San Francisco Fall Show Preview: A ‘Wanderlust Extravaganza’

By Katie Sweeney

A 1920s Louis Vuitton steamer trunk with studded black metal trim and two-tier interior compartments from Milford Antiques.

“For anyone interested in the decorative arts from contemporary to antiquities — buying, collecting or simply learning — the San Francisco Fall Show is not to be missed,” says Suzanne Tucker, excitedly. As one of the Bay Area’s most revered interior designers, Tucker speaks from experience. She has attended the event, formerly known as the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show, every year since its inception and missed it only once. “The late Michael Taylor took me to the very first show in 1981 — me with pen, notebook and measuring tape in hand, the scrambling assistant!” Tucker reminisces. “It’s true that I’ve missed only one in 38 years. It was the ’83 show, and I had a good excuse: I was getting married!”

An antique from Antonio’s Bella Casa.

Over the years, her commitment to the show has grown, and for the fifth time in a row, Tucker will serve as chair of the design extravaganza taking place Wednesday, October 2, through Sunday, October 6, at Fort Mason. Usually the show is held at the end of the month, but since its beneficiary, Enterprise for Youth, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the date was moved up. Enterprise for Youth is a local nonprofit that engages young San Franciscans, ages 14 to 24, through workforce development programs. “Enterprise can serve over 500 youth annually through a full range of employment resources like job-readiness training, paid internships with college credit and follow-on support,” Tucker explains. The San Francisco Fall Show is the organization’s primary fundraiser, and it has created a direct connection between the local design society and underprivileged youth. “Many firms are taking interns from Enterprise for Youth, which is so important to our community,” Tucker says. “We had a wonderful Enterprise intern at Tucker & Marks this past summer. Giving back one’s knowledge and building mentorship is truly the best reward.”

Everyone from bright-eyed interns to savvy young collectors to established art connoisseurs can look forward to the show and its enticing lineup of events. The theme: Wanderlust. “There is always a theme to the San Francisco Fall Show,” Tucker explains. “We find that a theme catches the attention of both collectors and dealers and inspires the look of the show from the entrance onward.” Think destinations near and far, exotic textiles, and patterns and colors that inspire a sense of place. “Wanderlust invites us to explore how cultures throughout the world develop their unique visual style.”

Four designers — Alessandra Branca, Veere Grenney, Hutton Wilkinson, and the team of Cecilia Sagrera and George Brazil — are creating vignettes that represent the four directions. International design royalty India Hicks will serve as the honorary chair and speak on the afternoon of October 3. While she eagerly anticipates what Branca and company dream up and what Hicks has to say, Tucker is most excited about discovering the unknown. “I can’t wait for the treasure hunt, seeking out and finding that perfect piece! Cast aside any preconceived notions you may have about antiques. Come see for yourselves, explore the booths, meet the dealers, learn a lot and take home a fabulous find.”

Another travel-inspired treasure from Epoca.

The four-day aesthetic extravaganza, which began in 1981 and features more than 50 of the biggest art, antiques and design dealers from across the globe, commences with a preview gala on October 2. Tickets begin at $300; proceeds benefit the highly regarded non-profit Enterprise for Youth. For more details, including scheduling and pricing, see NHG Sponsored

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