All photos by Drew Altizer Photography
San Francisco’s social set turned up at The Fairmont Hotel in full force on April 2nd, for the annual SF Ballet Auxiliary Luncheon & Fashion Show. Presented by Neiman Marcus with fashion director Ken Downing at the helm, the fashion show highlighted Downing’s favorite trends from the collections for spring 2015. Guests relished scanning at each others looks while mingling among friends during the cocktail hour in the Terrace Room. There are many charity luncheons and fashion shows in San Francisco but this particular event is one where the dress code is taken very seriously!
Everywhere you looked was event chair Ave Seltsam in a floral print Oscar de la Renta dress, Sobia Shaikh in a Rubin Singer dress with an attached cape, Christine Suppes in a shimmery Rodarte navy dress, and of course, Sarah Somberg in a Mary Katrantzou tank dress with a pouf skirt that was also featured on the runway that day. As the model wearing the same dress walked by on the runway, Somberg didn’t miss a beat and got up from her chair to give her a high-five.
The fashion show was divided into four sections with a heavy undercurrent of fringed clothing and accessories from the 1970s. Looks were divided into New Bohemian, Shades of White, Mix – Don’t Match, and Studio 54. The most exciting was the New Bohemian group which opened the show with some very sexy remixes of Stevie Nicks songs that instantly brought the house down. Comprised of looks by Saint Laurent, Emilio Pucci, and Marco de Vincenzo among others, these looks felt the most directional and fresh.
The Shades of White looks drew attention to modern looks inspired by the 60s, 70s, and 80s from designers such as Givenchy, Brunello Cuccinelli, and Chanel. Mix — Don’t Match had an emphasis on mixing various patterns and colors for a look that harkened back to 1980s Ungaro color combinations. Last but not least was Studio 54 — which can hardly be brought to mind without thinking of two designers who practically made the legendary nightclub their front office. Of course we are talking about Halston and Yves Saint Laurent. Not surprisingly, these alluring looks gave prominence to super tight pants, metallic fabrics, off-the-shoulder dresses, sheer details, platforms, and all sorts of disco (read: shiny) embellishments conjuring up images of vip lines, limousines, and decadent after parties that run late into the night. Situations that require seriously sexy clothes or anything by Tom Ford!
After the event, many guests made a b-line for Neiman Marcus to shop the exact runway looks they had just viewed. Neiman Marcus facilitated the process by making an itemized list of the labels and brands that comprised every outfit and its accessories. A cocktail hour, a fashion show, and lunch, while contributing to the SF Ballet Auxiliary makes for quite a successful day. Being styled by Ken Downing is priceless!