Twitter CEO Dick Costolo joked on his way to the 2011 Mid-Winter Gala that the last time he wore a tux was for his junior prom. He tweeted “I think this powder blue is going to freak them out”!
In such a fashion conscious setting, it was wise that Dick went dapper in a classic black 3-piece instead of wearing the ’80s prom special, and it’s a look he should probably get accustomed to. The new reality of Silicon Valley, at the highest levels, is that style matters.
A few prominent examples spring to mind: Google’s Marissa Mayer, with her penchant for de la Renta and Herrera, spearheading the launch of boutiques.com; Youtube co-founder Chad Hurley’s creation of the Hlaska line of menswear and accessories; Carol Tran’s founding of the Chic Meets Geek networking conferences; and the recent revelation that Jack Dorsey studied fashion at Apparel Arts in San Francisco before founding Twitter.
Chaired by Vanessa Getty, Trevor Traina, Kathryn Lasater and Allison Speer, this year’s gala (the 7th!) raised approximately $400,000 for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco by bringing together the new elite of Silicon Valley (Sacks, Mayer, Bonnie, Costolo) and the younger members of San Francisco’s Old Establishment (Getty, Wilsey, de Baubigny, Schnitzer, Thieriot), creating a mix of people that was truly invigorating.
This year, the theme of the Mid Winter Gala was the legendary El Morocco nightclub, a bittersweet tribute to the recently departed John Traina, who beautifully re-created the infamous black-and-white zebra decor of the club at two of his homes. The decor by Stanlee Gatti featured the timeless chic of the zebra banquettes (which made everyone look glamorous), and the iconic El Morocco palm trees.
The event saluted the wonderful OLMEC: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico exhibit, which is open at the De Young Museum until May 8, 2011. But it was the upcoming Balenciaga and Spain that was the talk among this well-dressed crowd. One guest commented that the dresses of the evening were youthful and fun but somewhat understated. The reason for that was clear; the major statement pieces were being kept for the Balenciaga gala!
Nevertheless, we saw some beautiful gowns. Aside from the looks shown above, here are some of the other fashion highlights of the evening.
Gina Peterson and Katie Page
Linle Froeb and Kate Harbin
Victoria Raiser and Jennifer Raiser
Juliet de Baubigny in Andrew Gn
And as for the men, Dick Costolo wasn’t the only guy to rise sartorially to the occasion. More than a few heads were turned when these delightful duos dashed into the room!
The best news of the evening was that Brad Harrington and Alyson Jackson, whom in 2009 we declared “the hottest young couple on the San Francisco social scene,” have announced their engagement. We wish them well!
First Republic, BVLGARI, Sotheby’s, Porsche Design, and Nordstrom were the event sponsors while Grey Goose Vodka, and Swanson Vineyards were the alcohol sponsors. It was an evening not only of fashion, fun and fundraising, but also of family and enduring friendships.