San Francisco Social Diary: Winter Social Events

Misty San Fran morning.



Doyenne of design, Ann Getty and M. Jean-Christophe Bedos, President of Boucheron, hosted a gem of a reception for the premier of C Magazine – as in California, of course.

Carolyn Murphy graces premier C‘s cover.

The first lifestyle magazine encompassing the entire state of California is the brainchild of C chairman and founder Jennifer Smith Hale, publisher of Santa Barbara magazine.

Joining the team is former NYer and Women’s Wear Daily editor-in-chief Michael Coady, whose previous tenure as President and CEO of Fairchild Publications (1986-2000), included W and WWD, as every good fashionista knows.

Yes, Coady is now enjoying pleasurable Pacific vistas, perpetually perfect weather and balmy ocean breezes as he operates from his home near LA.

Also on the masthead is publisher Jack Rotherham, formerly of Wenner Media’s Rolling Stone, who’s been California Dreamin’ from his headquarters in Manhattan.

The premier cover featured blond supermodel Carolyn Murphy in Valentino, before her recent video exposé. Showcased, too, was Ann Getty’s opulent 1906 Pacific Heights home, all silk and gilded with its fabulous bay views, and priceless art and antiques.

C magazine honchos.

Ann, the consummate collector, started her own design firm, which includes The Ann Getty House Collection, offering limited edition, quality reproductions selected from her world renowned collection. One piece on display was the Venus Chair, circa 1800, a design that evokes the essence of Botticelli’s Venus.

Her collection also includes the fantasy Chinoiserie chairs, originally from the Duke of Beauford’s country estate, Badminton House (where you-know-what was introduced to sporting English society). The rest of the famed bedroom suite now resides in the permanent collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.Now that’s provenance!

The smart set packed the boutique and Boucheron’s Dale Brown assisted the ladies who were in search of special baubles for the highly anticipated opening gala of the de Young Museum.

C debuted with its photo preview of the new de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, featuring President Dede Wilsey, who raised over $200 million in private funds. Bravo Dede and C!

Ann Getty arrives.

Ann greets Boucheron’s Jean-Christophe Bedos and Dale Brown.

Michael Coady, Ann Getty, and Nathan Cooper.

Maja Lithander Smith and Caral Newman.

Getty’s priceless antiques.

Venus Chair, circa 1800.

Famed Badminton chair.

Getty’s Regency dining room.

Another room with a portrait of Nijinsky.

Juan Carlos Barrios and Claudia Ross of Harper’s Bazaar.

Jennifer Smith Hale, Lisa Pritzker, and Caral Newman.

Ashley King and Brandt Hooker.

Beth Townsend and Wilkes Bashford.

Clara Shayevich and Elizabeth Thieriot.

Designer Paul Wiseman.

Mrs. Roma Peletz.

Gretchen de Baubigny and Merla Zellerbach.

Art dealer Martha Sutherland and author Barnaby Conrad.

OJ Shansby.

October’s C with Kristy Hume in Gucci.

Ann Getty and Dale Brown.


While downtown at Union Square – the city hub – I popped into that legendary boutique, Wilkes Bashford, which has the most exclusive, luxurious fashions around. It’s believed they carry the largest collection of men’s handmade shoes in the US, if not the world.

NY fashion designer Donald Deal.

Celebrating more than 40 years in business, Wilkes, a celebrity in his own right, keeps his well-heeled international clientele happy indeed, with personal service that doesn’t miss a beat. He even stocks a full bar on each floor so you needn’t wander far for refreshment.

One customer is the ever dapper, former Mayor Willie Brown, a long-time friend. The two can be found lunching most Fridays at Le Central, where once they were joined by the late columnist Herb Caen, telling tales out of school, no doubt.

That particular day NY dress designer Donald Deal was on hand previewing his exclusive collection of day and evening clothes.

Haberdasher Wilkes Bashford.

Deal, best known for his glamorous gowns (by appointment only), is a favorite with the likes of Vanessa Williams, Toni Braxton, Lisa Kudrow, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Barbara Walters, just to drop a few names.

Personal shopper Sheree Chambers says “this was Donald’s best season ever. A few customers ordered just about his entire collection…his designs work, he’s able to customize and special order.”

Hopefully, this big buying spree is an indication that the’s are back and Silicon Valley is in the money again.

Lucky for Donald, he was in town for the de Young Museum soiree where he observed “my entire fall collection walking past me…and the party was done in such exquisite taste.”


Karen Caufield and Patty Hambrecht.

New Yorkers seemed to abound in town. Patty Hambrecht arrived to introduce San Franciscans to her new company Jaspar (Jewelry Advisory Service Par Excellence) at a tea organized by Leslie Podell and Patty’s assistant, Lily Atherton.

Patty, former President of Christies North and South America and Harry Winston Worldwide grew up in the jewelry and antique business. With her exceptional taste and style, all the glam city ladies and jewelry lovers flocked to meet her.

Recently, W magazine devoted a full-page article to Hambrecht’s new venture. The jewelry equivalent of an art advisory service guides clients through the delicate process of buying and/or selling jewelry. After all, she is a superb negotiator and possessor of a rolodex par excellence.

James de Givency with uncle Hubert de Givenchy at Taffi.

Next day, I had the pleasure of hosting a small luncheon in Patty’s honor at the elegant Campton Place Restaurant – after all, as she was once my boss at Christie’s. Lunching a few tables away was novelist Danielle Steele, another jewelry aficionado. If only she had known, she might have changed tables.

Patty is her own best advertisement, the conversation turning, inevitably, to the fabulous necklace, bracelet, and earrings she wore. A combination of petrified wood, mandarin garnet and carnelian, they were designed by her aristocratic ami, James Taffin de Givenchy, nephew of the haute couture icon Hubert de Givenchy.

Recently, James relocated his stunning showroom, Taffin, from Madison to Fifth Avenue in New York where you can view his exquisite collection by appointment only. Or, just call Patty, she can arrange it all.

OJ Shansby.

More guests.

Elizabeth Thieriot and Trish Stephens.

Barbara Brookins-Schneider and Mary Poland.

Urannia Ristow and Peggy Trethewey.

James’ Taffiin Showroom.


Across town, the San Francisco Junior League feted Delia Fleishhacker Ehrlich and Charlene Harvey for “being extraordinary catalysts at the center of change affecting the Bay Area quality of life.”

The program included TV newscaster Sydnie Kohara as Mistress of Ceremonies; Cynthia Foster, Pres of League; Laine Buckingham, Chair; past Junior League President Elizabeth Spencer Pfau; and Greg Moore, Exec Director of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy; plus Linda Cannon and Ann Fisher.

The entire Ehrlich family were there including brothers David Fleishhacker with his wife Vicki and Mort Fleishhacker with wife Frannie; Delia’s son John Ehrlich, Jr. with his wife Vicki McFarlane; and John Ehrlich and wife Colleen.

Delia, a third generation San Franciscan, has worked for more than 40 years in the non-profit arena and was instrumental in launching Macy’s annual Passport AIDS fundraiser.

Honoree Delia Fleishhaker Ehrlich.

Charlene Harvey.

This year, her agenda features the SF Museum and Historical Society’s centennial celebration of the 1906 Earthquake. It should be fascinating – but no re-enactments, please!

Charlene, past chair of KQED and the Junior League, is focusing on conservation and environmental issues that include the board chairwomanship of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

This conservancy is responsible for the recent $34 million dollar restoration of Crissy Field, the former salt marsh and famed military airfield, to its natural wetland habitat.

Vicki and David Fleishhacker, Delia Ehrlich, Shelia McFarlane, and John Ehrlich.

Frannie and Mort Fleishhaker.

Erik Ambjor and Claire Harrison.

Linda Cannon and Sydnie Kohara.

San Franciscans are ecstatic with this newfound 100-acre shoreline playground. Crissy Field has become a hub of athletic and social activities where you can stroll, jog, bicycle, walk dogs, swim, lie on the beach (yes and even get a tan). Other favorite activities for the venue include meeting friends for coffee or quietly watching the sun set over the Pacific.

I, often, meet friends for a brisk morning walk on the path from the St. Francis Yacht Club to the bay underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Here, we all touch the orange “Hoppers’ Hands” plaque for good luck before retracing our steps.

After all these years, I’m still awestruck by the ethereal and breathtaking beauty of the city by the bay and it’s Golden Gate.

Popular dog walk.

View from Crissy Field.

Morning beach walk.

Crissy Field Path.

End of line — touch here.

Evening sunset.

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