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Standing Ovations VI

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society celebrates the city’s unique contributions to the world of fashion with Standing Ovations VI: San Francisco Style.

And just as San Francisco fashion designers have been stylishly dressing people all over the world for decades, the society will “dress” Mint Plaza with a fabulous tent for this gala event!

Each year Standing Ovations celebrates the historic achievements of those who have contributed to the city’s cultural heritage. A highlight this year will be a fashion show presented and sponsored by the Academy of Art University’s prestigious School of Fashion. The evening begins with a reception featuring signature cocktails and a silent auction in the Old Mint, a lushly catered dinner by some of the city’s finest chefs served in a chicly tented Mint Plaza, the fashion presentation, a live auction and a short program honoring this year’s award recipients.

The gala is a benefit for the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit, dedicated to preserving, interpreting and presenting the rich historical heritage of San Francisco. It’s committed to telling the stories of the men and women of San Francisco and presenting the impact their contributions have had on the nation and the world.

An exhibition in the Old Mint showcasing the styles and fashions of San Francisco throughout history will debut on the evening of the event and will open to the public beginning Saturday, April 20.

Fashion is the ultimate artistic expression of individual style, and San Francisco has had an influence on the way people dress dating back to the 19th century.

Most famously, the city is known as the birthplace of blue jeans. The world's best selling item of clothing and one of the greatest icons of modern fashion, blue jeans were invented in San Francisco by Levi Strauss in 1873. In the 1950s, the blue denim synonymous for decades with hard, honest work became a symbol of rebellious youth when sported by screen idols like James Dean and Marlon Brando. Blue jeans have since entered the high fashion vocabulary and are ubiquitous. Today jeans are part of the repertoire of haute couture houses like Armani, Valentino and Chanel.

The whimsical, irreverent attire of the Haight-Ashbury’s Flower Children in the 1960s has influenced clothing designers as diverse as Jessica McClintock and Betsey Johnson. In the late 1960s Bill Kelly, Stanley Mouse and others set up a studio in Mill Valley to produce designs expressly for T-shirts, thus putting fine art on what had previously been regarded as a merely utilitarian article of clothing. Since the ’60s the influence of San Francisco’s clothing designers has only continued to create new fashion trends: Don and Doris Fisher’s Gap, Susie and Doug Tompkins' Esprit, Mel and Patricia Ziegler’s Banana Republic, the list goes on and on.

If there’s one thing San Franciso’s clothing designers have done collectively, it is to inspire the world to dress with imagination and to dress for comfort without ever losing a sense of style.


The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society (SFMHS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating the stories of the men and women of this region and how their contributions have impacted the United States and the world. Our goal is to make the rich heritage and diverse culture of San Francisco and the Bay Area relevant, engaging and fun for all audiences. SFMHS is creating the new San Francisco Museum at the Mint. The renovation will transform the Mint into an innovative cultural institution for residents, students and visitors.

Proceeds from Standing Ovations will help fund efforts to present San Francisco’s past, present and future through a broad spectrum of programs and special events that offer exciting ways to experience San Francisco’s history.

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