Archive for May 11th, 2010

photos by Pablo Abuliak

I hardly need say more than this: From Leah Garchik‘s column yesterday:

The birthday of Denise Hale – a date carved in marble, but whoops, the sculptor forgot the year – was celebrated Saturday night with a masked ball hosted by interior designer Ken Fulk and Kurt Wootton at their goth, glitz ‘n’ glam Seventh Street digs, which, as several knowing guests noted, used to be the home of Mr. S Leather. This was not a fundraiser but did mark the creation of the Denise Hale Fund at the San Francisco SPCA. One in the row of strapped, shaven and bare-chested guys arrayed at the party entrance said he was there for charity. The designer himself had paid taxidermic homage to all God’s creatures in decorating accessories that included zebra skin, antelope heads and a giraffe. (Since I am fond of these things myself, we’ll assume they died of gallbladder conditions.)

Over the course of the evening, the crowd morphed, beginning with society/civic power players who were mostly the honoree’s pals (among them the Newsoms, the Gascons, Mark Leno, Michael Tilson Thomas and Joshua Robison, Ann Getty, Jo Schuman Silver, Nancy Oakes and Bruce Aidells), and moving toward Fulk and Wootton’s South of Market pals, including the entire cast of “Pearls Over Shanghai,” who arrived, still in full costume and makeup, just before midnight. Picture fishnets, glitter, bustiers, sequins, rhinestones, more, and you still haven’t pictured enough. If there had been an accidental spill of mascara on the way there, the environmental disaster would have been big enough to cover the state of Texas.

Framed images of the honoree abounded on tabletops, along with clusters of candles and huge bouquets of white lilies. Paula LeDuc catered, and the drink of choice was the Halestorm: basil-infused vodka, lime juice, branch of thyme; the honoree wore Ralph Rucci. On the middle floor, Connie Champagne, Paula West and Fauxnique sang. On the top floor, Hale stood just inside the balcony – wherein a silken tent had been built – surveying the masses, most of whom were dancing to a DJ.

The beat throbbed; glasses crashed; revelers screamed. Forget soiree, this was a party.

Studio Z Mendocino was honored to be the letterpress printer who did up the incredibly fabulous invitations that San Francisco design firm,  Markatos Moore, created for the party of this century, so far. Then, even more fabulously, we got to GO TO THE PARTY.
But I am talking here about the invitations, so let me go on. And on…
OK, they were insanely fabulous. The talented Markatos Moore design team had us print the invitations on big squares of 300 gram Cranes Lettra. Classically pertinent Roman type, black ink, understatement, understatement, understatement. THEN…EYES, looking at you. THEN a mask pinned just to reveal the eyes looking at you.
Invitations arrived in a big square envelope with the tails of the mask folded over just so; as the tails dropped away: the gaze. The custom stamp was a vintage photo of the extraordinary doyenne of international and San Francisco society, Mrs. Denise Hale. Oh, it was too much. No, it was exactly perfect. The restrained typography married to the surprise ogling perfectly initiated guests into the excitingly juxtaposed experience of the party itself, as described by Leah G above.

We also made up presents for the revelers to take home that encouraged them to visit the SFSPCA web site to contribute to the fund. We created a dapper little masked doggy, printed in black ink and gold foil, who reminded them of all the animals who benefit from the services of the SF Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: “Darling! Rescue Me!”
He was given out to departing guests along with a CD of the dance music they’d just danced to and a few of our Ladies Who Lunch cards — Let the schmoozing continue!
To the beyond-fabulous host, Ken Fulk (whose birthday, I hear, is today) and Kurt Wootton, honoree, Mrs. Denise Hale, to the sublime Creative-at-Large, Nelson Bloncourt, to Peter Markatos|Tyler Moore design team, I second our doggy’s emotion: Thank you for throwing us a Ball.
Gorgeous photos of the madcap Ball may be viewed at http://megmessina.com/

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