Sonya Molodetskaya: My Studio 54 Experience with Ken Downing

Picture this: the historical Fairmont San Francisco Hotel’s Ballroom decked out for the lunch and fashion show scheduled to celebrate the 34th SF Ballet Auxiliary Presented by Neiman Marcus. 

I was wearing a shiny miniskirt and a really funky off-shoulders tuxedo jacket. I felt like Bianca Jagger, if, let’s say, she was on her way to Studio 54. Somehow, I ended up at the one of the most elegant and sophisticated events in town. 

Sonya Molodetskaya. Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

But all my doubts disappeared when super-funny Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing took the stage. In his own entertaining way he told us about upcoming trends (many strongly influenced by the ’70s and disco).

I love disco and the sparkling awesomeness of ’70s: New York: Studio 54, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Cher, sequined dresses, platform sandals and glitter make-up…it was a fashion era I was not part of, until now!

Of course the disco segment of the fashion show was my favorite. Shiny flare leg pants captured my attention. An immediate text message to my favorite NM associate Hasmik Nazari who was present at the show was just three words: “Tom Ford pants.” My immediate answer: “You got it. But can you wait 10 minutes, they have not left the runway yet.”

Probably the most fun shopping experience I ever had was the same day with Ken Downing himself. As I am trying on the Tom Ford pants, I realized I would need to be at least six feet tall to wear them. Ken says: “Don’t worry, that’s the look. The pants should be dragging on the ground.” Then he walked away to dress someone else.

Ken Downing and Sonya Molodetskaya. Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

And as always I have my personal favorite looks from the event.

Damion and Lora
Damion Matthews and Lora DuBain. Photo Drew AltizerPhoto Credit: Drew Altizer
Chloe Harris Hennen
Natalie Wages and Chloe Harris Hennen. Photo Credit Drew Altizer
Navid Armstrong. Photo Credit Drew Altizer