The Week in Review: San Francisco Symphony and Nicky Hilton; Upcoming Haute Event

We’re still reeling in the fabulousness of this past week, which included spectacular opening galas for the 103rd season of the San Francisco Symphony and the 92nd season of the San Francisco Opera. As if those two haute events weren’t enough to keep San Francisco’s glamour pusses busy, they also came out to support a visiting socialite, Nicky Hilton, who breezed through to promote her new book and attend her first San Francisco Symphony. Let’s look at the Week in Review:

San Francisco Symphony Opening Night Gala


      Photos by Moanalani Jeffrey Photography

San Francisco’s social season got off to a glam start with a red carpet at the San Francisco Symphony’s Opening Night Gala at Davies Symphony Hall on Wednesday. Music director Michael Tilson Thomas’ 20th season — the longest of any American orchestra and its Music Director today — couldn’t have enjoyed a hauter start. He brought his longtime friend Bonnie Raitt in to add a little sass by singing American theatrical songs and afterward she breathed a sigh of relief.

“When Michael asked me to do this, I was scared,” Raitt told the crowd. “But it’s good to push your limits at this age, and I wanted to sing with this incredible orchestra.”

But it was pianist Yuja Wang, looking resplendent in an electrifying blue gown, who wowed the crowd with a fiercely phenomenal performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” And the orchestra showed why it has collected 15 Grammys over the years.

Before the performances, well-heeled guests feasted at the Patrons’ Dinner while other symphony goers went to their various dinners. Afterwards, there was dancing in the street at an indoor/outdoor after-party that featured a wood-burning pizza oven, candy bar and station with dim sum.

What an exciting evening that raised money to support the San Francisco Symphony’s music education programs.


Private Reception for Nicky Hilton

Photos by Drew Altizer Photography

Socialite-turned-author Nicky Hilton was the guest of honor at the stunning penthouse of Asim and Isha Abdullah during a book signing hosted by Dr. Alan R. Malouf. Hilton’s new book, 365 Style, hit bookshelves this week.

Opera Ball 2014

War Memorial Opera House
War Memorial Opera House

Photo Credit: Courtesy Drew Altizer

While we await the glitzy photos from Friday night’s elegant Opera Ball at the War Memorial Opera House, it’s not too early to start thinking about another haute event on tap in San Francisco:

Fundraising Gala “Couture for a Cause”

Joy Venturini Bianchi

Photo Credit: Courtesy Drew Alitzer Photography

Joy Venturini Bianchi, who works tirelessly to help the developmentally disabled through her charity Helpers, will put on Couture for a Cause, a fundraising gala at The Penthouse, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, on Saturday, October 4. She and Tim Whalen of Saks Fifth Avenue curated the fashions, which will be for sale at the event. Bianchi will also give a tour of the curated collection of couture fashions.

Twenty-five mannequins will wear evening and cocktail dresses by Balenciaga, Victoria Beckham, Bill Blass, Chanel, Tom Ford, James Galanos, Naeem Kahn, Lanvin, Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, Emilio Pucci, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Rucci, Valentino and more iconic designers. There will also be a selection of chic new shoes and boots on sale that include Alaïa, Manolo Blahnik, Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Roger Vivier, Gianni Versace and YSL. Proceeds from the event, the first of its kind for Helpers, will fund Helpers’ ongoing work in San Francisco and communities for those who are developmentally disabled around the world.

For more information, call (415) 387-3031 or email



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