Your Passport to high glamour

Macy’s Passport, one of San Francisco’s most popular fashion-charity events, has — not surprisingly — reached a milestone.

“It’s always the crown jewel,” says Passport producer Larry Hashbarger. “From day one, it was very successful. I didn’t know I’d be around for 25 years able to produce the 25th silver anniversary, with all of the rich history.”

The event, which benefits HIV/AIDS programs, is at the Herbst and Festival pavilions at Fort Mason Center. It opens today with a program called “Fashion Inform” strictly for pre-invited high school students and continues with glittering fashion shows and entertainment Wednesday and Thursday.

The shows have been called “fashion theater,” featuring the adrenaline of Marc Ecko’s extreme world of sports, with motorcycles roaring down the runway. Then there’s dancing by the award-winning the Spirit of Uganda youth troupe, as well as a number choreographed by “So You Think You Can Dance’s” Brian Friedman.

Of course, there’s the cutting-edge runway fashion by top American designers.

Among the highlights: Performances from Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere”; “A Day in the Life” with Calvin Klein’s designs; Via Spiga’s “A Really Big Shoe,” choreographed by Friedman; a Levi’s-sponsored musical segment, Academy of Art University students’ “Future Vision”; and silver anniversary gowns by Klein, Michael Kors, Tracey Reese, Anna Sui and Jessica McClintock to be auctioned on e-Bay.

Thursday’s main event, the Gala Evening, features special guest Dita von Teese. The international burlesque queen,wearing a costume of 250,000 crystals, will reprise a performance-art piece in which she appears in an oversized Champagne glass. Meanwhile, the New York fashion industry will be on hand to take in the designs. The gathering is hosted by honorary co-chairmen Ambassador James C. Hormel and Timothy C. Wu; it is co-chaired by Gail DeMartini and Bonhams chief executive officer Laura King Pfaff. Another special guest is food maven Narsai David, who will preside over an auction of fantasy packages.

Wednesday’s event, geared toward a younger crowd, features pre-show cocktails and a post-show party at which guests may mingle with Passport models.

To commemorate Passport’s 25th anniversary, Macy’s has created special, limited-edition merchandise in silver, available at West Coast Macy’s stories.

Noting that Macy’s Passport has raised $25 million for AIDS charity, Robert Mettler, chief executive officer of Macy’s West, says “What began in San Francisco over 25 years ago has reached into our communities across the western United States and with the help of the Federated Fund, across the globe to Africa.”

Macy's Passport

Where: Herbst and Festival pavilions, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday; 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Tickets: $85 to $1,000

Contact: (415) 421-8497; www.ticketmaster.com

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