The first two weeks of September are always the start of the social season in San Francisco, but in 1971 it wasn’t just the start of the social season, it was also the start of a beautiful marriage, that of Denise and Prentis Cobb Hale.
Recently browsing through “Talking Pictures,” the new book of Ellen Graham’s best photographs over the decades, I was surprised to see this wonderful photo of Truman Capote with Denise Hale, taken the week of the Hale wedding 40 years ago.
Capote was one of 90 guests at the ceremony, which took place September 9, 1971 at 6 Presidio Terrace, then the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Orrick. The New York Times covered it, noting that Denise’s “floor-length dress of golden yellow chiffon was designed by Oscar de la Renta” (jewelry was from Bulgari and Cartier.) Other celebrity guests reportedly included John Wayne, Ann and Kirk Douglas, Angie Dickinson, Betsy and Alfred Bloomingdale, Adolfo, and Gloria Vanderbilt and husband Wyatt Cooper (parents of Anderson Cooper.)
Although the Times reported that there was no wedding cake, quoting Denise as saying “We had a white cake at the first dinner party given by friends after my divorce. That was enough,” Ellen Graham said “Truman ate almost all the wedding cake and left little to none for the other guests.” She even took a photo of Truman devouring the cake as Gloria Vanderbilt and husband Wyatt laughed.
Gloria Vanderbilt had been the guest of honor the previous evening at a party Denise and Prentis hosted at L’Etoile to celebrate the first West Coast exhibit of Gloria’s art, which had just opened at the Hoover Gallery on Sansome Street (the gallery is now closed.)
One can only imagine what a scene it was that night, with Denise’s Hollywood friends living it up atop Nob Hill, then in its heyday. L’Etoile closed in 1990 (now the site of the Nob Hill Spa at the Huntington Hotel), but in 1971 it was one of the best restaurants in San Francisco, gaily decorated with zebra skins, pink tablecloths and chandeliers, with piano music provided by Peter Minton. And the Vanderbilt dinner party was the center of a weeklong social whirl that ended with a spectacular opening of the San Francisco Opera on Friday night (Beverly Sills had the role of Manon Lescaut.)
The busy week was even a bit overwhelming for Alfred Wilsey, who told the LA Times he was looking forward to the weekend. “That’s when we all collapse,” he said. But for Denise Hale, it was just the beginning.
Ellen Graham’s “Talking Pictures” is now available at Amazon.com
Tags: Adolfo, Alfred Wilsey, Anderson Cooper, Angie Dickinson, Betsy Bloomingdale, Beverly Sills, Denise Hale, Ellen Graham, Gloria Vanderbilt, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Manon Lescaut, Oscar de la Renta, Peter Minton, Presidio Terrace, Truman Capote, Willaim Orrick, Wyatt Cooper
With Sloan and Roger Barnett, Sabrina Buell and Yves Behar, Jean-Pierre Conte, and Alison and Mark Pincus, Gucci recently hosted a private cocktail party at the San Francisco store to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the loafer, and the new 1953 collection for men and women.
Catherine Kwong’s living room, inspired by Mick Jagger and Bianca Jagger, is one of the highlights of the 2013 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, taking place at 2800 Pacific Avenue.
Michael S. Smith was recently honored at Hedge Gallery in San Francisco at a party hosted by Alison Pincus, Vanessa Getty and Allison Speer. His design work for a Palladian Villa in Malibu is being put up for auction at Christie’s in New York. Nicolas Berggruen, Princess Tatiana Galitzine, Dede Wilsey, and Sabrina Buell were among the guests.
Deepa Pakianathan and Phil Pemberton recently hosted a reception for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in anticipation of its upcoming Gala on April 20, 2013, which pays tribute to legendary opera baritone and Conservatory Advisory Board member Thomas Hampson.
Conservatory mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook directs and stars in a program featuring special performances by Hampson with Conservatory students, faculty and guest artists. Teresa Medearis and Barbara Walkowski co-chair the event, with catering by McCall’s Catering and Events and decor by Blueprint Studios.
Tickets for this very special occasion can be purchased at www.sfcm.edu
UCSF Partners in Care recently held its 2013 kick-off membership event at Reed & Greenough. Membership co-Chairs Schuyler Hudak and Libby Leffler hosted the launch party and kicked off the well-attended evening with brief remarks, followed by UCSF Partners in Care President Katie Budge, who spoke about the services that the auxiliary organization provides to the hospital.
UCSF Partners in Care works with UCSF hospital staff to fund programs that provide comfort and well-being to patients and their families while visiting the UCSF medical center.
Guests enjoyed spirited greyhounds nicknamed “Doctor’s Orders,” and a “Members Only” wine special while noshing on sweet treats from Kara’s Cupakes, and savory sliders and arancini from Cedar Hill Kitchen and Smokehouse.
Please visit www.ucsfpartnersincare.org for more information about this important organization.
Renowned European designer Ms. Madeline Pauw recently made an appearance at a delightful luncheon at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, where her Spring 2013 collection was presented.
The Pauw collection is designed by Madeleine Pauw, daughter of the original founders. Pauw is known for its luxurious fabrics and soft touches of femininity while integrating just a splash of masculine undertones, but always keeping the fit and style in mind for the female physique. The company has been in business for over 50 years, and originally was created in the Netherlands where it currently has 29 stores.
You can purchase pieces from Pauw at Saks Fifth Avenue at 384 Post Street, San Francisco, or online at Saks Fifth Avenue
Neiman Marcus and Vanity Fair, with writer Amy Fine Collins, recently hosted a luncheon in celebration of Vanity Fair’s 2013 International Best Dressed List. Â Guests included some of the West Coast’s best dressed women, such as Vanessa Getty, Pamela Joyner, and Sobia Shaikh. Â It also provided an opportunity to meet Alan Morell, the new general manager for Neiman Marcus’s Union Square store, following the move of our beloved John Capizzi to Bergdorf Goodman in New York.
HBO recently presented the premiere of Game of Thrones Season 3 with a VIP screening at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, attended by cast and creators, and VIP guests.
After the screening there was an on-stage discussion with Executive Producers D.B. Weiss, David Benioff and Co-Executive Producer George R.R. Martin, moderated by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Co-Executive Editor’s at All Things D.
The Mid Winter Gala for 2013 honored the exhibit, “Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis” with a chic winter wonderland that raised over $400k. Marissa Mayer, Jonathan Ive, Alison Pincus, Vanessa Getty, Dick Costolo, Stephan Jenkins, Connie Nielsen, Lori Levine, Evgenia Peretz, Jeremy Stoppelman, Trevor Traina, Allison Speer and Kathryn Lasater were among the 380 who attended.
Stephanie Phair, the managing director of Outnet.com, recently visited from London to host a luncheon previewing Oscar de la Renta’s new limited edition collection designed exclusively for The Outnet.
The Italian artist, Paolo Troilo, recently debuted his first U.S. exhibit at Coup d’Etat, the most exceptional designer space in San Francisco.
Sponsored by Testa Vineyards, the event brought together San Francisco tastemakers such as Jack Calhoun, Stephen Brady, Gary Friedman, Joy Bianchi, Anna Weinberg, Ken Fulk, and Jamie Finegold, among others.
The exhibit will run at Coup d’Etat until May 2013.
Visit Coup d’Etat at 111 Rhode Island, or online at coupdetatsf.com
Larkin Street Youth Servicesâ€™ eleventh annual fund-raising gala benefit, Paving the Way, hosted over nearly 400 community leaders and philanthropists at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco on March 8, 2013. Hosted by special guests, Mark Buell, Chair of the Americaâ€™s Cup Organizing Committee and Jimmy Spithill, Skipper and Helmsman for ORACLE Team USA, the benefit event raised over $725,000 in support of Larkin Streetâ€™s programs for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in San Francisco. Over eighty percent of all funds raised by Larkin Street go directly to supporting the organizationâ€™s programs.