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Local Designer Update: Sara Shepherd

Since last we featured women’s wear designer Sara Shepherd as part of 7x7’s esteemed Style Council in 2008, the local talent has been busy teaching fashion design and pattern making and sewing part-time at the Academy of Art and producing her gorgeous Spring/Summer 2009 collection. If you’re lucky, you may have already gotten a sneak peek of her latest concoctions at Global Green’s annual Gorgeous and Green benefit, where she previewed some of her impeccably tailored pieces on the SF catwalk.

Bloodhound: Hunting-Lodge Chic

San Francisco is not lacking in the themed bars category. Nevertheless, a new trendy watering hole has taken it upon itself to join the ranks. Five minutes in Bloodhound, which opened its doors in early February (replacing former neighborhood favorite Cassidy's) will make you wonder where exactly you veered off course in SoMa and wound up in your Uncle Billy's hunting room in West Virginia.

Sheep: The Next Lawnmower

Every time I drive up to my parents in Sonoma, I pass a sign, right by Sears Point, that simply says: I've known about Don Watson's sustainable mowing business for a while (he brings the sheep; they eat your weeds and do their own bit to fertilize) but I've never actually seen a sheep in a vineyard—until Saturday, when I saw a whole flock of them contentedly grazing amongst the vines at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. They were so cute that I had to pull over and snap a photo, which really annoyed the sheepdog guarding them. (Whether or not these are the sheep of Don Watson—who runs his business both in Colorado and Napa—I don't know.

Yuan Yuan Tan Carries New Swan Lake

Furs, up-dos and arm-in-arm walking were in full force at the War Memorial Opera House Saturday, as ballet-goers weathered a blustery evening for the world premiere of Helgi Tomasson's revamped production of Swan Lake. That the world-renowned San Francisco Ballet has taken on what might be considered the ultimate ballet is something to be excited about – and the buzz was palatable.

Tomasson has been quoted to say that "it's impossible not to like Swan Lake," and this production, with it's updated set (which borrows architectural elements from San Francisco's City Hall, the Louvre and the War Memorial Opera House), proved that to be true.

The Powder and The Glory: Beauty's Biggest Rivalry

Beauty industry pioneers Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden may have devoted their lives to making faces pretty, but the decades-long rivalry between the two icons is said to have been anything but.

The intense and, at times, bitter competition between the two women widely credited with launching the now $150 billion global health and beauty industry in New York during the first decade of the 20th century is the subject of documentary film The Powder & the Glory, screening Wednesday night at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s year-round programming.

Bill Niman won't eat Niman Ranch meat

This weekend Stacy Finz of the Chronicle wrote a great piece about Bill Niman, and the pressures (and difficulties) of taking a small-scale business big time. I was an early fan of Niman Ranch meats, easily fell in love with their superlative hot dogs and apple-wood-smoked bacon, and now am wondering whether I should continue supporting a business that claims to still employ the quality and husbandry standards Niman put in place but has done some dubious streamlining since Bill Niman's ousting from his eponymous company late last year.

Eoin Harrington at The Independent

From the moment Eoin Harrington took the stage, his audience showered him with cheers. Celebrating the release of his new album “Story,” The Independent was sold out last Friday with fans happy to see the San Franciscan, Irish singer. The album may be his first full length, but he’s already developed an adoring fan base. Eoin’s friendly charm and performance made for an upbeat singer-songwriter set that felt fun and welcoming. From playful songs or heartbreaking lyrics, Eoin’s warm voice was captivating throughout.

Dance Baby Dance!

My pick for viral video of the year. You may never get these nine and a half minutes back..but you’re sure to be entertained. It also links to the play list...ENJOY!


Heart-works: SF General Hospital Foundation Fundraiser

San Francisco General Hospital, the city-funded and medically renowned hospital and Level-One trauma center, is a bit like Fort Knox -- you may never actually see the inside but it’s reassuring to know it’s there.

“You never know when you are going to need it and you never know who might need it,” said SF General Hospital Foundation Board Member Pam Baer last week at the Heroes & Hearts Luncheon. “The General is everyone’s safety net.”

The Case Against Sean Penn, and Other Oscar Picks

The Oscars have arrived, and with them the inevitable slew of so-called expert predictions. And though I find myself naturally curious, I must admit that my anticipation of Sunday evening’s ceremony has been subdued by lingering disappointment with some of the nominations. Put simply, my heart’s not entirely in it.

WALL*E should have been earned a nomination for best picture, as should The Wrestler. (A win for either would have suited me just fine.) Woody Allen’s strongest contribution in years was largely overlooked. And Bruce Springsteen, in the midst of a creative surge as strong as any in his career, managed to write a song for a movie (again, The Wrestler) without so much as a hint of recognition. Go figure.

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