Herrera fashions up Davies Hall in symphony benefit 

Music and fashion will make magic this week when the San Francisco Symphony kicks off its yearlong centennial celebration with a special Davies Symphony Hall runway show featuring designs by Carolina Herrera.

The show, produced by Neiman Marcus, is the exact production the iconic designer mounted for her fall 2011 collection, which launched earlier this year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.

Herrera will be in attendance at Wednesday’s show, a production with special staging that includes a catwalk built over part of the orchestra seating and original sets, music and models.

The gathering marks the first time in more than 25 years that a fashion show has been staged at Davies Hall. The last featured Yves Saint Laurent in an event chaired by Deborah Strobin.

“An Evening With Carolina Herrera” is a benefit chaired by longtime philanthropist Patricia Ferrin Loucks and sponsored by the San Francisco League of the San Francisco Symphony.

“This unique event brings together fashion and passion to raise essential funds for the musical educational programs for the entire community,” Loucks says.

League President Sallie Huntting played a pivotal role in organizing the event, enlisting support from honorary chair Patricia Sprincin and Neiman Marcus San Francisco General Manager John Capizzi, who says, “Neiman Marcus is thrilled to partner with the symphony for such an amazing event on the eve of their 100th anniversary.”

Proceeds from this and other symphony special events finance music education for more than 20,000 schoolchildren in San Francisco.

This week’s evening event also features wine and light bites, along with jazz by San Francisco Symphony principal trumpeter Mark Inouye appearing with his band, The Unit. Herrera, an international designer who has been a fixture on best-dressed lists herself, was a favorite of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She dresses celebrities such as Renee Zellweger, Nicole Kidman, Salma Hayek and Oprah Winfrey.

Born in Venezuela, Herrera built her brand over 30 years and is known for exquisite cuts and luxurious creations.

The symphony’s 100-year celebration continues with its opening-night gala Sept. 7 — which is slated to feature performances by violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Lang Lang — and culminates in the Black & White Ball in June 2012.

IF YOU GO

An Evening with Carolina Herrera

Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday
Tickets: $175
Contact: (415) 503-5500, volunteercouncil@sfsymphony.org

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