Wednesday, October 20, 2010

San Francisco Social Diary

Sculptures from London’s Robert Bowman Gallery at SF20—the San Francisco 20th Century Art and Design Show & Sale.
by Jeanne Lawrence

SAN FRANCISCO. Before heading back to Shanghai in October for the Shanghai Biennale, I spent a busy month in San Francisco. The locals were griping about the unusual 80-degree heat—they love their foggy weather!—while the tourists were loving it.

From Labor Day on, starting with the traditional opening of the Symphony and the Opera, the event scene was hot as well.
The SF 20th Century Modernism Show and Sale was launched in the midst of an economic downturn; SF20 is going strong in its third year with over 40 national and international exhibitors. The evening benefitted the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

One of the big events was the opening gala for SF20—the San Francisco 20th Century Art and Design Show & Sale—offered a fabulous display of decorative and fine arts and an equally decorative turnout of young A-listers at Fort Mason.

“Kudos to the organizers (Co-chairs Allison Speer, Stanlee Gatti, and Katie Schwab; honorary chairs Carla Emil and her husband Rich Silverstein) for pulling off something of this scale” said first-time attendee Rosemary Baker.

Marriage seems to be in the air in this younger crowd. Katie, the daughter of Helen and Charles Schwab (SFMOMA Board Chairman) had a gorgeous, bridal glow. By the time you read this she will have married Matt Paige (son of Dorothy and Ken Paige).

I chatted with New York based photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank, who once worked for Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Claiborne married James Frank, son of my friends New Yorkers Cynthia and Donald Frank, at the Swanson Winery in Napa Valley last summer.
Mayor Gavin Newsom, Honorary Chair Carla Emil, and Director of SFMOMA Neal Benezra. Many of the museums’ top donors and board members came to support. Matt Paige and Co-Chair Katie Schwab. Katie, the daughter of Helen and Charles Schwab (SFMOMA Board Chairman), had a gorgeous, bridal glow. By the time you read this she will have married Matt Paige (son of Dorothy and Ken Paige).
Dorothy and Ken Paige. Charles and Helen Schwab with Stanlee Gatti.
Betsy Linder, Lorre Erlick, Erin Kim, Kendall Wilkinson, and Barbara von Hoimes.
Erin Kim and Elizabeth Touw. Co-Chair Stanlee Gatti with artist Luke Bartels, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and artist Danny Hess. Gatti deserves special praise for his imaginative exhibit “21 Pop” that he underwrote and curated to promote young Bay Area craft artists.
Claiborne Swanson Frank and Alexis Swanson Traina. Claiborne, with her sisters, Veronica Swanson Beard and Alexis Swanson Traina, had recently been at New York’s “Fashion Night Out” where she had a photography exhibition curated by Ivan Shaw, Vogue’s director of photography, at Akris Boutique. The previous night, SFMOMA celebrated the Fisher family, as the museum will house their collection of over 1,000 works of contemporary art, amassed by Doris Fisher and her husband, the late Donald Fisher, founders of Gap.
Architect Andrew Skurman, Helen Hilton Raiser, Merla Zellerbach, and Robert Davis.
Pam and Richard Kramlich. Nion McEvoy, Suzanne Tucker, and Tim Marks.
Katie Schwab, Allison Speer, and Douglas Durkin. Co-chair Allison Speer credited Douglas, chair of the Designer Forum, with enticing over 28 firms to preview the show the night before with hopes of strengthening the link between SFMOMA and modern/contemporary design.
Co-Chair Allison Speer and Ali Pincus. Alison exulted, “All of San Francisco is here tonight.” “It's what my friends buy; what they love.” SFMOMA Curator Gary Garrels, NYSD reporter Jeanne Lawrence, with Norah and Norman Stone.
Vanessa Getty and Connie Nielsen. Doug Biederbeck and Steven Volpe, co-founder of Hedge Gallery.
Judy Camp and Donald Magnin, who is always exploring design.
Leigh Matthes and Adrianne Iann. Leigh, a member of MOMA’s Directors Circle, said “A lot of buzz this year. It may be mid-century, but not mid-prices. Brian Wilsey with Emily and Roth Martin, co–founder of Hedge Gallery. Emily is the granddaughter of the late Texan Nancy Holmes whom we all miss dearly.
Hedge Gallery Booth. Roth Martin and his business partner designer Stephen Volpe created a sophisticated and enticing array of stone, glass and porcelain objets. It was always packed and its central location—next to the buffet table—didn’t hurt!
Modernist Gallery.

It was a great excuse for a party! The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show (SSFAS) opens on October 28, and Gump’s hosted a pre-celebration —“Imagining China” — in its honor.

“Chinoiserie” (French for “Chinese-inspired”) was the design theme of the current show and its opening gala.

The theme was a natural, as San Francisco has close ties with China and has held a year-long, city-wide celebration of its sister city, Shanghai, which recently was home to the Expo 2010, its world’s fair.
The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show opens on October 28, with the theme “Chinoiserie: Rococo to Eco,” and Gump’s hosted a celebration in its honor. A one-of-a-kind emporium, Gump’s has been part of San Francisco’s history for 149 years.
Quite a few newcomers were involved in this year’s show: fashion designer Derek Lam; Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent; England’s Keeper of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England, David Beevers; and NY interior designer Bunny Williams.

Mark your calendar for October 28 for the Fall Antiques Show Preview Party. It’s not only one of the biggest events in the city, but also one of the top antiques fairs in the world.

People fly in from around the world for the Fall Antiques Show opening— and if you live in San Francisco, you certainly won’t want to miss it!
Designers from six leading firm of the SSFAS Circle were invited to create Chinoiserie-inspired tables: Ann Getty, Douglas Durkin, Andrew Fisher & Jeffry Weisman, Jay Jeffers, Barbara Scavullo and Suzanne Tucker.
Rhonda Hirato, Gump’s CEO Marta Benson and Lisa Podos, formerly the executive director and now creative consultant, greeted guests. Designer Jeffry Weisman and Keith Scott.
Designers Maria Quiros and Ann Getty with Gump’s Rachel Prater.
Ann Getty’s Table. The gala theme was close to her heart, as her home is full of Chinoiserie. She owns the original 18th century “Badminton chairs,” part of a suite displayed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Table by designer Douglas Durkin. Professor Malcolm Gutter, a Meissen scholar, lent a “Badminton table” from his collection — quite a coup for the Antiques Show!
Nelson Bloncourt, "Fanny," and Pamela Babey. Designer Suzanne Tucker and Gump’s CEO Marta Benson.
Table by the design firm Tucker and Marks.
Newcomer Lyle Hayden and JL. A friend from Shanghai, where she lived for seven years, Lyle has returned to San Francisco. “No one is better than Gump’s at blending styles—traditional and contemporary, Eastern and Western,” she said. And she should know.
Laura Pfaff, Michelle Curtis, and Wheeler and Millen Griffith. Ned Mobley and Brenda Mickel. According to Ned: "I hear the Chinoiserie theme inspired acclaimed architect Andrew Skurman to create a spectacular, two-story, gilded pagoda for the entrance."
Shirley Robinson, designer Jay Jeffers, and Kelly Hohla.
One of Gump’s most spectacular pieces is a gilded wood Ching Dynasty Buddha, the largest of its kind outside of a museum. High above the first floor, the divinity gazes serenely over the activity below.

Droves of fashionistas flocked to Bulgari boutique at Union Square on September 23 to celebrate the publication of Tatiana Sorokko’s book Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorokko Style.

Tatiana is one busy gal. In Paris, on October 4, Harper’s Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey, along with Bruno Frisoni and Diego de la Valle hosted a reception at Roger Vivier, followed by a dinner at Caviar Caspia. Back in the states, there will be lunches and dinners from Washington D.C. to NYC.
Droves of fashionistas flocked to Bulgari boutique at Union Square to celebrate the publication of Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorokko Style.
One of the first Russian model superstars, Tatiana arrived in Paris in 1990 and walked runways for such names as Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, and Calvin Klein.
First a cover model, Tatiana eventually appeared in the editorial and news pages as a designer and style-setter who favors both vintage and couture. Now she’s a curator and author.
Tatiana appeared on Martha Stewart’s show with Ralph Rucci, one of her current favorite designers, and showed this brocaded lame dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga (1964). Alan Malouf holds Tatiana’s book that was published to coincide with the Phoenix Art Museum opening of the show she curated, which first was shown at Moscow’s Russian Fashion Museum.
Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar (where she’s a contributing editor) named her to their best-dressed lists. The Moscow edition of Time Out named Tatiana one of Moscow’s “top 50 gifts to the world.”
Elisa Stephens, Bulgari’s CEO Daniel Diaz and Chair Shannon Bavaro. The champagne flowed, the decibel level was high, and the throngs ogled the Bulgari jewelry collection and bags from its FW10 lifestyle campaign featuring Julianne Moore. Jennifer Siebel Newsom (the Mayor’s wife) and Tatiana. Tatiana began collecting in Paris, where she thought everyone dressed alike. She decided to hunt for one-of-a-kind fashions at flea markets and vintage shops that she could wear herself.
Deylee Saunders, Kelly Grimes, and Linda Coats. Deylee and Kelly had been to New York’s Fashion Week on a mission: “to shop all day.” At Chanel (to order custom ballet shoes), they ran into Karl Lagerfeld. “I told him he looked sexy,” Linda said, with a giggle.
Fashion designer Azadeh, co-chair Karen Caldwell and author Lisa Grotts. Over 350 supporters squeezed into the recently redesigned Bulgari space for a peek at Tatiana’s couture collection. More than 300 catalogues were sold. Jim Schneider and Barbara Brookins-Schneider. She was decked out in her Bulgari jewelry, which seemed to please Store Director Daniel Diaz.
Alex Chases, Maria Manetti Farrow (wearing her Bulgari necklace), and Ken Fulk.
Ken Fulk and Denise Hale. Hilary Newsom Callan and Lori Puccinelli Stern.
Gretchen Rossi with Slade Smiley, both of Real Housewives of Orange County. John Hadeed, David Gorski, and Jorge Castillo.
Peter Solmssen and his wife Kathleen Solmssen. The 2nd century A.D. emerald necklace she was wearing was bought from a Greek museum by Peter’s grandfather, founder of Deutsche Bank. Urannia Ristow and Bruno Ristow.
Kim Snyder, Tory Stevens, MacKenzie Burdick, and Rachel Mann. Susan Dunlevy and Sobia Shaikh.
Claudia Ross and Jennifer Fick. Sonya Molodetskaya, Daru Kawalkowski, and Svetlana Afanasieva.
Jenifer Siebel Newsom had just arrived from LA, where she shot a campaign ad for her husband. Mayor Gavin Newsom is now running for Lt. Governor. The elections a month away and I can’t wait to hear who won. Jodi Thelander and Lisa Grotts enjoyed the unseasonably warm San Francisco weather: it hit the 80s!
Photographs by DREW ALTIZER & JEANNE LAWRENCE. New York based Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in Shanghai and San Francisco, and wherever else she finds a good story.