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Clothes-Minded

Much like her widely touted salon-style dinner parties, social connector Susan MacTavish Best’s wardrobe is eclectic and deliberate, yet unfussy and filled with a sense that anything might happen.

 SLIDESHOW

Susan MacTavish Best wearing The Vampire’s Wife at her home in Pacific Heights,

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Photo: Gene X Hwang (Orange Photography)

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What to wear when hosting a salon featuring an interview with the likes of CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna or Breakthrough Initiatives Executive Director Pete Worden for dozens of movers and shakers? If you’re Susan MacTavish Best, hostess extraordinaire, you don NikeLab kicks with a svelte gown by The Vampire’s Wife—but no “drippy-down” sleeves. After all, when you’re elbows-deep preparing dinner for some of the most influential people on the planet (from roboticist Ken Goldberg to Financial Times investigative reporter Tom Burgis), the rule is “practicality first,” she says. Rule No. 2: “Always, always feel confident in what you’re wearing.”

Practicality aside, the Scotland-educated PR maven and founder of Living MacTa vish has fun with clothes; a look inside the closets of her rented Pacific Heights Victorian reveals Batsheva rairie dresses, Faith Connexion sequined separates, Joseph pantsuits, lots of velvet (“so pettable,” she coos) and family hand-me-downs, including a MacTavish tartan jacket and so-out-they’re-in L.L.Bean pieces. She rarely wears black—“it looks tedious in photos,” she says—aside from Balenciaga dresses and shearling-lined Birkenstocks. The silver-foil Raey dress? Found on MacTavish Best’s go-to shopping site, matchesfashion.com. She also stockpiles sneakers and glasses from brands like Gentle Monster and Kite Eyewear, further accessorizing with gold bracelets from her grandmother. “She used to jingle in them. Now I jingle,” she says. “And I do love a brooch. Viva hardware.”

MacTavish Best’s just-launched venture, PostHoc, capitalizes on the success of her salons and skills as the ultimate social connector. It’s a natural extension of what she’s long done. “I love bringing people together; I enjoy cooking for my friends; and I love learning about new topics. And music! I love live music,” she enthuses. “I’m very stoked to be alive. ... I think that’s reflected in how I dress.”

 

Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco 

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