San Francisco Ballet Gala 2017, Ever Magical, inspired some extraordinary evening gowns. My top five (in alphabetical order): Vanessa Jean-Baptiste in Vasily Vein, Paula Carano in Naeem Khan, Huifen Chan in Valentino, Hannah Comolli in Gucci and Kelsey Lamond in Jenny Packham.
Red Carpet Bay Area Top Five Evening Gowns on Opening Night at San Francisco Ballet:
Vanessa Jean-Baptiste in a gown by Vasily Vein
Paula Carano in a gown by Naeem Khan
Huifen Chan in Valentino
Kelsey Lamond in Jenny Packham
Hannah Comolli in Gucci
Custom Gowns from Small Design Houses
Gowns designed locally for the occasion included Gala chair Avé Seltsam‘s light blue satin and tulle confection from Karen Caldwell, and an ethereal light blue by Vasily Vein on Vanessa Jean-Baptiste that perfectly complimented her beautiful figure. For more designs by Karen Caldwell and Vasily Vein at the event, see Parties on Opening Night. Margaret Mitchell tapped fashion designer Christopher Collins for a made-to-measure black velvet and gold lace column. Norah Stone‘s artistic evening ensemble was custom designed by Andrea Spiridonakis, a former ballerina.
More Extraordinary Evening Gowns on Opening Night at the Ballet:
Yuan Yuan Tan in a gown by Tom Ford
Madison Dempster in Sachin & Babi Noir
Nancy Kukacka in Altuzarra
Carolyn Chang in a dress by Sophie Theallet
Fashion designer Christopher Collins with Margaret Mitchell
Suzy Kellems Dominik in Ralph Rucci Couture
Norah Stone in Andrea Spiridonakis and Norman Stone in Martin Margiela and Comme des Garçon
Beth Grossman in a gown by Erdem
Komal Shah in Monique Lhuillier
San Francisco Ballet Gala Chair Ave Seltsam in a gown by Karen Caldwell
Deepa Pakianathan in Rubin Singer
International Designers Represented
In the major international designers category, I spotted a delightful madcap patterned Gucci sequined gown on Hannah Comolli. An exquisite navy tulle and sequined gown by Jenny Packham on Kelsey Lamond, and a bubbly high-low ballgown designed by Rubin Singer on Deepa Pakianathan (for another stunning style from Rubin Singer, and the designer himself, see Parties on Opening Night). Principal dancer Yuan Yuan Tan wore an unforgettable black velvet and white beaded gown by Tom Ford. Also stunning in black and white, Madison Dempster in Sachin & Bobi Noir.
Forever a red carpet standout, Paula Carano turned heads in a white gown with embroidered flowers by Naeem Khan. I was also struck by Carolyn Chang in a modern Sophie Theallet, Nancy Kukacka in an edgy Altuzarra and Suzy Kellems Dominick in black velvet and feathers by Ralph Rucci Couture. Huifen Chan looked dreamy in a shimmery, sheer Victorian style Valentino. On the bright side, Komal Shah chose a coral ballgown with embroidered detail by Monique Lhuillier, and Beth Grossman rocked the color in a rich lace and embroidered column by Erdem.
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
— Related — Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of more San Francisco Ballet opening events: