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October 24, 2014

Scene and Heard: Claiborne Swanson Frank

North Beach served up a night of nostalgia on Wednesday, October 15 for the San Francisco debut of portrait photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank’s second book, Young Hollywood (Assouline). Guests, including Frank’s older sister Alexis Traina and her mother Elizabeth Swanson, were invited to a private dinner at Tosca to fête the launch. Young Hollywood is a collection of Frank’s portraits of modern-day pretty young things who channel film’s leading ladies of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. “I really wanted to honor old Hollywood with new Hollywood, and marry that through wardrobe and styling, location, and hair and makeup,” said Frank. “I went back through so many archival images of actresses I really loved from Elizabeth Taylor to Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Veronica Lake and really studied what glamour was through the lens of hair and makeup…It was amazing how all these pieces came together to tell this very old story but also a very modern narrative of beauty today.”

Young Hollywood includes 60 of the film industry’s young actresses, directors, and stylists including Isabel Lucas, Elisabeth Moss, Mickey Sumner, and Amber Heard. “I think these present day actresses and insiders look to the past for inspiration,” said Frank, “We always look to the greats to inspire us to create in modern times. At heart I’m a really nostalgic person and I wanted to honor the past but also really tell a story of this next generation of talented women.” The night’s nod to the past was inadvertently echoed in the evening’s venue as Frank, a Napa Valley native, noted that “Tosca used to be our high school hang out!” Textile designer Stevie Howell, a childhood best friend of Frank, confided, “It used to be just us in here and off-duty cops.”

By Jennifer McCullum

Pictured: Claiborne Swanson Frank

Photo by: Owen Kolasinski

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