Surrounded by a harem of belly dancers, glittering ladies, and men of velvet and furs, you'd be forgiven should you mistake the woman with hennaed hands and jeweled hair as some mysterious monarch from the other side of the planet.
But one glance at her metallic McQueen dress (for she's San Francico's biggest McQueen fan) should set you straight. That seated sultana with copper hair is none other than Jennifer Raiser, signing copies of her new book, Burning Man: Art on Fire, for her adoring well-wishers.
Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy hosted the event at their wonderful Tenderloin shop, Cavalier Goods, an eclectic emporium of glamorous goodies where one can find anything from $50 bottle openers from Japan to a custom-made brass chandelier ($11,500.)
The book strikingly showcases the elaborate art structures of Burning Man festivals from the last few years with photos by Sidney Erthal and Scott London, and features profiles of the artists themselves.
Alan Crouch, Jennifer Raiser, Eric Jansen
Those for whom the idea of a raucous commune in the Nevada desert with thousands of strangers sounds like a peculiar form of torture should be especially grateful for this book, which highlights the best aspects of the annual event. You can skip the dust storms and just enjoy the beauty!
Among the many guests were Banana Republic President Jack Calhoun, author Kevin Sessums, the book's photographer Sidney Erthal, design critic Zahid Sardar, fashion designer Karen Caldwell, interior designer Claudia Juestel, realtor Joel Goodrich, and some of San Francisco's chicest, such as Mary Beth Shimmon, Barbara Brown, and of course our beloved Sonya Molodetskaya.
Spotting the festivities on Facebook, Indian designer Manish Arora immediately wrote from Paris to praise her mehndi!
Your Kazbus Awaits. Destination Unknown.Photos via Facebook
As the evening ended, the infamous Kazbus awaited Jennifer outside. Decorated with multiple minarets in psychadelic colors and flames on its hood, where did it take her and her merry band of artists, burners, drag queens and fashionistas? Xanadu? Black Rock? Or just to her home in Pacific Heights. With Jennifer Raiser, the destination is a mystery and the ride like magic.
Photos: Drew Altizer