Gorgeous and Green in Living Color

Bently Reserve
Gorgeous & Green at the Bently Reserve

Gorgeous & Green, Global Green’s annual gala in San Francisco has been the most stylish proof of a sustainable lifestyle being easily compatible with high fashion and fine living. In its 7th year it once again drew San Francisco’s eco jet set to the gorgeous LEED-certified Bently Reserve for a “Moulin Rouge” themed evening aimed at raising funds for Global Green’s program in collaboration with the San Francisco Unified School District to incorporate green building features in their new construction projects.

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Zem Joaquin, Mathew Petersen, Nadine Weil
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Christopher Bently and Amber Marie Bently
Donovan Friedman and Selin Sintac
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Sarah Bell, Wymond Miles, Andrea Larson
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Mathew Petersen and Heidi Pettit

The eco stylish co-chairs once again were San Francisco’s foremost green living expert Zem Joaquin, whose EcoFabulous has been the go to source for sustainable living, and Nadine Weil, founder of Heart of Green. The building’s generous proprietors Amber Marie and Christopher Bently served as vice-chairs. Honorary hosts included actress Rosario Dawson, who shared her support via video from London, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Angela Lindval and Peter Mensah.

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Gavin Newson
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Zem Joaquin and James Joaquin
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Rochelle Osterbauer and Diana Sasoletti
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Patrick Baker and Tanya Baker
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Claudia Juestel and Carolyn Gerin
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Kudra Kalema and Betsabe Bocaitis

The guest list was comprised of a combination of the chic and the fashion-forward, among them Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom who accompanied his wife, CSI: Miami star Omar Miller, Gina and Dave Pell, Tanya and Patrick Baker, Narry Singh, Board Director or Architecture for Humanity, Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware, eBay’s trend expert Karen Bard, and the most versatile Carolyn Gerin, co-founder GreenGlamGo and president of Anti-Bride Productions.

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Omar Miller and Michelle Branch
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Gina Pell and Dave Pell
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Suzanne Agasi and Michael Mina
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Chelsea Giudice and Hooman Khalili
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Claudia Ross and Jennifer Siebel Newsom

In the spirit of Global Green’s motto of being “truly sustainable without sacrificing style” guests enjoyed, organic and biodynamic cocktails, farm-to-table hors d’ oeuvres by Taste Catering, and a formal dinner comprised of dishes made with locally-grown and sustainable ingredients prepared by Michael Mina, Joseph Humphrey of Dixie and Bill Corbett of Absinthe. Dinner was accompanied by the soulful stylings of Michelle Branch’swho has been longtime supporter of environmental causes.

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Michelle Branch performing
Narry Singh enjoying the show

The much anticipated eco fashion show that followed was curated and produced by fashion designer Lily Achatz and GreenGlamGo’s co-founder Clarissa Nicosia to be a celebration of color.

Karen Caldwell, one of San Francisco’s most glamorous women, returned with stunning jewel-toned cocktail and evening dresses, including a slim red one-shoulder gown with a fuchsia belt. Since her label’s launch in 2009 she has dressed many of the city’s socialites and Hollywood actresses, such as Holly Robinson Peete, Amanda Seyfried, Viola Davis, Anne Dudeck, and Daphne Zunega.

Mina Yazdi and Olya Dzhilikhova of Mina + Olya also most successfully expressed the glamorous side of organic design, and Sara Shepherdintroduced her new collection, which included dresses in textured sustainable silks.

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Lily Achatz and Clarissa Nicosia
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Karen Caldwell, Oliver Tolentino, Sara Shepherd
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Olga Dzilikhova and Mina Yazdi
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Design by Sara Shepherd
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Design by Sara Shepherd
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Design by Sara Shepherd
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Design by Mina + Olya
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Design by Mina + Olya
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Design by Karen Caldwell
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Design by Karen Caldwell

A wonderful ending to the show was provided by the Philippines native and Los Angeles based designer Oliver Tolentino, whose couture gowns are made from some rather humble and unusual textiles such as hemp, as well as pineapple and water lily fibers mixed with sustainable silks, which he fashions into the most exquisite masterpieces. I had the opportunity to get a private back-stage tour and was amazed at the meticulous handcrafted elements of Oliver’s work that would impress any seasoned couturier, especially the use of such unconventional materials. I observed the same attention to detail in his menswear, sported by the designer himself and his partner Andrew Caruthers, and as a result I was even more impressed by Oliver’s versatility.

Margaret Gardiner, former Miss Universe and Hollywood Foreign Press Association member, wore an am off-white beaded French lace gown by Oliver to the 2012 Golden Globes. Among the many admirers of the dress were George Clooney and Angelina Jolie,who said, “You look stunning”.

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Design by Oliver Tolentino
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Design by Oliver Tolentino
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Design by Oliver Tolentino
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Design by Oliver Tolentino

Every year manufacturer’s are coming up with new innovations that make stylish green living more and more attainable, without denying ourselves the creature comforts and beauty we have become accustomed to, and every year Gorgeous & Green sets for higher goal for green fashion. My hat off to the talented and innovative designers and the passionate event team for raising $250K for green causes and for making a convincing statement in shifting everyone’s view of green design. I very much look forward to what the next event will have to offer.