The jet-setting scion of San Francisco’s most famed family, talks signature styles and wedding planning in her grandparents’ abode in Pacific Heights
Words by DIANE DORRANS SAEKS
Photography by TAGHI NADERZAD
Fashion Direction by LAUREN GOODMAN
On a recent golden autumn afternoon, Ivy Love Getty is sitting barefoot on a tufted silk velvet sofa in the living room of her family home overlooking San Francisco Bay. She’s accompanied by her fiancé, aspiring film director Toby Engel, and their rescue dog Blue, a winsome Chihuahua/terrier mix.
Ivy’s vivid turquoise eyes, which have captivated over 80,000 followers across all social media platforms, glance around the room: to the gilded chandelier; impressionist paintings by Matisse and Degas, Renoir and Cézanne; and a lyrical group of delicate Chinese porcelain and carved rock crystal arrayed on a 1740 rococo giltwood chest.
Gucci gown, $14,000. SIMONE ROCHA earrings, $175, NORDSTROM. Ring and bracelets, Ivy’s own.
This is where she grew up, among the rare collections and haute decor of her grandmother, the late Ann Getty, who for over 50 years reigned as the queen of San Francisco society. Admired for her international philanthropy and support of the arts, Ann was a noted collector of fine, rare English and French antiques of the late 18th century. (Her husband Gordon, Ivy’s grandfather, is an opera composer of note and a highly successful vintner in the Napa Valley.) Twenty-one years ago, Ann founded her interior-design firm, Ann Getty and Associates, and created these dramatic rooms.
The San Francisco home is a 1918 Beaux-Arts confection by architect Willis Polk, with embellished rooms of palazzo-esque splendor and beauty. Twilight sends shimmers of gold from jeweled Russian chandeliers and enhances the glow of Canaletto paintings of Venice’s Grand Canal. In the dining room, a gilt-bronze chest from the period of Louis XIV stands opposite a mirrored cabinet once owned by a Medici pope.
Impressionist paintings inspire reverie.
As of the time of this writing, Ivy and Toby are planning to hold their wedding reception here, after a ceremony in fall 2021 in the splendor of San Francisco City Hall. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a lifelong family friend, was an obvious choice to officiate, and a 400-strong crowd of international friends and family are invited.
“Toby and I have lived in so many places, and our friends are a very eclectic group, so we loved the idea of having them all meet at our San Francisco home,” says Ivy.
Her dramatic and daring couture wedding gown was designed by John Galliano of Maison Margiela Atelier. “I’ve been obsessed with John Galliano forever, and it was a dream come true to meet him,” says the bride, who was introduced by her glamorous aunt, Vanessa Getty, a longtime fan of the former Dior creative director.
LOUIS VUITTON jacket, price upon request, dress, $3,000, and skirt, $3,000. Bracelet, Ivy’s own.
“My style is a mix of my dad’s rock-star style and classicism from my grandmother.”
“We first met at his studio in Paris to discuss my gown, and he listened to my dreams and made a few quiet comments,” says Ivy. “He is so cool and so humble with ideas and inspirations. The gown and the embellishment perhaps will be a bit shocking to some guests. I love it.”
“Working on her wedding dress and her reception gown brought Ivy and me so close,” says Vanessa. “The gown is a creative masterpiece. Mr. Galliano wove aspects of Ivy’s history into the design. It’s very personal. There’s the rock ’n’ roll aspect of Ivy’s father John, and in the veil a tribute to Ann’s family heritage in California. [So] Ann and John will be close to Ivy as she says her vows.” Ivy’s father John, who died just weeks after Ann in 2020, was a handsome, charming man of great wit and style, and a musician. His signature: superbly tailored Savile Row jackets given a jolt of Jagger-esque cool with cowboy boots and jewel-like velvet scarves.
Toby and Ivy’s life together over the last two years has been low-key even as Ivy launched her modeling career with Ford Models. After attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Ivy headed to New York and modeled for talented young designer friends to build her portfolio.
Ivy Getty adored her grandmother Ann’s maximalist decor growing up in the family’s San Francisco home.
As the world turned upside down, the couple retreated last year to the lush green splendor of the Surrey countryside, to Toby’s mother’s house. On spring break in Capri, Toby proposed to her; the bold and sparkling ring was made with a large, oval, intensely hued sapphire from his mother encircled by 10 large diamonds from an antique necklace that was a gift to Ivy from Ann.
Recently, the couple spent some blissful months in Paris. They rented a tiny apartment in a historic corner of the Marais among art galleries, hip boutiques and dynamic new creative fashion designers. “We loved exploring our neighborhood and obscure corners of the city by electric scooter,” says Toby. “The two of us, Ivy in the front, navigating and speeding through Paris. I would stand on the back, tightly clasping her, and always ready to catch her if anything threatened our balance. So romantic.”
“I’ve been obsessed with John Galliano forever. … He listened to my dreams”
Now the couple is focused on setting up home in their recently acquired Lower Manhattan penthouse, in the heart of NoHo, which Ann had started decorating for them before she passed. (They also have an apartment in London, to stay close to the Getty and Engel clans across the pond.) There’s a focus on eco-materials, low-key decor and the comfort and sense of home required by the young jet-set pair. The rooms are now being completed by Maria Quiros of Ann Getty and Associates, according to a concept Ivy describes as “casual and versatile, respectful of the planet, personal.”
VALENTINO gown, $12,500. Prada boots, price upon request. Éliou earrings, $162, Nordstrom. Ring and bracelets, Ivy’s own.
“Ivy has inherited so many wonderful qualities from Ann, like her love of family, and her fashion style,” says Jo Schuman, her godmother and Ann’s best friend. “Education was very important to Ann, so each year she planned educational trips for Ivy and her school friends. They would take the Getty jet to study art in Paris, learn about animal welfare on safari in Africa, exposing Ivy to the world and learning she loved. Ivy had a very cosmopolitan upbringing.”
Ann, a couture collector, also introduced Ivy to her world of Oscar de la Renta and Valentino, and Paris couture. In October, Ivy attended Paris Fashion Week, where collections from Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Saint Laurent, MiuMiu and Prada caught her eye.
“Toby and I have lived so many places, and our friends are a very eclectic group”
“I collect vintage fashions, and especially love YSL by Yves Saint Laurent himself, and I love to wear vintage Pucci, and Galliano for Dior,” she says. “My style is a mix of my dad’s rock-star style and classicism from my grandmother. In fashion, I’m traditional and experimental. I always look for new fashions among women-owned companies. Before I wear something new, I select carefully.”
Indoor pool Ivy frolicked in as a child.
Posting often on Instagram, Ivy is hyper-aware of her look and her self-expression. “Sometimes I think my grandmother would love my style now,” she muses as she cuddles and kisses Blue. “I’m very focused on making all the right decisions and having less impact on our planet. It’s important to think about our future now that we are considering having children.”
“Ivy has a bright future,” observes Denise Hale, a family friend for over 50 years. “She will always be very much a Getty. And she will do great things, just the way Ann did. I wish her and Toby many years of happiness.”
Makeup by AMY LAWSON (artistrybyamy.com) using NARS Cosmetics.
Hair by WILLIAM SORIANO using Kérastase Paris and assisted by MARYANN TRAN.
SYDNEY SWEENEY wears HERMES jacket, jeans and glove; CALLE DEL MAR top; and BULGARI and CARTIER jewelry.
Feature Image: DIOR coat, $8,100, dress, $10,500, and scarf, $590. GUCCI loafers, $850. ÉLIOU earrings, $162, NORDSTROM. Ring, Ivy’s own.
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2021-2022 issue of C Magazine.
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