By Moya Stone, Exclusive to SFLuxe.com
Tosca’s Cafe in North Beach was all abuzz recently when local film buffs gathered to celebrate the restored John Cassavetes film, A Woman Under the Influence. Featured earlier in the day at the San Francisco Film Festival, this 1974 classic movie stars Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk as a couple coping with her decline into mental illness. Ms. Rowland received an Academy Award nomination for her performance that year.
It was old school San Francisco at the invitation only cocktail party, which was hosted by Gucci who also sponsored the restoration of Cassavetes’ film. Guests perched themselves at the bar and posed for photos while sipping cocktails and wine. Tasty crab cakes, tuna tartar, and potato puffs constantly circulated, keeping the crowd quite happy. Frank Sinatra standards played on the jukebox and the unexpected arrangements of tea roses at each table gave off a light sweet fragrance.
Gena Rowlands arrived with husband Robert Forrest around 9:30. Sporting her signature long blond waves and a simple black jacket, the lapels adorned with clusters of black and clear rhinestones, she quietly slipped into one of the red vinyl booths located at the back of the bar. Ms. Rowlands graciously chatted with fans while enjoying a cocktail.
Those fans did stylish San Francisco proud, donning an array of vintage and of course Gucci. Jazz singer, Veronica Klaus looked fierce in a vintage black Lilli Diamond jacket and hand stitched white Daniel Storto opera-length gloves. “Gena Rowlands here at Tosca,” exclaimed Ms. Klaus. “This is a perfect San Francisco night.”
Cory Hillman works at the San Francisco Gucci Boutique and went daring with a black turban and a Gucci dress accented with red insets. “I wanted to represent the glamour of Tosca,” said Ms. Hillman of her outfit. A fan of the movie, Ms. Hillman was excited to have the opportunity to meet Ms. Rowlands. “I admired her performance in this film. Her character is so deep and intense, but she means well.”
The fat lady hadn’t sung yet when this working reporter had to head home before other San Francisco greats stopped by, including Willie Brown, Vanessa Getty, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and Connie Nielsen.
About Moya Stone:
A San Francisco native, Moya explores the Bay Area finding unique boutiques and designers to help create her signature style. She has a particular interest in vintage clothing and antique jewelry and has been collecting both since she was a teenager. Moya has a MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland. She is a stringer for Glamour magazine and a freelance journalist working with various east bay newspapers. Online, her fashion writing can also be found at SFBayStyle.com. Other passions include theatre, vegan baking, and BBC radio drama.
- Photos: Drew Altizer [drewaltizer.com]
- Author: Moya Stone [contact via email]
- Event Loction: Tosca [242 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco]
- Event Date: April 26, 2009