Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment


June 19, 2007
Ultimate chic

KEMPNER.jpgNan Kempner(pictured), the famous New York socialite and former correspondent for French Vogue, was, in the words of Vanity Fair magazine, "the world's most famous clotheshorse."

Next month will mark the two-year anniversary of her death, at age 74 from emphysema.

As far back as I can remember, Nan consistently graced the pages of fashion magazines, either in feature stories or stories about the fabulous parties she threw or attended. She was front and center at all the couture fashion shows and she was, as columnist Liz Smith wrote, "just a lot of fun."

Like any respectable fashion fiend who admires incredible clothes, I would have given my Guccis to take a gander at her closet(s).

Well, now that's possible - sort of. The de Young Museum in San Francisco is hosting a showcase that includes almost 75 pieces previously owned - and worn - by Nan during her heyday as a Manhattan fashion icon.

What will you see? Valentino gowns, Yves Saint Laurent pantsuits. And couture the likes of which a newspaper person could never, ever afford.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 11, so you've got time. But don't put it off; the S.F. stop is the only one in this country. Afterward, the show heads abroad.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and over, $6 for youths ages 13-17 and college students with ID, and children 12 and under are free. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Fridays until 8:45 p.m.

The de Young is in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. Check out the Web site for more details, or call (415) 863-3330.

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