On May 25 th, San Francisco hosted a fashion
congregation, second to none. As the world of moda watched, celebrated
designers, editors, and retailers gathered in this spectacular
city to watch the fashion students at the San Francisco
Academy of Art University showcase brilliant collections.
The man of the moment was Azzedine Alaïa,
legendary for his form fitting creations sculpted out of elastic
fabrics. Flying in from Paris to handpick an apprentice from
the Academy’s graduating class, Alaïa confirmed, beyond
a shadow of a doubt, that SF fashion is a force to be reckoned
Following the dazzling defilé de
mode, distinguished guests were received at the Farallon
Restaurant by Professor Patrick Suppes,
his wife, Fashionlines.com publisher and
editor in chief Christine Suppes and the
Academy for a candle lit dinner, highlighted by impeccable
style, delightful conversation and blood-red roses and peonies.
Azzedine Alaïa and his long
time friend, Carla Sozzani of Milan’s
supreme boutique, 10 Corso Como, were the guests of
honor. While the dynamic duo illuminated the room with a powerful
presence, the guests surrounding them enjoyed culinary delights,
fashion talk and each other’s company.
The witty fashion editor of the International
Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes was among the notable
guests. Highly respected in the industry as a candid voice with
a sharp tongue, Ms. Menkes lived up to expectations, wowing avid
listeners, including Merces Freemon, with candid
opinions and critiques.
Dear friends Ralph Rucci and
former supermodel Tatiana Sorokko were also
in attendance. Following the opening of his new painting exhibit
at the Sorokko Gallery and his new boutique in Neiman Marcus,
Mr. Rucci beamed with delight. Next to the glamorous Tatiana,
striking in a floor length Alaïa caftan, sat SF society ace Denise
Hale, considered by many to be one of the best dressed
women in the country. Also at this table was Susan
Los Angeles and, James Galanos, renowned couturier to
Nancy Reagan. Humble and gentlemanly to the core, Mr. Galanos,
replied, “Here, I am in the presence of other great designers
like Mr. Alaïa and Mr. Rucci,” when retailer extraordinaire, Wilkes
Bashford, proposed a toast in his honor.
Bazaar Editor in chief Glenda Bailey shared
a table with Christine Suppes,
as well as Leah Garchick, Vanessa Getty,
Marilyn Kirschner and Peter Price.
Deeply moved by SF’s fashion icon Jane Gillespie,
once a Paris correspondent for Vogue as well as a beloved friend
to Coco Chanel, Bailey was overheard telling the forever chic
Ms. Gillespie that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
would be very interested in her wardrobe, rumored to contain
pieces hand-tailored by the unforgettable Mademoiselle Chanel.
Indeed, the Academy presence in the room was
the main cause for celebration. As the eminent illustrator and
Fashion Director Gladys Perint Palmer asked
all Academy affiliates to rise, the audience hailed the rising
fashion warriors with a thunderous applause. It was utterly poignant
that Simon Ungless, Director of Graduate Fashion
and an inspiration all design students, shyly remained seated.
Indeed, just as University President, Dr. Elisa Stephens
described it, the true stars of the evening were the relentless
workers who had made the Academy fashion show a reality.
The evening was undoubtedly a star studded affair.
Hosting some of the greatest names in the fashion industry, the
Suppes and the Academy of Art University had celebrated an art
form that gives many lives true meaning in elegant style.
Fashion is an incurable disease, igniting the
souls of chosen individuals. Otherwise, how could we explain
getting up every morning to strive for excellence in every word
written, every garment made and every student educated?