Ladies Who Lunch Come Out In Support Of Jason Wu & SF Ballet

The fashion presentation

Photo Credit: Katie Sweeney

Yesterday, the Bently Reserve was the place to be for women of a particular type of pedigree. The 105-year old building was host to the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary fashion show. The event featured New York-based designer Jason Wu and was presented in partnership with Sam Malouf Authentic Luxury. The auxiliary is a group of 100 women who raise over $2 million per year for the ballet.

Fashion designer Jason Wu

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

One way they obtain funds? By hosting events like Wednesday’s fashion show, which was chaired by Andi Valo-Espina. The soriee began promptly at 11 a.m. with a reception in the Sansome Street lobby of the Bently Reserve. Most events take place on the other side of the old federal bank, so it was a refreshing change to be in a new space. The stylish crowd sipped Domaine Carneros Brut and Rosé while nibbling bites—carrot soup shooters, pea puree-topped crackers, and cheese—from McCall’s Catering.

An overhead view of the fashion show before it began

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

At noon, everyone filtered into the main banking hall where rows of chairs were set up around a space that would be the runway. Once guests were seated, Malouf warmly welcomed the chic group. “Jason Wu particularly loves the ballet, and he was super excited,” Malouf said. “When we called him up, it was zero hesitation. He said, ‘I’ll do it.’ He’s one of the premier American designers that has a world view.”

Gloria Malouf and Sam Malouf

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Next Wu, in all black, came out and spoke. “As Sam said, I’m a big supporter of the Arts,” Wu said. “It’s important. I’ve been inspired by ballet since I was very young. Without my parents, who supported me as a creative individual and who actually moved from Taiwan to Vancouver and the states so I could be able to be myself, I wouldn’t be here today.

A look from Wu’s 2011 collection

Photo Credit: Katie Sweeney

Wu presented 20 looks from his fall 2019 collection and 10 looks from the last decade of his career. “I’m thrilled to show my fall 2019 collection along with a curated selection of special archival pieces with San Francisco Ballet,” Wu said. “The show reflects years of creative process and evolution, which I am excited to share exclusively with an audience that appreciates the vitality of dance. It’ll be a beautiful expression of creativity and our imagination.” Lasting less than 15 minutes, it was a short and sweet presentation. Although all of the dresses were gorgeous, highlights included an ultra-violet crinkle chiffon v-neck gown and a geranium pink crepe satin strapless cocktail dress from the fall collection and a nude ostrich feather lace dress from 2011. 

Lucy Wu tries on a Jason Wu gown

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

After the show, the doors to a room adjacent to the hall were flung open, and a makeshift studio was set up. Guests were invited to shop the looks right then and there! Luncheon stations overflowing with succulent salmon, flavorful chicken, and scrumptious risotto cakes magically appeared where the runway show was seconds before. The revelry continued as the group mixed and mingled in awe and admiration of Wu’s talent.

The fashion show

Photo Credit: Katie Sweeney

Wu couldn’t have said it better, “It’s essential that I continue the tradition of appreciating youth and beautiful arts, in every single way possible,” he said. “Life is not just to inspire itself. Beauty is still alive, beauty is still important, and quality will never, ever die.”

Chandra Friese and Shelley Gordon

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Christine Leong Connors, Hannah Comolli, Patricia Dassios and Kelsey Lamond

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

Beth Grossman and Courtney Dallaire

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Krista Giovara, Bettina Mirsepahi and Holly Lawson

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Andi Valo-Espina and Bruce Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Monika Moscoso-Riddle

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Jennifer Van Natta, Alison Mauze, Kathryn Olson and Gabrielle Tierney

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

Christina Jamison, Hannah Comolli, Jackie Comolli, Davi Weston and Gianna Jackson

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

James Spencer and Ann Spencer

Photo Credit: Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

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