San Antonio Public Library Foundation’s Annual Catrina Ball

By Leanne Raesener Photography by Chris Cantoya and Kelly Jo Johnson

THE SETTING: San Antonio’s Central Library, located in the heart of downtown, was transformed into a vibrant night market, complete with gourmet street food cuisine and musical entertainment to raise funds for the San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF) and the Texana/Genealogy Department. This annual black-tie affair celebrates Dias de los Muertos and raises essential operating funds to sustain the SAPLF and the San Antonio Public Library system.

THE STYLE: Guests were welcomed into the fête by Neiman Marcus models, sculptures from artist Pompa Art, the musical stylings of Mojo Rimba, a student-led marimba group playing popular songs, and dance performances by the Adelitas. Guests were treated to a feast for the eyes and their palates as they encountered delicious cuisine, musical vignettes, stilt walkers, entertainers, and tequila sipping bars that were placed throughout the library for guests to discover as they explored the beautiful space.

The afterparty, held on the second floor of the Central Library, was a fabulous end to an evening of fun and frivolity as guests danced the night away around an incredible two-story Chihuly Fiesta Tower to the music of Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz Orchestra. The event’s top donors were treated to a Neiman Marcus and Veuve Clicquot lounge.

THE PURPOSE: Ruth Agather, Magdalena Gaona, and Mari Tamez chaired the event. This event honored Andi Rodriguez as La Catrina and Guillermo Nicolás as El Catrin. This year, proceeds were also raised to provide a generous gift of additional funding to support the Central Library’s Texana/Genealogy Department and transform the entire sixth floor of the Library into a world-class Texana Resource Center. The San Antonio Public Library Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the library in service to our community.


[et_pb_flex_gallery gallery_ids=”36627,37009,37010,37011,37012,37013,37014,37015,37016,37017,37018,37019,37020,37021,37022,37023,37024,37026,37028,37030,37033,37034,37035,37036″ show_title_and_caption=”off” disabled_on=”off|off|off” _builder_version=”4.3.4″ caption_font=”||||||||” hover_enabled=”0″][/et_pb_flex_gallery]


Just like the song from 1982, we always want candy-colored hues in our world all the time. We’ve always believed that fashion should be fun…and designers agree. Runways have ushered in 2020 with vibrant and delightfully scrumptious candy hues that left us ravenous for more, according to our stylish editor Tori Johnson of


Elie Saab’s spring Ready to Wear 2020 collection made us all have a sweet tooth with the array of sugary colors. Photos courtesy of Vogue.


This Versace logo quilted leather shoulder bag with textured V center comes in three colors (pink, black, and orange) for the perfect complementary accessory. $895. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus.


Saffron came in as one of the Pantone 2020 colors of the year as it welcomes spring so brightly and joyfully. This blazer by Escada is sure to be a new colorful staple in your closet. $1,695. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus.


These emerald green decorative boxes by Karis feature a gold leaf trim and removable lids. Photo and availability courtesy of Stowers Furniture.



Raise a glass with these lovely sorbet-shaded champagne flutes that are individually hand-painted with a fine gold rim. $38 for a set of two. Photo and availability courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.


Whether you’re at the office or attending a wedding, these Manolo Blahnik satin flats are perfect for the classic fashionista. $955. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus.


The chunky sneaker trend is here to stay, and these iridescent ones from Alice + Olivia take the trend to the next level. $325. Photo and availability courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.


This 14-carat yellow gold band from designer Jane Taylor’s Cirque Collection features a line of rainbow gemstones: amethyst, iolite, blue topaz, green tourmaline, citrine, and red garnet. $770. Photo and availability courtesy of Lee Michaels.


This caftan-inspired silhouette by Oscar de la Renta is stunning with its cape-like sleeves and trailing train. $2,890. Photo and availability courtesy of Net-a-Porter.


Shield your eyes in style with these sunglasses from Versace. $295. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus.



Swipe on this Jane Iredale luscious lip gloss for lips that are hydrated and colorful. $26. Photo and availability courtesy of Julian Gold.



A total statement piece–this Hayward handbag features holographic rainbow python snakeskin. $2,450. Photo and availability courtesy of Julian Gold.


Queue up your favorite playlist on this Bang & Olufsen Beoplay AI speaker that fits in the palm of your hand. $250. Photo and availability courtesy of Bang & Olufsen.



Lancome’s Color Design Eyeshadow Palette includes eight different shades along with a mini primer to ensure an all-day look. $49. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus.



The ultimate driving machine, before there was such a term for it, was the Rolls Royce. Here, our roving editor Michael Satterfield takes a spin in the instant classic that remains true to its pedigree to this day. Off we go…

Photography courtesy of Park Place Rolls Royce


The 1970s and 1980s was a time of incredible change, when the microchip revolution, mobile phones, and cable networks revolutionized the world and created countless newly minted millionaires. When most think of the luxury cars of that era, the decade of excess, they immediately think of the Lamborghini Countach. To project style and sophistication, however, it was the Rolls-Royce Corniche, preferably the convertible variant, that won favor. The Rolls-Royce motto is The best car in the world, and if you ever have the chance to drive one, you will quickly understand why they are willing to stake that claim.

The Corniche was an icon long before the 80s, first sold in 1966 as the Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward two-door drophead coupé. Rolls-Royce would make it a standalone model in 1971, giving it a new, much shorter name. The Corniche, named after the Grand Corniche road along the French Riviera, owes its longevity in part to its regal and timeless design, which remained nearly unchanged until the end of its production in 1995…and also attributed to Rolls-Royce’s reputation for reliability. A highly modified Corniche coupe even competed in the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally in 1981. It was, of course, sponsored by Christian Dior’s Jules aftershave, introduced in 1980, as a high profile marketing promotion. The Corniche would also make appearances on popular television series of the era like Magnum PI, MacGyver and, yes, Dallas.

With the Corniche being such a pop culture icon, it was natural that the car would often be driven by the rich and famous. Celebrities like Michael Caine, Frank Sinatra, and Zsa Zsa Gabor all owned Corniche convertibles. Even today, 25 years after the last Corniche was assembled at Mulliner Park Ward, celebrities like Celine Dion, Sean Combs, and Lady Gaga have been spotted driving classic Corniche convertibles. Who could resist, then or now?



The Corniche is now considered a collector’s car, so I reached out to Kyle Crews, a car collector from Dallas who happens to own a beautiful Nutmeg and Tan 1973 Corniche convertible. The car has just 21,000 original miles and was purchased from the estate of the original owner. It sat for several years, so a light restoration was required, mainly just servicing belts and hoses. In fact, the interior was reupholstered in the original Connolly leather, so it looks and smells like new again. Crews even had the original 8-track tape player restored to perfect working order, keeping the car as true to its factory specifications as possible. Getting 8-track tapes would prove the real challenge.

“To me, the Corniche represents the best of the hand-built Rolls-Royce automobiles,” said Kyle Crews. “The styling is timeless. For a heavy car, it handles wonderfully, and although the earlier Corniches had some engineering quirks, if you understand the personality of the cars and maintain them properly, they will run forever.”

Driving a Corniche with the top down on a pleasant day when it’s not too hot–or too cool–to enjoy the open ride is indeed magical. The steering is surprisingly responsive, the ride is smooth, and the power is as Rolls-Royce intended it, adequate. For a car that is nearly 50 years old, much like someone who has maintained their physical appearance, it still has a regal look and a presence that is undeniable.



[et_pb_flex_gallery gallery_ids=”35595,35596,35597,35598,35599,35600,35601,35602,35603″ show_title_and_caption=”off” _builder_version=”4.0.9″][/et_pb_flex_gallery]


Gladys Knight Performs At The Tobin Center Anniversary Gala

By Leanne Raesener – Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SETTING: The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a gala honoring H-E-B, the 2019 Recipient of the Tobin Award, with Winnell Herron accepting the honor on H-E-B’s behalf. The headlining star of the evening was none other than legendary, seven-time Grammy® Award-winning, soulful R&B singer, Gladys Knight.

 THE STYLE:  Upon arrival, close to 500 VIP sponsors, patrons, underwriters, and guests were escorted into a cocktail hour, laden with unique and festive balloon designs created by Melony Rodwell, while the Avanti String Quartet (comprised of San Antonio Symphony members) played, and Ballet San Antonio ballerinas danced on pedestals. They also had a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and chat with the empress of soul herself, Gladys Knight.

The silent auction took place during the VIP cocktail hour featuring one of a kind treasures and experiences, including a guitar signed by Brian Wilson & Al Jardine of the Beach Boys, a Billy Idol signed Flying V electric guitar, an Andrea Bocelli Soundcheck and Concert Package, and a unique Tobin Center party in one of its secret clandestine spaces.

Then, the Children’s Choir of San Antonio, Chamber Music Institute, and Trumpet Fanfare by Youth Orchestras of S.A. (YOSA) summoned the guests to the Carlos Alvarez Theater, the Feik Family Rotunda, and the McLaughlin Family Rotunda for a sumptuous dinner crafted by Executive Chef Paul Goll of Tobin Catering. Soloists from Opera San Antonio announced the end of dinner and instructed the party to move into the H-E-B Performance Hall for the concert. Seating in the venue was cabaret-style for VIPs, and with gala and concert-only ticket buyers, it was a packed house with close to 1200 fans.

Following the concert, there were two after-parties: VIPs enjoyed a disco in the transformed Carlos Alvarez Theater, complete with a collector’s record wall of signed vinyls coupled with entertainment by Uptown Drive. The other after-party, in the McCombs Lobby, had the crowd up and on the dance floor with music from DJ Catwalk, who was suspended high on a station above the dance floor in the unique Founders’ Lounge.

 THE PURPOSE: The Tobin Center Board Chair is Samuel Dawson, and Dennert Ware is the current vice-chair. The gala’s honorary co-chairs were Alethea and Bruce Bugg, and Laura and Sam Dawson. The Tobin Center VIP Event Partners were Mr. and Mrs. James Browning, Mr. and Mrs. John Brozovich, Frost Bank, Rubicon Capital, LLC & Blue Duck Scooters, MUY! Companies and Shiner Beers. Nel Belt chaired the VIP gala committee that included Alethea Bugg, Laura Dawson, Heather de Rojas, Susan Franklin, Jean Lee, Susan Naylor, and Dr. Alice Viroslav. The evening was held to raise funds benefiting the Mission of The Tobin Center, a local non-profit arts organization that provides a world-class venue to promote a diverse range of cultural, educational, and artistic experiences that improve the quality of life in San Antonio.


[et_pb_flex_gallery gallery_ids=”36054,36055,36057,36058,36059,36060,36061,36062,36063,36064,36065,36066,36067,36068,36069,36070,36071,36072,36073,36074,36075,36076,36077,36078,36079,36080,36081,36082″ show_title_and_caption=”off” disabled_on=”off|off|off” _builder_version=”4.0.9″ caption_font=”||||||||”][/et_pb_flex_gallery]


Revisiting the etiquette of the 70s and 80s is something we all may want to do these days in the haste of Insta moments and fleeting social media personas, according to our international etiquette expert, Jay Remer.

We are living in extraordinary times where our fast-paced lives place unexpected stresses on us as individuals, on our communities, and on society as a whole. Fortunately, traditions and social mores help us find peace and a sense of safety. They ground us within our comfort zone by guiding us with a flexible set of principles and rules that ensure respect in our interactions with others and avoid rudeness – intended or unintended.

Although this dynamic is still in place, the world has changed in a number of significant ways that requires us, in order to maintain a civil society, to make adjustments to some of the old guidelines and to create new ones as our lifestyles evolve.

How we entertain has changed. How we communicate has changed even more. Diversity and inclusivity are becoming desirable goals for organizations, communities, and even entire countries. Equality in the workplace, government and every other segment of society have been appropriately and significantly boosted by the MeToo movement, echoing the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s.

When we entertain, many of the old formal rules have been relaxed. We no longer have the staff once required to allow for elaborate dinner parties. Private debutante parties have been replaced by cotillions and assemblies that are shared by several young ladies. Large society weddings have been replaced by smaller affairs, often planned and paid for by the bride and groom.

Handwritten invitations, thank you notes, and RSVP’s have been replaced with emails and text messages. Coupled with the fact that face-to-face communication is no longer the preferred way to exchange ideas, I would caution that this slide towards less personal connections is dangerous. Just as a lack of gratitude can give way to entitlement, a lack of personal contact leads to isolation–a worrisome epidemic today. Because connecting with one another is critical to our very survival, protecting these pathways is important. Giving thanks should never grow old. How we give thanks may change, but the requirement doesn’t. 

Practically speaking, the guideline I recommend for responding to an invitation is when you receive an invitation by email, send your RSVP via email. If you receive one via the postal system, you should reply likewise unless otherwise indicated. RSVPs are important; and people who ignore them risk being removed from future invitation lists. After all, hosts must know how many people are attending their event.  

Giving thanks will never grow old. How we give thanks may change, but the requirement doesn’t. As a guideline, if you receive an invitation by email, send your RSVP via email. If you receive one via the postal system, you should respond likewise unless otherwise indicated. RSVPs will never grow old either, although many people have not been taught about this—people who don’t respond risk being removed from invitation lists. Hosts must know how many people are attending their event for the same obvious reasons they always have.

With a more relaxed and egalitarian lifestyle, the transition from old rules to retooled flexible guidelines can be confusing, annoying, and even overwhelming. We need to remember that one of the original needs for etiquette was to keep representatives from different cultures from offending one another inadvertently. We, as human beings, have an inherent desire to be respected. If we commit to following The Golden Rule and engaging our common sense, we will avoid most of the pitfalls along the way.

However, there will always be rules that need to be taught. This is the responsibility of parents. Setting a good example is important. Bad habits are formed in exactly the same way as good habits. For parents who realize that they are clueless about these rules, then they must take the time to learn them. Etiquette need not be elusive or elitist. After all, etiquette is essentially how we interact with the world. If we want to be accepted (and who doesn’t), we need to keep abreast of current acceptable behavior trends. Respect never goes out of style.



Witte Museum’s 49th Annual Witte Game Dinner Breaks Records

By Leanne Raesener – Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SETTING:  The 49th Annual Witte Game Dinner, presented by Naylor Ranch, and held at the Susan Naylor Center, Mays Family Center, and Zachry Family Acequia Garden, is the Witte’s largest fundraiser. The lively crowd of over 1100 guests included notable multi-generational Texans and those filled with overflowing Texan pride. All eagerly participated in one-of-a-kind silent and live auctions and took delight in a country music concert with none other than the Josh Abbott Band. The evening kicked off with the 2nd Annual Texas Heritage Awards, honoring Mary West and Richard Traylor, and Valero. The awards honor supporters of the museum who are outstanding stewards of San Antonio and Texas and have values and a personal brand that aligns with the mission and vision of the Witte Museum.


THE STYLE:  This year’s theme, Branded by Time, celebrated the Witte’s extensive timeline narrative of Texas, from millions of years ago to today and honored those who have made an impact on the Witte’s past, present, and future.

Guests at the event also experienced a true Texas culinary experience provided by Rosemary’s Catering, which included Texas game stations with perfectly roasted and smoked meats, such as herb-roasted Veal and Lamb Racks to Texas BBQ beef ribs, all carved to order, a Texas Quail Showdown with chicken-fried quail and ancho-honey grilled quail, a Texas slider bar, a Hungers TexMex station with venison enchiladas, a Gordita station, a Texas Coastal Area with a seafood boil, blackened redfish, and a Paella station, and last but not least, an array of specialty desserts served in the South Texas Heritage Center. Bolner’s Fiesta Products served as the culinary sponsor.

THE PURPOSE:  The 49th Annual Witte Game Dinner ushered in an all-time fundraising record of over $1.2 million to support the museum’s operations, educational programs, and exhibitions. The event co-chairs, Kathy and Jeff Bolner and Anna and Robert Sigman, selected the theme, Branded By Time, for this year’s event.

Everyone joined together to enjoy the most cherished traditions of Texas, while also raising over $190,000 in field trip funding for students to visit the Witte Museum. All proceeds from the event raised essential funds that will also allow the museum to continue its mission to inspire people to shape the future of Texas through transformative and relevant experiences in nature, science, and culture.


[et_pb_flex_gallery gallery_ids=”36089,36090,36091,36092,36093,36094,36095,36096,36097,36098,36099,36100,36101,36102,36103,36104,36105,36106,36107,36108,36109,36110,36111,36112″ show_title_and_caption=”off” disabled_on=”off|off|off” _builder_version=”4.0.9″ caption_font=”||||||||”][/et_pb_flex_gallery]