Thursday, June 21, 2012

San Francisco Social Diary

From de Young Museum’s blockbuster costume exhibits: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, celebrating the Parisian enfant terrible of haute couture.
by Jeanne Lawrence


Children’s laughter filled the Pacific Heights manse of philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty at the annual Snuggly Soirée they co-hosted with friends Pam and Dr. Richard Glogau in March.

The event raised over $200,000 for the Glogau Teddy Bear Rescue Fund at the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Children’s Hospital.
The festoons of blue and white balloons hung from the front door gave a hint of what a good time was in store. Ann and Gordon Getty hosted the benefit for the Glogau Teddy Bear Rescue Fund at the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Children’s Hospital.
For years, the chatelaine and interior decorator Ann Getty has generously shared her Williams Polk mansion for many causes.

I was stunned that she gave more than three hundred children, parents, and grandparents run of the house, which is filled with museum-quality antiques, furniture, and paintings. I assume it’s because she is used to having her four sons and her grandchildren around!
Beth Townsend, Pamela Glogau, Dr. Richard Glogau, and Ann Getty. Jane Hawgood, Ron Conway, Fiona Conway, and Sam Hawgood.
Gordon Glogau, Gordon Getty, and Pam Glogau.
Linda Mornell, Kathleen Alioto, James Meeker, and Gordon Getty.
Kimberly Scurr, Ann Getty, Kelley O’Brien, and Kathy Balestreri.
Bill Hake, Laurie Hake, Maggie Hake, and Megan Schmidt.
Sheri and Dirk Ivory. Siena Faidi, Pamala Deikel, Nicole Faidi, and Katarina Faidi.
Drew Altizer and Beth Townsend.
Geoffrey Callan, Jeanne Lawrence, and Gordon Getty.
The interior courtyard was transformed into a kiddie carnival where children were delighted by storytelling, games and other activities. Face painting amused the junior set.
Throughout the home, stations overflowed with kid-pleasers like mini-burgers, pizza, cotton candy, and ice-cream cones. (There were also plenty of adults hovering around a table heaped with candy in every shape and flavor.)
Heather Hoover and Kim Murphy handed departing guests gift bags stuffed with beauty products and a plush throw from Restoration Hardware, based in the Bay area.

In 2010, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series Championship. The town demonstrated its pride with parades and citywide celebrations.

AT&T Park, downtown home of the San Francisco Giants, has breathtaking views of the bay. I don’t think many people stayed at work on Friday the 13th—which turned out to be a lucky day for the Giants. They trounced the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 in front of a joyous stadium crowd.
San Francisco’s AT&T Park is at 24 Willie Mays Plaza (named for the legendary player who spent much of his career as a Giant), located in a revitalized downtown district. AT&T stadium opened in 2000, the first privately financed ballpark in Major League Baseball since 1962. The Giants moved in after 40 years playing in Candlestick Park, south of the city, where the weather is often foggy, cold, and windy.
Opening day weather for the Giants was glorious despite the ominous thunderstorm the day before, which was punctuated by 750 lightening strikes.
Giants routinely sell out AT&T Park, which seats nearly 43,000. Its state-of-the-art design minimizes wind-chill, it is well served by mass transit, and it has spectacular views of the bay and the city skyline.
Fourth-generation San Franciscan Larry Baer, president of the Giants, welcomed the crowd. “When I woke up, there was a rainbow, then a downpour,” he said, “but it turned out to be a glorious day.” It was also the 50th anniversary of the Giants’ 1962 World Series win.
On the way to the game, I stopped in the VIP tent for a little grazing and some delicious Virgin Marys.
Although these look like hamburgers, they’re actually meatball sandwiches, so of course I had to try one.
District Attorney George Gascón, Mrs. Lee, Mayor George Lee, and attorney Stephen Kay.
Giants president Larry Baer with his wife Pam, son Josh, and Alvin Dark, the 90-year-old ex-manager of the 1962 team.
Giants player Russ Stanley and his parents John and Erica Stanley, with Willie McCovey of 1962 World Series-winning team.
Former Giants President Peter McGowan (right) with grandson Alexander Harper and Carl Boles, who played in the 1962 World Series.
John and Regina Scully, Donald Kay, and Bonnie Levinson (standing).

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Giants’ 1962 World Series win, twelve players from the team were on hand, including 12-time Gold Glove award winner Willie Mays.
The Golden Gloves Plaque features some of the team’s best players through the years.
The view from AT&T Park, which Sports Business Journal selected as Sports Facility of the Year in 2008.
The 1962 Giants team members were enthusiastically welcomed onto the field, where they received special jackets in the team’s signature black and orange.
Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was seriously injured in 2011 after a senseless attack by Dodgers fans in the LA Dodger Stadium.
Stow’s 13-year-old son, Tyler Stow, threw the first pitch while his dad, who couldn’t attend, watched it from home.
Fans can flaunt the Giants’ orange and black colors with items from one of the stadium stores.

Don’t miss the latest of the de Young Museum’s blockbuster costume exhibits: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, celebrating the Parisian enfant terrible of haute couture.

Last year, I wrote about the wildly successful Balenciaga show that was brought to the de Young by director John Buchanan, who tragically passed away from cancer last December. His aim was to make the de Young “the Costume Institute of the West,” and he mounted highly acclaimed and popular exhibitions of the work of Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent, and Cristobal Balenciaga. He is very much missed by the community and the museum staff.

The Gaultier show’s curator, Montreal’s Thierry-Maxime Loriot, also produced the heavyweight catalogue. “It was a challenging installation,” he said, since it involved a catwalk and a lot of technology.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.
Surrounded by a fantastically costumed crowd, listening to the music of a loud band, I felt I was in a very imaginative, very upscale Mardi Gras or the Venice Carnival (Carnevale di Venezia).
Throughout the gallery, there are brightly lit male and female models in varying degrees of dress and undress and wearing extravagant headdresses.
As I entered, I happened upon Jean Paul Gaultier himself, surrounded by his fans and a swarm of paparazzi.
The Gaultier exhibition was originally curated in Montreal by Thierry-Maxime Loriot. Here he’s with Gaultier’s favorite muse, the legendary model Farida Khelfa, who was once his couture director and recently directed a documentary about the designer. Summer Tompkins, Curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, and Vanessa Getty.
Doug and Lisa Goldman and their twin sons, Matthew and Jason.
Dr. Raymund Damian, Peter Hansen, and Jorge Maumer with their favorite models.
Happy revelers.
Jeanne Lawrence with Suzy Menkes, renowned Fashion Editor for the International Herald Tribune since 1988.

The multimedia exhibit, which spans the 1970s to 2010, features 120 haute couture and ready-to-wear designs, plus sketches, photographs, and video clips. Gaultier’s fantastical works were often designed collaboratively with other creative types: filmmakers, choreographers, and musicians—most famously, Madonna.

The next day, I headed to the sold-out symposium featuring London-based fashion editor Suzy Menkes, of the International Herald Tribune, interviewing Jean-Paul Gaultier onstage.

Dressed casually in a pullover, Gaultier was a surprise to me: charming, funny, witty, and most unexpectedly, open and friendly.

Menkes credited Gaultier with “capturing a moment of time” and changing the course of fashion history. He will last, she said, because he is so well versed in his métier: at the base of the fantastic clothing he designs is extraordinary handiwork and artisanship.

Gaultier said his strong mother and grandmother were important influences. Even though his clothes are provocative, he suggests they represent the power of women, not just sexuality. Madonna’s “corset years” are a prime example.

Suzy said he put sexuality on the map, incorporating fantasy, shock, perversity, flesh and tattoos—much of which was taboo when he started in the ’70s and ’80s.

“That was not my goal,” Gaultier said. “I was reflecting what I was seeing around me; I have a passion to see. I am a voyeur.”
The symposium was held in the de Young auditorium, which is intimate enough for the audience to feel a connection with the speaker. (If you missed the talk, you can watch it on the museum’s
YouTube channel.)
Fashion editor Suzy Menkes’ introduction of Gaultier began with, “He’s the funniest and wittiest.”
Gaultier and Menkes after the "conversation." Artist Kathleen Solmssen showed Jean Paul Gaultier what she calls her “carwash jacket,” a vintage Gaultier with streamers of raw-cut wool at the cuffs and neck—her own alterations.

The very philanthropic Ann and Gordon Getty went all-out when they gave a marriage celebration dinner for Mille Rose proprietor Maria Manetti Farrow to Clos Pegase proprietor Jan Shrem.

After a spontaneous decision to marry at San Francisco’s City Hall during the February Valentine season, Maria and Jan renewed their vows in Florence, her native city, in the presence of Mayor Matteo Renzi.

“The Gettys are incredibly gracious, and the evening was sweet and celebratory,” said guest Paul Weaver. Despite the rain, it was warm and cozy inside, and the mood was happy and joyful for those of us who watched this love blossom.”
Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem in Florence. The bouquet to the couple was presented by Bona Frescobaldi, of the famous wine family.
Maria and Jan have much in common, including a love for art, opera, wine and food, and travel, and their guest list reflected their interests. In the crowd were some of the city’s and Napa Valley’s top chefs, including Gary Danko, owner of the eponymous restaurant, Quince’s Lindsay Tusk (Michael Tusk was cooking that night), and French Laundry’s Thomas Keller.

As Jan Shrem is founder of Clos Pegase Winery, the crowd of well-wishers included vintners Margrit Mondavi of Mondavi, Shahpar and Darioush Khaledi of Darioush, Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo, Urania and Brunno Ristow of Ristow Winery, Debbie and Bill Harlan of Harlan Estate Winery and Napa Valley Reserve.
Gordon Getty, newlyweds Maria Manetti Shrem and Jan Shrem, and Ann Getty. The newlyweds will spend their honeymoon on a round-the-world trip.
Ann Getty, Maria Manetti Shrem, and Margrit Mondavi.
Darioush Khaledi, Margrit Mondavi, Shahpar Khaledi, and Jan Shrem.
George and Dolly Chamas with Pam and Dick Kramlich.
Jeanne Lawrence, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, and Ken Monnens. Jeanne and Ken were the witnesses at the wedding ceremony.
Adria Bini and Dante Bini. Maria Manetti Shrem’s niece Beatrice Ruini and sister Corinna Manetti.
Chefs Thomas Keller and Gary Danko.
During dinner, the much-adored Jan Shrem said that though he pursued Maria around the world, he never thought she would choose him. Maria gave him a big kiss, saying, “He melted my heart with his kindness and his intelligence.”
Maria Manetti Shrem, Gordon Getty, and Margrit Mondavi. Gordon, a lover of music and a composer, serenaded the newlyweds with a song during dinner.
Maria Manetti Shrem and Urania Ristow. Ann even spent the day decorating the wedding cake, which was adorned with roses in reference to Villa Mille Roses, Maria’s Napa Valley estate, and also decorated a chocolate groom’s cake for Jan.
The dinner party for 65 people was held in the atrium of the Getty’s Pacific Heights home. When she entertains, Ann, a gifted interior designer with her own furniture line, pays attention to every detail, down to the last piece of Tiffany vermeil flatware.

In Pacific Heights, a neighborhood known for its mansions, Trevor Traina and Alexis Swanson Traina hosted a book launch party to celebrate photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank’s debut tome, American Beauty, published by Assouline.

Among the many in the crowd who were featured in the book were the hostess (and Claiborne’s sister) Alexis, creative director at the family’s Swanson Vineyards: fashion designer Veronica Swanson Beard; and Alexis’ sister-in-law, philanthropist Katie Traina.

Claiborne grew up in San Francisco but her career took her to Manhattan, where she met and married James Frank. Many of the New York readers know her mother-in-law Cynthia Frank, longtime editor at Town & Country, House & Gardens, and now Elle Décor.

American Beauty features over 100 stunning portraits of young, quintessentially American women, in their own clothes and make-up, photographed in daylight in a setting of their choice. They are beautiful, traditional portraits of many bold-face names, many of whom are in the photographer’s personal social set.

All San Francisco’s young beauties seem to have shown up for the book party, sporting the tallest of Louboutins and Manolos and dressed to the nines in lovely spring colors, which you don’t see much of in Manhattan. It was a welcome sight.

Claiborne and James are moving to Los Angeles, where he will be working for financier Ron Burkle, but I’m sure they’ll shuttle back and forth between there, New York, and San Francisco, as they have friends everywhere.
The three Swanson sisters, (r to l), Alexis Swanson Traina, Claiborne Swanson Frank, and Veronica Swanson Beard, are themselves natural American beauties with grace and style, as is their mother Elizabeth Swanson (at left). Heidi Castelein, Suzanne Levit, and Emily Martin.
Brothers Todd Traina and Trevor Traina with Elizabeth Swanson.
Claiborne Swanson Frank, Lauren Santo Domingo, and Vanessa Getty.
Damion Matthews and Joel Goodrich. Jenna Hunt, Carolyn Chang, Jeana Toney, and Barbara Brown.
Meriwether McGettigan, Norman Stone, and Norah Stone. Jorge Maumer and Victoria Yeager.
Claiborne Swanson Frank with husband James Frank and Jeanne Lawrence.
Indre and Justin Rockefeller. Mariam Naficy, Allison Speer, Ali Pincus, and Claudia Ceniceros.
Jessica Moment, Connie Goodyear Baron, and Tricia Sellman.
By the end of the evening, the guest of honor took a well-deserved break with her James, her mother, and father Clark Swanson.

Friends from Shanghai, Stewart and Kim Beck came to visit San Francisco and its wine country. When we made lunch plans, we weren’t going to have Chinese food! Instead, we chose One Market, which is a local favorite for its contemporary American cuisine.

Shanghai-based, Stewart runs Grassroots Productions making documentaries and corporate videos in China while Kim started Jigsaw International, a growing research company.

Our friend Lyle Hayden joined us. She had recently moved to San Francisco after many years in Asia, including Hong Kong. Imagine! She speaks fluent Mandarin.
One Market, which has a Michelin star, is also one of my top choices for its food and service. It’s centrally located in the Financial District on the city’s main thoroughfare, Market Street.
We had all met in Shanghai: Jeanne Lawrence, Lyle Hayden, and visitors Kim and Stewart Beck.
One Market has a light-filled dining room, with an open exhibition kitchen and wood-fired grill. Frequented by local professionals and tech execs, it’s also a favorite destination for visitors.

Chef/owner Mark Dommen has created a superb menu. Since we wanted to sample everything, we chose from the a la carte menu rather than the popular prix-fix, three-course lunch.
Whenever possible, the chef buys California produce from the farmers’ market across the street.
Kim and Stu, among the many expats who settled in Shanghai for business reasons, couldn’t resist the fresh-shucked oysters and California wine when visiting San Francisco.

After dinner, we strolled across the street to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. In addition to a Farmer’s Market on the plaza several times a week, inside the Ferry Building, locals and tourists can also enjoy a vast array of regional artisans’ specialties as well as many dining opportunities.
The historic Ferry Building (1898) and its 240-foot clock tower, modeled after one in Seville, Spain, served as the entrance to the city when the bridges were built. It is still a ferry terminal today. We ran into Grand Dame Denise Hale and California lifestyle publication Magazine’s editorial director Jennifer Hale, who had lunched at the Ferry Building.
Oakland Bay Bridge.
Photographs by Jeanne Lawrence and Drew Altizer.

*Urbanite Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York, and wherever else she finds a good story.