The SF OPERA GALA is one of the most, if not the most important social event in San Francisco. It has a long history as the premier event in the city and everyone who’s anyone shows up in their finest to see and be seen. The theme chosen to celebrate this 91st opening night, was “The Garden of Good and Evil” — the perfect pairing for “MEFISTOFELE” with it’s similar storyline of struggle between heaven and hell.
Interestingly enough, most guests opted for traditional glamour. A few notable exceptions were superstar, New York-based event planner COLIN COWIE who designed the evening and accessorized his tux with a rhinestone skull on his tie along with a pair of pirate-looking loafers; Oscar de la Renta’s BOAZ MAZOR who also wore a pair of devil-embroidered loafers and most notably, DEEPA PAKIANATHAN who wore a pearl-encrusted ALEXANDER MCQUEEN caged headdress with an ANDREW GN gown. However, the true darling of the night among the ladies turned out to be OSCAR DE LA RENTA. You couldn’t walk a few steps in any direction without encountering one of his beautiful ball gowns. DEDE WILSEY was dazzling in an embroidered yellow gown; CHARLOTTE SHULTZ looked polished and elegant in a turquoise and navy dress that paired flawlessly with her spectacular TIFFANY & Co. suite of jewels; BRENDA ZARATE was romantic and sophisticated in a floral print bubble gown and KOMAL SHAH simply looked like a princess in her sea of lace and tulle ruffles in bright red. These were just a few of the most notable ladies in ODLR. It is nothing short of a testament to Mr. de la Renta’s taste level that after almost 50 years in fashion, so many high-profile women from different generations continue to wear his dresses season after season.
Other fabulous dresses of the night were designed by ZAC POSEN, JASON WU, NINA RICCI and several other smaller houses. We selected these 15 looks because we feel they are the best representations of San Francisco women and their style. True, SF OPERA GALA attendees have shown up in some rather strange concoctions over the years but as firm believers in glamour and high fashion, we turn a blind eye to such gimmicks.
As we were discussing our favorite looks of the evening, we found several elements that seemed to be missing on this night of all nights and we’d love to see them restored during future SF OPERA GALA arrivals. First, where were the PHANTOMS?! We were out-front critiquing all the looks and the closest thing we saw to a Phantom was a GHOST and it had an advertisement on the windshield which was almost too much for us to bear. Second, is beauty really going out of style? We noted several individuals who clearly spent a lot of money on their clothes but were rockin’ hair and makeup that was in complete disarray. Surely an extra $500 can be spent on hair and makeup on such a glorious night. Last but not least, why are the young guys so boring? For almost twenty years DOLCE GABBANA has been showing excellent tuxedos in interesting fabrics and elegant colors yet about 90% of the young men showed up in black and white. We are in California guys! Consider tuxedos by DSQUARED2, VIVIENNE WESTWOOD and TOM FORD next time. Then again, perhaps we dove a little to deep into ”The Garden of Good and Evil”.
For additional information on SF Opera, please call (415) 565-6416 or visit SF Opera.