Friday, February 9, 2007

SF Social Diary

Let's 'segue' to the Buena Vista next door.
by Jeanne Lawrence


Tatiana and Serge Sorokko hosted an opening night reception for legendary fashion designer James Galanos (aka Jimmy) at the Serge Sorokko Gallery on Grant Avenue in downtown San Francisco.

Of course, couture collector and former Russian model Tatiana wore a 1960’s Galanos gown, fitting for a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar.

The group on Russia trip for Stephen Sumner Art exhibit
The idea for the exhibition was conceived in Russia last May when Serge presented British artist Stephen Sumner’s work at Moscow’s Museum of Modern Art.  By the way, Sumner’s wife is Harper’s BAZAAR Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey. She and the Moscow entourage included Paul Litvak, David Nash, Larry Block, Denise Hale and Jimmy Galanos, of course.

Among those at the reception were Los Angelinos Wolfgang Puck with designer Gelila Assefa; actress Dixie Carter wearing a low-cut black Galanos cocktail dress; Rosemarie Stack, the widow of actor Robert Stack; furniture designers Mollie and Richard Mulligan; and interior designer David Phoenix.

Dixie Carter lead everyone in “Happy Birthday” to a modest Galanos who turned eighty-two the day before. Then, SF Fine Arts Museum Curator-in-Charge, Robert Johnson announced that one of Galanos’s images would be added to the museum’s permanent collection. Immortality, now that’s a nice birthday gift.

LA society florist David Jones delivered a hand-written note from former first lady Nancy Reagan, Galanos’ dear friend and favorite client who wore a white Galanos to President Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Ball.

San Franciscans abounded, of course: Denise Hale; actor Peter Coyote with wife Stefanie; Christine Suppes, editor; habberdasher Wilkes Bashford; Lynne Zydowsky; author Diane Dorrans Saeks; stylish Sally Debenham, and Stanley and Helen Cheng, owners of Hestan Vineyards and Kitchen Aid.
Paul Litvak, James Galanos, Serge Sorokko, David Nash, Ralph Rucci, Tatiana Sorokko, Paul Podlucky, Larry Block, Denise Hale, and Glenda Bailey
New Yorkers couture designer Ralph Rucci and Upper East Side hair guru Paul Podlucky flew in for the festivities.

In 2006, Rucci was the first recipient of the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) Couture Council Award for the Artistry of Fashion This year is a busy one for Rucci, what with New York Fashion Week show and F.I.T just opening a Rucci retrospective, The Art of Weightlessness, through April 14.

One of the next exhibitions at the Sorokko Gallery was Stephen Sumner’s art on the heels of the rave reviews in Moscow. This time the design team of New Yorkers Mark Badgley and James Mischka dropped in on the bash.

Also among the guests were Urannia and Brunno Ristow, Ann Lawrence, Art Commissioner Alexander Lloyd, Serge’s daughter Katya Sorokko with Jason Arnoldy, writer Ann Seymour and Claudia Ross.
Legendary fashion designer James Galanos and Ralph Rucci
Gelila Assefa and Wolfgang Puck
James Galanos and Jane Yamamoto (Galanos' assistant for 40 years)
LA furniture designer Richard Mulligan, Mollie Mulligan, Aaron Micu, LA Interior Designer David Phoenix, David Jones, and David Nash
Serge, Ralph and Tatiana beside the fountain at Peterhof
James Galanos and Denise Hale
NYers Ralph Rucci and celebrity hair stylist Paul Podlucky
Robert Johnson and Tatiana Sorokko
Late Night Dinner after opening
Serge Sorokko, Tatiana Sorokko, James Galanos, Gelila Assefa, and Wolfgang Puck
Actress Dixie Carter in Galanos cocktail dress
Tatiana and Galanos
Denise Hale
Harper's Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey with husband Stephen Sumner
Serge Sorokko and Ghislain d'Humieres
Katya Sorokko and Jason Arnoldy
L. to r.: Stephen Sumner exhibit at Sorokko Gallery; Brunno Ristow and actor Peter Coyote; Fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka.
Melissa Theria and Patrick Herning
Urannia Ristow, Jeanne Lawrence, and Ann Seymour
Laila and John Easum
The church at Peterhof, St Petersburg
Serge Sorokko Gallery
LeRoy Neiman Jazzes Up Fisherman’s Wharf

Prolific NY Pop artist LeRoy Neiman created a stir at the Franklin Bowles Galleries near Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.

At the opening of his latest exhibition, The Art of Jazz, more than 700 feted the flamboyant artist and owner of arguably the most famous mustache in the art world – although Salvador Dali fansmight beg to differ.

Jazz aficionado Neiman has painted, sketched and hobnobbed with Jazz greats since his early career in Chicago, including Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and Dizzy Gillespie.

He describes his art as “recording the good life” and judging from the many international celebrity watering holes and famous sporting events his paintings have immortalized, Neiman definitely knows his subject well.
LeRoy Neiman at SF's Fowles Gallery
LeRoy Neiman at work
Neiman's portrait of Louis Armstrong
Neiman with the First Lady of Song - Ella Fitzgerald
LeRoy Neiman with Dizzy Gillespie at historic Blue Note
Meanwhile Next Door at the Buena Vista Pub

I wonder how many attending the Neiman fete ended up next door at the landmark 1889 Buena Vista Café, (BV to the locals) to imbibe the famous American version of Irish Coffee purportedly invented there.

As the story goes, in 1952, Pulitzer Prize-winning SF Chronicle columnist Stanton Deleplane raved about an Irish coffee he tasted at Shannon Airport. He and BV owner Jack Koeppler recreated the drink and the rest, as they say, is history. 

The recipe for the legendary potion is simple:  Strong black coffee, 3 sugar cubes and a healthy jigger of Irish Whiskey (their own private brand), topped with frothy heavy cream in a warm stemmed glass.

BV claims to be the largest single consumer of Irish whiskey in America - with over 2,000 served daily.

Hey, it’s a crowded, touristy place at the end of the Hyde-Powell cable car line.  After an open-air ride on a chilly SF day, you might need some fortification at this historic pub, too.
BV - Creator of American Irish Coffee
Flea market finds near Fisherman's Wharf
Queuing for Hyde-Powell Cable Car
Night cap at the BV