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Style: From the Catwalk to your Closet

by Anh-Minh Le

Need some style inspiration? Don’t miss these upcoming fashion shows.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the Bay Area sartorial landscape isn’t limited to Patagonia vests and Allbirds. Take the Instagram grids of ultrastylish locals such as Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) and Brian Chan (@bchanish). There are also the haute looks in the Gazette’s own Parties coverage — including Barbara Brown and Komal Shah, as seen at the San Francisco Ballet 2022 Season Gala (page 56). And this month, there are three notable fashion shows happening right here, each with a worthy purpose.

P.S. Further your fashion fix with a visit to the City’s Legion of Honor museum, where Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy, an exhibition of the Chinese designer’s exquisite handmade and ready-to-wear creations, is on view through September 5.

Photo courtesy of Rob Rickman.

Fiji Fashion Runway 2022

For the inaugural show by Fiji Fashion Runway — a local initiative that promotes Fijian and Pacific Island designers — City Hall will be festooned in traditional decor such as patterned bark cloth, or tapa, on the last Friday of May, designated as heritage month for Asians and Pacific Islanders. “Our job at Fiji Fashion Runway is creating direct links between the American consumer/buyer and the designer,” explains executive producer and Fiji native Donnalesi Vaubula. “We provide a platform that helps give them a voice and pushes them to another level.” Hence, the theme for the evening is “bridging the gap.”

The event highlights 12 designers from the Fiji Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Philippines — many of whom specialize in resort wear and bohemian-inspired pieces. (An ensemble from Aisea Konrote’s Hefrani label is shown above.) An hourlong reception including cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be followed by the presentation itself, which is expected to last two hours. The after-party features Sassy Fiji, whose repertoire includes Fijian songs in the Fijian language. “There is some island entertainment before and during the show, so it’s not exactly like Fashion Week,” says Vaubula. Throughout the evening, ceremonial dances will be performed by members of the Fijian, Tongan and Samoan communities.

Friday, May 27, 6 p.m., San Francisco City Hall; tickets: $200 for front-row access | facebook.com/fijifashionrunway

Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera.

SF Opera Guild’s Carolina Herrera Fashion Show & Luncheon

Lisa Zabelle has been waiting two years to wear the Carolina Herrera dress she selected for the San Francisco Opera Guild’s fashion show and luncheon that she is cochairing along with Roman Gronkowski — and that was originally slated for 2020. The benefit, which raises funds for education programs that reach more than 64,000 students across 200-plus schools in Northern California every year, is back on the calendar, as is a corresponding online auction (May 6 through 15). “It’s a nice afternoon — to free your mind of other things, and just enjoy the fashion and the experience,” says Zabelle.

The chic midday affair at Neiman Marcus entails a champagne reception, followed by lunch, a live auction and the runway show. Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon will be on hand as approximately 40 looks from the Pre-Fall 2022 and Fall/Winter 2022 collections are presented. Vogue describes the latter as “characteristically upbeat.” Indeed, as the designer once told the New York Times, “There’s enough darkness in the world, and you don’t buy Carolina Herrera clothes to disappear — you buy them to feel spectacular.” Says Zabelle: “I’m excited for Wes and for everybody to see him. … He’s been reworking Carolina Herrera’s signature elements in a fun way and brings them up to the times. It’s traditional fashion but with a modern twist.”

Wednesday, May 11, 11 a.m., Neiman Marcus San Francisco; tickets from $500 | sfopera.com/opera-guild

33rd PARCA Luncheon & Fashion Show

Gloria Malouf has organized more than a dozen benefit fashion shows for Burlingame-based PARCA (Partners & Advocates for Remarkable Children & Adults), and there’s always plenty of buzz around the designer that she and her husband, Sam, bring to town. For this year’s fundraiser — which is presented by the couple’s Sam Malouf Authentic Luxury boutique and PARCA Auxiliary — about 20 looks from the Hellessy Fall/Winter 2022 collection are slated for the runway. Describing Sylvie Millstein’s designs as “seductive American sportswear for the modern woman,” Gloria Malouf notes that the label “has appealed to so many different women that I have dressed over the years.” (Hellessy fans include Rihanna and Kristen Stewart.)

The theme for 2022 is “PARCA Polo Club: A Day at the Polo Fields.” Along with food and fashion, there will be auctions, a wine pull at each table and a tribute to St. Claire’s owner Billy Harris, who is retiring after 18 years as PARCA’s catering partner. Three hundred members of the San Francisco and Peninsula philanthropy scene are expected to turn out for the event, which raised $400,000 last year. “I admire the strength, insightfulness and creativity to start an organization that creates awareness and funding for people of all ages with developmental disabilities,” says Malouf. When she approached Millstein, the Chanel and Givenchy alum didn’t hesitate. “Supporting communities and the ones in need is part of the Hellessy brand ethos,” she says, “and we are grateful to be able to do so in partnership with Sam Malouf.”

Wednesday, May 18, 10 a.m., at a private Hillsborough estate; tickets: $350 | parcaauxiliary.org

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