wicked stepmother in sight!)
Here, with photos courtesy of Drew Altizer, we present our selection of the 25 most chic looks of the evening.
Rain Phoenix and Topaz Page Green recently hosted Unite SF Design at The Conservatory of Flowers.
The philanthropic runway show fused design, ingenuity, technology and philanthropy to raise awareness and funds to help feed children in the poorest areas abroad. The event proceeds will go to support The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit agency founded by Topaz Page Green, Joaquin Phoenix and Balthazar Getty, dedicated to providing a daily meal to thousands of children.
Inspired by the Asian Art Museum’s spring exhibition, China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy, the museum’s Council recently presented “Once Upon a Time in Xi’an,” a lively evening event for families of all ages.
The event featured dancers, costumed performers, unique arts and crafts, and a sumptuous buffet bringing the fascinating world of China’s First Emperor and his world renowned army of terracotta soldiers to life.
The event chairs Alexandra Caban and Patrice Wilbur, with an event committee that included Midori Antebi, Alice Chang, Lucy Dathan, Christine DeSanze, Stacey Dobos, Marjory Graue, Elyn Kim, Michael Kim, Caroline Low, Linda Lynch, Kira Robb, Mona Shah, Elizabeth Warner, and Salle Yoo, created an amazingly fun and education experience for more than 600 guests!
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music held its annual gala on Saturday, April 20, 2013, in honor of legendary baritone Thomas Hampson. “An Evening of Voice Honoring Thomas Hampson” featured performances by Hampson, who shared the stage with Conservatory student singers and faculty. The most important fundraising and outreach event of the year, the gala took in $300,000 for the Conservatory’s educational programs.
Gala co-chairs Teresa Medearis and Trustee Barbara Walkowski pronounced the evening a “resounding success in every way” for the 250 guests in attendance. And the event’s co-chairs were suitably decked in regal attire for the occasion: Walkowski in a silk chiffon Carolina Herrera gown in vibrant red, and Medearis donned in emerald green taffeta by Monique Lhuillier. Trustee Deepa Pakianathan displayed her signature style in a black and white dress by Rubin Singer, one of Beyonce’s favorite designers.
Catering for the event was provided by McCall’s, Catering and Events and decor by Blueprint Studios. Wells Fargo was the official corporate Patron, with corporate sponsorships provided by Asset Management Company, Bank of America and CM Capital Advisors.
Osso Steakhouse (1177 California Street at Jones), a new venture from Jerry and Jennifer Dal Bozzo in partnership with Dante Serafini, recently celebrated its grand opening.
The restaurant offers a diverse a la carte menu featuring the highest quality of 4-6 week dry-aged tender prime beef with bone-in (osso) steaks, along with specialty offerings like Hot Iron Skillet Dungeness Crab. Great pride is taken in the extensive wine list.
The Dal Bozzos and Serafini are the same group behind other San Francisco favorites like The Franciscan Crab Restaurant, The Stinking Rose, Calzone’s Pizza Cucina, and the recently revamped The Old Clam House.
Osso Steakhouse is open everyday for dinner only, from 5-10pm. Valet Parking available for $10. 1177 California Street at Jones. 415-771-6776.
It was a “Mod, Mod World” on May 7th and 8th, 2013, at the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club as the Edgewood Fair raised $300,000 for the Edgewood Center for Families and Children!
Edgewood is the leading provider of behavioral and mental health services for 7,000 children and families living in some of the most violence-ravaged and economically-depressed areas of the Bay Area each year.
The event was put together by event chairs Kelly Anderson and Lori Shigekane, sponsorship chairs Susanna Holt and Courtney Giraudo, party chairs Sarah Semple and Amanda Valentino, luncheon chairs Mary Graf and Emilie Lynch, and Edgewood Marketplace chairs Amanda Rickel and Dina Wong To.
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) honor Nancy and Steven Oliver at its annual Gala on May 7, 2013.
The Olivers are best known for the Oliver Ranch, an extraordinary sculpture park in Sonoma County, where they have worked closely with some of country’s finest artists, such as Bruce Nauman, Ellen Driscoll, Richard Serra, and Martin Puryear, on site-specific installations.
Co-chaired by Carla Crane and Wanda Kownacki, this year’s event featured performances and productions by artist and songwriter Terry Allen; artist, writer, and actress Jo Harvey Allen; visual artist and choreographer Joe Goode; and the esteemed Pacific Mozart Ensemble. Artist Ann Hamilton, whose extraordinary tower provides an other-worldly setting for music and dance performances on the Oliver Ranch, was a special guest.
The evening culminated in a live auction by Christie’s, which includesd one-of-a-kind works by Diane Arbus, John Baldessari, Sophie Calle, Rudolf de Crignis, Andy Goldsworthy, Ray Johnson, Richard Misrach, and Lee Mullican. The art auction chair was Robert Harshorn Shimshak.
Proceeds from this year’s event will support BAM/PFA’s education programs.
On April 25th, 2013, guests joined Sir Peter Michael of the Peter Michael Winery, and his son Paul Michael for a 4-course dinner prepared by Curtis Di Fede and Tyler Rodde, co-chef-owners of Oenotri, Napa. Each course was paired with an exclusive Peter Michael wine.
Proceeds from the highly successful evening and live auction benefit prostate cancer research at Stanford Cancer Center.
The USO-themed event was held at the privately owned Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley.