Oh, and the Gowns Of Course!

Photos by Drew Altizer

In the glitz and glamour of gala season, the dazzling array of gowns, fabrics, choices and bling can momentarily stun even the most seasoned fashionista. So this year, the Gazette reached out to three local fashion experts, Karen Caldwell, Yuka Uehara and Natasha Chalenko about their favorites — and even picked some of our own.


Black, white and red carpet all over

NHG staff pick: The subtle intricacies of Veronica Rivas Tramontozzi’s mermaid Opera gown in combination with her carefully chosen statement accessories are timeless.

Jana Asenbrennerova for Drew Altizer Photography

NHG staff pick: Katie Traina’s sequined, strapless gown was taken to the next level with a dazzling geometric pattern. She stood out in the symphony crowd!

Photo by Drew Altizer

Karen Caldwell: Camille Bently is so regal and gorgeous in her Christian Siriano ball gown! It’s exactly what I love about the Opera Ball! Drama, beauty and a passion for fashion! Absolutely stunning!

Photo by Drew Altizer

NHG staff pick: Farah Makras’ opera gown with bold dots is so striking. The reverse shoulder detail makes it a wow!

Arthur Kobin for Drew Altizer Photography

Color, yes!

Natasha Chalenko: Deepa Pakianathan knows how to do accessories. Her choice of magenta-hued belt, clutch and jewelry combined with the muted orange color of her Carolina Herrera gown looked striking at the Opera Ball.

Photo – Drew Altizer

Yuka Uehara: Marissa Mayer’s gown from the Symphony opening had a vibrant color mix, and the airy silhouette makes you happy just looking at it.

Photo by Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

NHG staff pick: Navid Armstrong was elegant in a stunning, refined blue and white floral vintage Bill Blass gown, a look that channeled Princess Grace with her minimalist but gorgeous necklace and earrings at the Opera Ball.

Photo by Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Power duos

NHG staff pick: Willie Brown’s suiting is always impeccable. This custom Brioni suit has just enough color and texture to draw attention among the Opera Ball crowd. Sonya Molodetskaya’s dramatic Zac Posen opera coat is a show-stopper.

Photo by Drew Altizer

NHG staff pick: Sabrina Buell and Yves Behar looked amazing together at the Symphony opening. The deep rich colors and texture of her Rosie Assoulin dress with his modern edge and teal colored tux turned heads. Yves might be the only guy who can pull off sneakers at a gala!

Photo by Drew Altizer

NHG staff pick: Last month’s Gazette cover stars and Symphony Opening night event co-chairs, Michael Nguyen-Hormel and James Hormel, were the center of attention with matching Alexander McQueen floral tuxedos and pink bow ties.

Photo by Drew Altizer

Yuka Uehara: Planets and stars create a constellation throughout the bodice that center around the sun near the belt area. It is a power piece and Mayor London Breed looks radiant at the Opera Ball in this Tadashi Shoji gown. Natasha Chalenko: Charlotte Shultz’s Pamella Roland gown looks breathtakingly ethereal with the delicate ombré-effect beading.

Perfectly pink

Karen Caldwell: Komal Shah is so pretty in this violet-magenta Marchesa number at the Symphony opening. I love everything about it on her! The soft organza layering with her gorgeous lip color to match is absolutely breathtaking!

Photo by Natalie Schrik for Drew Altizer Photography

NHG staff pick: This magical Monique Lhullier gown danced with light and color at the Symphony opening. It’s very sleek, but also splashy. It fits Vanessa Getty perfectly.



Photo by Drew Altizer

Natasha Chalenko: Dede Wilsey’s Oscar de la Renta Opera Ball look beautifully showcases all the important elements that I look for in a gown—an impeccable fit, the individual silhouette, color and fabric choices that complement and draw attention to the person without overshadowing her.

Photo by Drew Altizer Photography

NHG staff pick: The pattern and texture Jennifer Walske choose for her Symphony gown is so fascinating. It has hints of a faux animal print, but also looks like it could be something under a microscope!

Photo by Drew Altizer

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