FORTUITOUS AND FLOURISHING FALL

FORTUITOUS AND FLOURISHING FALL

SHARING THE EXPERIENCE

With the pandemic happening over the last year and a half now and continuing, we’ve all learned something that many of us may not be experts at…flexibility. It’s been a tangible lesson, and it likely remains a teachable moment for all of us as we enter fall. Plus, things that represented fall have evolved, too. New cars would be introduced, TV shows would premiere, sporting seasons began anew, and the weather changed to a cooler, crisper variety than what we know a typical Texas summer to be. While only the Texas weather can be counted on to change, now we all get to be flexible with the other changes due to the timing of world events and those we create ourselves. However, there are still so many bright spots of where we have been…and where we are going. It’s all about the energy of the people with whom we share our time and space.

 

One thing I recall learning along the way is that people are more apt to laugh when they are with others. Five times. Five times the fun. Five times the connection. Even the random occurrence of connecting with someone who works behind the counter or a passerby on the sidewalk is a golden opportunity. When the good old neighborhood walk became ubiquitous during the pandemic, I always smiled and said or waved hello to anyone who passed by. So many times, I thought, I might be the one and only person they connect with all day, especially my elderly neighbors. That, and tossing up newspapers that hovered the curb onto the front stoops, brought simple joy to me in those limited connectivity days that now seem long ago but wil be in our future once again with family, friends, and colleagues.

 

HERE WE GO

Onward and upward, this fall, we’re all rarin’ to go again. Fully charged and full steam ahead, I’d say…just add a bit of flexibility. Although we have loved the ongoing optimism Society Texas offered before, during, and now, we kick into an even higher gear, as you’ll see on these pages with its powerful imagery. Our fashion cover feature, shot in the great outdoors by Mark Oberlin and styled by Dion “Bleu” Drake, reflects the sunny confidence of this season’s best style for you, our coveted reader. Always admiring our native-Texans-done-good, we share the story of Waco-born Travis Banton, whose seminal talents during the Golden Age of Hollywood are still reflected on today’s catwalks. Finally, with social obligations always top of mind, Austin-bred Gordon Kendall looks back fondly and humorously at his days of escorting debutantes.

 

These features, along with our plethora of stories that our engaging writers and editors bring you and our many social stories that support so many philanthropies that remain fan favorites, have us swingin’ for the fences to bring you more and unique editorial that you’ve come to know and love. So, for everything from lifestyle, insight into new books to read, beauty products to try, cars to drive, and so many other ways to enjoy life more, count on Society Texas to be by your side from the ballroom and beyond. Cheers to a happy fall ahead, and we look forward to learning how your life has created more momentum as we all progress forward.

 

Lance Avery Morgan

lance@societytexas.com

Facebook, Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By LAM photo: Portrait photography by Romy Suskin

IT’S TODAY

IT’S TODAY

When I was a child actor in community theatre plays and often around mostly adult actors, I looked so forward to being a grown-up. True, I was in a fictionalized cast with fellow actors who were already grown-up, yet I waited in anticipation of being an adult as well. From the hit play near to my heart, Auntie Mame, a breathless expectation of the future, was the cornerstone of the rapid-fire grown-up dialogue. One line still resonates: Light the candles, Get the ice out, Roll the rug up, It’s today!

 

I have a feeling the rest of the world, like we at Society Texas, is lighting candles, getting the ice out, and rolling up the rug as today–and the tomorrows–all bring a breath of welcome fresh air as we move beyond COVID. With the losses and sacrifices from the pandemic still fresh on our minds, as with any problem-solving technique, we’re looking toward the ripe potential that many tomorrows hold.  Because, even though there is so much to accomplish, the Universe is more expansive than our view of it.

 

Each and every one of us gets the opportunity to have a new lease on life with this broader view. As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” So, my question for many at the again now-often dinner parties and social events is: how will you enhance who you are and what you do for the future? What will you do differently, do better, make right, and how will you view the world in perhaps a different light moving forward?

 

With this in mind, as we are all adults and usually love being one, it’s an exciting time to take steps to reignite and reengage for what’s up ahead in mature ways. Our team is mighty eager to resume what we know and create a bright tomorrow, so what you see in these pages is an unabashedly optimistic look at how much the world and global travel means to all of us. We want it to serve as an inspiration to set sail on new voyages, both literally and metaphorically. Along with our other great stories, profiles, interviews, and insight, we want this summer to be infinitely better than the one before it.

 

So, suit up and dive into life like never before and we look forward to seeing you all across the state…and the globe, because, as we well know, where there is a Texan, there is fun.

 

Lance Avery Morgan

lance@societytexas.com

Facebook, Instagram

 

Photo credit by portrait: Photography by Romy Suskin

 

FORWARDLY FOCUSED

FORWARDLY FOCUSED

Uplift, magnify and amplify. Rinse and repeat. It’s our mantra around here with the Society Texas team and all that we do to create each issue especially tailored for you.

 

We agree with Oprah: Take your good fortune and lift your life to its highest calling. Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in the possibility.

 

Boom. It sounds so simple, but it’s a joy, as we begin summer, to dwell on the infinite possibilities ahead for all of us. We’ve risen from the depths of both the pandemic and the political and racial strife that has captivated this country… for what seems like eons now. We’re stronger, more agile, and ready for the next everything.

 

It reminds me of the stories my grandmother would tell me as a child. She was a woman of her era, born at the beginning of the 20th century. Neat as a pin (I vividly recall her ironing dollar bills under parchment paper so they would be crisp in her wallet). She had tremendous style, beyond being a terrific cook and doting grandmother who always wore a scent of cinnamony Estée Lauder Youth Dew. A native of Fredericksburg, the Central Texas oasis that seems to be the perfect hamlet in just about every American’s mind, she’d pursue a career and family in San Antonio. She would recount to me how Fredericksburg didn’t have electricity until 1937 after she had returned there, thanks to the Depression-era WPA Project that brought power to many rural U.S. communities. As a result, she never assumed a light switch could be turned on in any room and automatically have electricity―the service was spotty until perfected. Her motto? Never assume anything, yet prepare for the best of the future―and help it transpire however you can.

 

Edging in on a century later, I think we can all agree that being upended recently by COVID-19 and its topsy turvy vaccine rollout coupled with the severe weather and mass power outages across the state has instilled a sense of unknowingness of what the future might have in store for us. It has led all of us to have lives that are, shall we say, a bit more nimble to respond to evolving conditions of the greater scope that affects our personal world? Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. As a media company, we march forward to create more ways to share the best of the best that can uplift, magnify and amplify with everything you see here on these pages and on our digital platform. It indeed takes a village, and we are so proud of our villagers―both those who create this and you, who participate in gleaning from our storytelling. From our art-meets-jewelry cover feature to a profile of a stunning Houston home, to a profile on the talented hostess and entrepreneur Kimberly Whitman in Dallas, and all our other original editorial surprises in store for you, we are here to enliven your world.

 

We realize there is an abundance of stories to tell, people to know, organizations to support, and grand Texas feats yet to be discovered, so count on us to bring them to you in a vibrant and energizing way. And, always know that we are on board to share the best that Texans―and those with Texas ties―have to offer, and we look forward to being a favorite connection for you.

 

Lance Avery Morgan

Editor-In-Chief & Creative Director

 

BY PHOTO: Portrait photography by Romy Suskin 

 

Lance Avery Morgan. Photograpy by Romy Suskin

 

MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY

MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY

 

Spring has sprung, and around here, there’s also a spring in our step. How could there not be, compared to this time last year when it seemed the whole world shape-shifted in many directions? With all that behind us now, we’re ready, willing, and able to get back on track like never before…and for many of us, to make up for lost time.

 

We’re all a year into living with how the pandemic has re-shaped our world. Many of us have grown, and many have grown weary of it. Who can blame them? Fortunately, there is undoubtedly a revitalized global energy now that tangible progress is being made to stem the virus’s tide, offsetting the deleterious delays over the last year.

 

What has changed across the state? Plenty. All the markets are different­–many enveloped the social distancing mandates, and many didn’t. By now, we all know too many people who have either suffered from COVID-19 or have been exposed to it. So, what has changed here at Society Texas? I’ve always wanted this magazine and its digital platform to be a party that everyone is invited to and where everyone is always welcome. No matter the circumstances, our state’s sociability continues to drive and inspire us like never before.

 

You’ll see in this issue, not only our usual abundance of sunny optimism but also an exotic look at things. When the going gets tough, the tough get going…to the exotic Canary Islands, which serves as a gorgeous backdrop for our fashion cover feature shot by Mark Oberlin and styled by Dion “Bleu” Drake. We think it’s a chic way to inspire, not only for the new fashions ahead but also for five-star travel in the near future. Then, a legendary Texan, 1950s movie star Jayne Mansfield, gets the star treatment by Lori Duran, with a look back at her Texas roots and her all-too-brief film career acting with such Tinseltown greats as Cary Grant, Joan Collins, and Maurice Chevalier, to name a few. Plus, we are always on the go, no matter where we may be, so we’ve taken a look at the season’s springiest shoes to keep you in stylish step wherever life takes you. These, along with so many of our writers’ optimistic points of view, curated for today’s topics and happenings, are what we hope you enjoy, too.

 

Even with the pandemic, no matter when it ends in the near future, the show must go on. And onward the shows went,  across the state, whether by socially safe distancing or by virtual gatherings. Raising money for much-needed non-profit organizations always has been, and always will be, tantamount. We historically have, and continually will be, honored to profile these entities who do so much for so many. Count on us to reflect the best of the best. Hey, it’s what we do.

 

So, happy spring to you and yours as we move forward with life, liberty, and of course, the pursuit of sublime happiness, among all your opportunities. We look forward to reuniting with all of you soon, in the ballroom, and beyond.

 

Lance Avery Morgan

Editor-In-Chief & Creative Director

Lance@SocietyTexas.comLance Avery Morgan. Photograpy by Romy Suskin

BY PHOTO:  Portrait photography by Romy Suskin

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN

Welcome to a New Year with, well, with a revised shared reality since this time last year, that’s for sure. COVID-19 has taught us that our realities can become shape-shifted in a blink of an eye. Attending three to five galas, in sumptuous ballrooms with a thousand or more attendees, across the state each week, used to be the norm for our team…and as 2021 begins, we look forward to all the gatherings and philanthropic largesse continuing like before, don’t you? Strong people lift each other up, and we are in this together.   

One thing we know about a shared reality–whether it’s from reality TV–to pandemic-suspended reality, is that it’s very interpretive. One thing we know about a shared reality–whether it’s from reality TV–to pandemic-suspended reality, is that it’s very interpretive. However, a wedding is one shared reality that we can all agree upon. Since the beginning of time, families and friends have always gathered to share the reality of loved ones taking the next big step in their lives. That’s about as real as it gets in the love department. Since I was a child, I’ve attended countless weddings and believe me, since then I’ve always had a good suit appropriate for a wedding at the ready because I know how important weddings (and good suits) are.  

Understandably, parents have been duly concerned about the deprivation of a shared reality that the pandemic has on their kids: the lack of school and overall community due to the current happenings. The best-shared reality fix for that? Attend a wedding, large or small, I say. Do children get to see adults operating in a genuine world arena, and with the best intentions at heart: love? Bien sûr. Of course. 

That’s why we love and are beyond proud of, the weddings we are sharing in this special issue, especially in these challenging times. Beautiful brides, dashing grooms, and a flock of families and friends to celebrate them and their happy lives ahead? You bet. It doesn’t get much better than that. Plus, the ingenuity from all the weddings’ creative teams for each celebration seen on every page, from across the state, is exemplary. Let’s call it the best of Texas love, shall we? And after all, as Burt Bachrach and Hal David wrote musically, what the world needs now is love, sweet love.


Along with our New Year/New You focus, we hope you enjoy this issue as much as our editorial, design, and publishing teams did creating it. So, remember, as we charge into 2021, as John Wesley said, Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. Cheers to a magnificent year ahead, and we look forward to gathering again with you soon.

 XO Lance Avery Morgan,

Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director

Lance@SocietyTexas.com 

 Insta: lance_avery_morganLance Avery Morgan Photography by Gregg Cestrao

Photography by Gregg Cestaro

Gallery

BE THE BEGINNING

BE THE BEGINNING

As we end the year, with COVID-19 still in view, I am wagering that you, like me, have been more contemplative than usual as we move forward to create new beginnings. With the impact of the virus on all our lives, including the shelter in place opportunity, we see just how magnified life can be. Like watching our favorite movie, or hearing our favorite song, or observing our favorite scent over and again every day, we are more keenly aware of so many more things we simply didn’t notice before. The Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote, People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. In fact, I would guess to say that we flourish not only by learning new things, but also by acting upon what we
glean from them.

This holiday issue reflects the abundance of cheer and love we all have in our hearts, especially going forward. The joy of brightening other lives, easing each others’ burdens, and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts, becomes for us around here, the magic of the holidays. And, what joy we have for you in this issue. In fact, every page is joy-filled.

Realizing that quality isn’t expensive, it’s priceless, our team’s festive holiday gift list inspiration can help transport you beyond the ordinary. We’ve worked on it all year, and we think you’ll be emboldened by our recommendations to transcend the familiar. We are intrinsically empowered by cultural influencers, tastemakers, and styleweavers. William Jack Sibley’s profile on San Antonio powerhouse Robert L.B.Tobin, who helped, along with his family, create the cultural landscape of the art world in Texas, will have you spellbound by his accomplishments and the ongoing legacy of his foundation. Our happy-as-can-be look at this season’s fall bags, festooned with floral opulence, will surely spark your own stylish creativity too.

Along with our chronicling of ongoing events affected by the virus, you’ll see that people everywhere are
still sharing, giving, and supporting so many great causes across the state. Plus, we’re delighted to offer a
dazzling array of thought-provoking editorial that is unique to both us, and this state. So, we thank you
from the bottom of our hearts for your support this year, and we wish you and yours the merriest holiday
season yet, since we still have so much to be grateful for everywhere we look. Now get out there and be
spectacular with more fun ahead.

XO Lance Avery Morgan
Editor-In-Chief &
Creative Director

Photography by Gregg CestaroLance Avery Morgan Photography by Gregg Cestrao