A stellar impression starts from the ground up, so why not make yours with the most colorful, pastel, and perfectly chic shoes that spring has to offer? Any heel height will do, because it’s all about a towering attitude as the weather turns warmer, according to our Lance Avery Morgan.

Belgian Crystal Embellished Slingback Sandal

Belgian Crystal Embellished Slingback Sandal, by Amina Muaddi, $1030. At Bergdorf Goodman

The Line Sandal, by Boettega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

The Line Sandal, by Boettega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

Lock and Key Sandal, by Ton Ford, $1150. At Tom Ford

Lock and Key Sandal, by Ton Ford, $1150. At Tom Ford

Rose Amelie Ankle Wrap Sandal, by Christian Louboutin, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Rose Amelie Ankle Wrap Sandal, by Christian Louboutin, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Hangisi Crystal Buckle Satin Flat, by Manolo Blahnik, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Hangisi Crystal Buckle Satin Flat, by Manolo Blahnik, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Patent Leather Buckle Wedge Sandal, Roger Vivier, $875. At Neiman Marcus

Patent Leather Buckle Wedge Sandal, Roger Vivier, $875. At Neiman Marcus

Flower Halter Kitten Heel, By Prada, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Flower Halter Kitten Heel, By Prada, $995. At Neiman Marcus

Satin sandal, by Rene Caovilla, $980. At Saks Fifth Avenue

Satin sandal, by Rene Caovilla, $980. At Saks Fifth Avenue

Basette Pearly Stud Napa Flat, by Jimmy Choo, $675. At Jimmy Choo.jpg

Basette Pearly Stud Napa Flat, by Jimmy Choo, $675. At Jimmy Choo.jpg

Karma Crystal Ankle Wrap Sanda, by Amina Muaddi, $1345. Bergdorf Goodman

Karma Crystal Ankle Wrap Sanda, by Amina Muaddi, $1345. Bergdorf Goodman

Promenade Sandal, by Fendi, $850. At Fendi

Promenade Sandal, by Fendi, $850. At Fendi

Turqouise Tulle Satin Colibri Slingbacks, by Fendi, $980. At Fendi

Turqouise Tulle Satin Colibri Slingbacks, by Fendi, $980. At Fendi

Net Ankle Tie Pumps, by Bottega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

Net Ankle Tie Pumps, by Bottega Veneta, $930. At Bottega Veneta

YSL Opyum Sandal. $1150, by Saint Laurent. At Saint Laurent

YSL Opyum Sandal. $1150, by Saint Laurent. At Saint Laurent



Meredith Bond And Matthew Taylor McCord Wed In Fort Worth

By Natalie Bond Bloomingdale

Photography by Stephen Karlisch

As girls, of course, my sister and I would dream of walking down the aisle in a big white gown, so it was sensational to see my sister’s dreams come true as wedding bells rang for the Vernon girl and her Dallas boy when Meredith Bond became the bride of Matthew Taylor McCord in Fort Worth. The couple has their mothers to thank for their introduction. Pamela Bond, our mother, and Susan McCord, the future groom’s mother, play tennis together in Wichita Falls and were relentless in the set-up. Matt agreed to meet Meredith one morning for breakfast and a tour of Vernon, our hometown,  and then…the rest was like a fairytale. The proposal was also sporting. “After we landed in the Faroe Islands together, the first place I wanted to see was the waterfall at Gasadalur,” said the bride, Meredith McCord. “After taking quite a few photos, it was time to leave as the sun was setting–and Matt seemed in a pensive state. Looking back, I know he was wondering if this was the right spot to propose. I wasn’t expecting it to happen on this trip, so it was a wonderful surprise when he popped the question.”  

Following the engagement and pre-nuptial events all across Texas, including a rehearsal dinner hosted by the McCords for family, friends, and out of town guests at the Clay Pigeon restaurant (the site of one of the couple’s  first dates), the wedding ceremony took place at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth. On the big day, Meredith wore a strapless white silk Mikado dress designed by Nardos Imam, a Dallas-based dressmaker. Attached to her garden-style bouquet of white O’Hara roses, lilac, cream peonies, and white lisianthus was a silver and diamond lavaliere, a family heirloom on our mother’s side. She wore diamond earrings as the something borrowed from me, and for something blue, she carried a small handkerchief with a blue monogram, a gift from our sister-in-law, Meredith Louise Bond. 

The bridesmaids wore formal black gowns, adorned with matching gold and pearl earrings by San Antonio-based jewelry designer Nicola Bathie, a gift from the bride. I served as a matron of honor, of course. Her bridesmaids were: Catherine Elizabeth Almeida of Prosper, Texas, Meredith Louise Bond, sister-in-law of the bride of Dallas, Katie Diane Braddock of Yulee, Florida, Meghan Brooke Goddin of Austin, the sister of the bridegroom, Anna Renee Hoppe of Yukon, Oklahoma, Leigh Dodson King of Fort Worth, and Kristen Payne Polito, of San Antonio. 

Serving as the best man for the ceremony was Byron Parker Chaddick of Midland. The groomsmen were:  Shelby Henry Carter of Aspen, Colorado, Joseph Blake Garret of Huntington Beach, California, Mason Albert Schwarz of Austin, Maddox Morgan Womble of Dallas, and Stephen Tyler Goree, Christian Michel Patry, and Chipman Russell Seale, all of Midland. The ushers for the ceremony were: James Alfred Bloomingdale of Los Angeles, the brother-in-law of the bride, William Blaine Bond of Dallas,, the brother of the bride, Cristopher Holt Conger of San Antonio, Chase Tiernan Conway of Dallas, Chris Hopkins Goddin, of Austin, the brother-in-law of the bridegroom, Thomas Chandler Isbell of Tucson, Arizona, Brandon Stephen McCord of Metairie, Louisiana, a cousin of the bridegroom, Michael Caleb McCrea of Fredericksburg, and Winston Steel Kelly and Blake Winfield Braun, both of Midland.

After the ceremony, the grand reception was held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Guests were greeted by a saxophonist at the entrance, where they were encouraged to sign a large pictorial book of the Faroe Islands. A jazz combo in the Modern Museum of Art Café and Terrace Courtyard serenaded the arriving guests.

Upon the newlywed’s arrival, the guests were ushered into the grand lobby of the museum, where a proliferation of floral décor in neutral hues greeted them for a seated dinner. Then, the white acrylic dance floor was waiting for the guests to continue the merriment with Blind Date of Austin, the band for the affair.  They played Stand by Me as the new couple was introduced and danced their first dance.

After dinner, dancing, and the cutting of the five-tiered candlelight-colored cake, the newlyweds exited the reception in a classic 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan through a line of guests throwing white rose petals and sharing warm wishes for the future. “I was so pleased with the way Gro Designs, our event design and planning team, took my vision and transformed the Modern into such a beautiful space,” said Meredith McCord.

Meredith graduated from Texas Christian University and obtained her master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. She is now a licensed professional counselor. Matt, a cum laude graduate at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, is an oil and gas landman in Midland. The couple’s tropical paradise honeymoon was in the French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Le Taha’a, and Bora Bora. They now reside in Midland.



With winter about to kick into high gear, we’ve mixed our favorite purses with some of the flowers that inspire us most. The outcome? Everything’s coming up roses, and more, in this season’s most desirous statement bags, according to our fashion forward-thinking Alexandra del Lago



Fall has never looked so luxurious, has it? We’re wide-eyed with optimism as we venture out again into the world, with these fresh looks, as well as some familiar favorites, will have you feeling warm all over as the temperature dips. These are some of the runway collection favorites, according to our fashion arbiter Jake Gaines, as you hit the town.



Palm Beach’s Brazilian Court Hotel offers the perfect celebrity-style getaway with old school Hollywood glam, according to our fun seeker, Rob Giardinelli.

Photography courtesy of Brazilian Court, author’s archive

There is so much to love about the Brazilian Court Hotel, located in the heart of charming Palm Beach. It’s one of the East Coast’s premier, five-star destinations…a beautiful boutique hotel that offers luxury mixed in with Old Hollywood glamour. Founded in 1926, and restored to its original Roaring 20’s elegance, this 80-room resort is the perfect destination for a host of luxe activities ranging from quick, ritzy getaways to weddings for a hundred guests or so. Best of all, it is a place where you can unplug and recharge…without the jetlag. Yes, JetSet without the jetlag.

The great thing about Palm Beach is that it is easily accessible from the four largest cities in Texas. While Dallas and Houston residents can fly into Palm Beach directly, Austin and San Antonio residents can fly to Ft. Lauderdale, as we did via a quick two-hour flight on JetBlue from Austin. Leaving no detail unturned, the team at the Brazilian Court arranged, after we landed, to have for Go Rentals, a luxury car rental company to have our car waiting with an attendant outside arrivals.  Popping into our luxury SUV, we jetted up I-95, and in about 45 minutes, we were arrived at the famed Brazilian Court.


Located in a residential neighborhood, we pulled into the Brazilian Court’s porte-cochère, which had the feeling of pulling into a grand Jazz Age estate, and we were promptly greeted by the valet and escorted inside to check-in. The staff, friendly and attentive, offered a series of can’t-miss recommendations that we tried out during our stay.

The porter escorted us through a stunning, leafy outdoor courtyard to our room. As we walked through the halls, we saw miles of walls adorned with vintage photos of celebrities who frequented these halls from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Our accommodations were a chic, bungalow-style room, with a massive private terrace to enjoy the beautiful weather.

After unpacking, famished, we strolled two blocks for dinner at Renato’s. It was an authentic Italian restaurant with an alfresco patio that reminded me of the delectable meals I had on my honeymoon in Rome and Venice…with the Risotto all’Aragosta being a highlight. Overhearing someone from another table mention there was a gelato place next door; we dropped into Piccolo Gelato for a light, refreshing dessert.

Against the backdrop of year ‘round picturesque weather, we savored our sweet treat as we walked to Buccan for a night-cap. An outstanding restaurant in its own right, our concierge, had recommended Buccan as the place where people in Palm Beach go to see and be seen whether it be for dinner or drinks. In the crowded and lively bar, we found two seats from another couple who finished grabbing a late supper and we toasted our first night in Palm Beach with a delectable Buccan T martini and smoked jalapeno margarita.

After a splendid night’s sleep in a king-sized bed with luxe linens, I woke up the next morning, foregoing breakfast and taking advantage of the Brazilian Court Fitness Center to burn off those calories from the night before. The gym, located in a building across the street from the main hotel, has everything you need to stay fit with treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights and medicine balls.

After my workout, we took a tour of this grand hotel with Ian Black, the director of sales and marketing. In touring the space, we learned more about the hotel’s incredible history. Designed by the legendary architect, Osario Candella, the Spanish-style resort is built through not one, but two courtyards–one built upon completion of the original hotel in 1926 and a second one added in 1936.


The current owners purchased the property in 2002 and set out to restore the hotel to its original grandeur, with some of the rooms maintaining a true 20’s authenticity. In fact, there are even USB-free room options available for those who truly want to unplug and get away from it all, just like the celebrities who frequented the hotel during the 1920s and 1930s.

Many of the suites are aptly named for the plethora of celebrities that occupied them, including: Katherine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks and Texas-born Joan Crawford, just to name a few. The main reason celebrities and notables frequent the Brazilian Court, then and now, is its close proximity to the action of the main attractions of Palm Beach such as tony Worth Avenue and The Breakers, yet it is far enough away from everything for notables to slip in and out undetected.

After our tour, we strolled down to Worth Avenue, the world-renowned shopping district of Palm Beach. First, everyone is beautifully dressed in brightly-hued colors year ‘round. Second, that attention to detail is evident everywhere in Palm Beach. Located only three blocks from the Brazilian Court, we did some window shopping at many of the luxury brands, including Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, and Salvatore Ferragamo before finding a bite for lunch at Ta-boo. Known as the power-lunch place of Palm Beach, we saw that the much-coveted window-front table was available and popped into the restaurant to dine.

The window-front table proved to be the perfect spot to people watch as the chic shoppers strolled up and down Worth Avenue, among them a legendary, Academy AwardÒ-winning actor from the British Isles. While there, we enjoyed the mussel frites and Cobb salad, each the perfect mid-day bite to keep us going. After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for an afternoon of pool-side lounging and siesta while the gentle breeze of the palm trees swayed overhead. There are so many characters who stay at this hotel that eavesdropping the varied conversations of fellow guests is a true pastime here. During the afternoon, the hotel staff arranged for a treatment at the Brazilian Court Salon, where I was treated to my first, and very best, mani-pedi.


We ended the day staying at The Brazilian Court and dined at Café Boulud, the award-winning restaurant of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud. A mainstay in the Palm Beach dining scene since 2003, with additional locations in New York and Toronto, it would impress the most delicate of palettes. 

Opting for a table alfresco to take advantage of the picturesque evening, we enjoyed the five-course tasting menu and wine pairing. The tasting menu, which changes seasonally, offered red pepper risotto and one of my favorite fish dishes, pan-seared grouper. The meal was capped off with the most delectable dessert I have ever experienced at any restaurant, a transcendent grapefruit sorbet, which served as the perfect palate cleanser to an absolutely delectable meal.

Waking up early on our final morning in Palm Beach, we decided to walk to Ocean Drive and up and down the blocks of estates along the Atlantic Ocean for which Palm Beach is famous. Walking down street after street of the eight-figure Gatsby-eque homes, we could see  Old Hollywood influences in many of the homes, which had a Beverly Hills vibe and made me wonder how many of the stars of yesteryear stumbled from the estates’ parties to the Brazilian Court after a night of revelry.

Before taking off for the airport, we decided to grab a final bite at Surfside Diner. Located just a block from the Brazilian Court, it is a small, chic space with an old-style u-shaped counter in the middle. If you want to see a place that offers a slice of what life in Palm Beach is like among the locals, this is the place to go. We saw the proprietor engaging with regulars from 8 to 88, giving each guest the white-glove treatment for which Palm Beach is known.

After our meal, we bid adieu to Palm Beach, where our 48-hours felt like a week. So, the next time you are looking for a quick getaway from Texas to a beautiful, intimate and familiar resort, you must check out the Brazilian Court for a wonderful experience. I cannot wait for my next visit to this paradise.



The 70s and 80s, in Texas and beyond, were a time of unbridled prosperity for the state’s movers and shakers. The can-do attitude of anything being possible unleashed a wild, unabashed party and caused a glorious hangover that exists to this day. Join our Lance Avery Morgan and a merry band of marauders as they time travel to the not-so distant past to recapture the Texan magic of yesteryear. 


Phillippe Starck, Designer & Creator of Starck Club, Dallas

 And to think it all started in Paris, New York…and in Dallas. Dallas? French designer Philippe Starck created a sensation in the mid-80s by creating the first European-style nightclub in Dallas, named  appropriately, Starck Club. It took the city by storm, as well as the state because it was in complete contrast to the ostentatiousness of the times. Then something happened. Philippe Starck brought cool and clean to what was, at that time, a very cluttered state. From his five-minutes-from-now contemporary vision sprang a streamlined, white warehouse club that the world, and certainly not Texas, had ever seen before. There was the night Grace Jones came in riding an elephant during the 1984 Republican Presidential Convention. And, the night Prince had a party after he performed at nearby Reunion Arena. Everyone has a story about the Starck Club.

 Lance Avery Morgan: How different is Dallas now than when you were here in the 80s?

Philippe Starck:  It’s a huge difference. When I arrived decades ago, downtown Dallas was a ghost city; everything was empty. And when I said that I wanted to make the Starck Club downtown,  people laughed. They said, ‘Oh, you’re completely crazy–nobody will come.’ And because of those presumptions, I think we were the first.

 LAM: Without a doubt, you were the first big city night club of that level in Texas.

PS: Yes, and the first thing like it downtown, and I think we really rocked. Just for being downtown. The cultural level of Dallas has incredibly increased in the decades since the 80s. The sophistication. The people.

 LAM: And J.R. Ewing-types. No more of those, really.

PS: Ah, yes.

 LAM: During the ‘80s, when your club was so popular, he probably came there…J.R…you know, Larry Hagman.

PS: Lots of important people came to the club.

 LAM: Right.

PS: So, before, it was really difficult to bring a new idea and things like that. Now, Dallas is one of the main important international cities in the world. That’s why everybody’s here…our tribe. That’s why we don’t have to fight for the vision, no need to explain.

 PS: I worked with people everywhere… in Dallas,  Miami,  Hong Kong, and other key hotspots… And when they need us, they call us, and we come.  And when a place needed us, they would call us, and we would come.If a city didn’t call us, that meant a part of our “tribe” wasn’t in that city. I’m not a fancy guy. I started in night clubs just by luck. Some friends found this place and we said, ‘Oh, perhaps we can make something to bring the tribe all together.’

 And because I arrived completely away from the nightclub business, I brought fresh ideas, and a sort of natural violence, so it was a huge success. We completely exploded because we were naive and pure. At that time, the night club was the people. The nightclubbers were people working in the day, and they would go out to have fun at night. It was not like some nightclubber people now.  Now, they sleep  all day and go to clubs all night. In my nightclubs years ago, there were all the best people, the people whonow drive the world. Everybody was there. And that’s why it was very interesting.

(Excerpted from an interview, 2006)


Robert Godwin, Austin’s Society Scene

 From the leftover hippie-dippie 1970s to the Dynasty-esque 1980s, the clothes may have evolved, yet Austin’s social elite never wavered in their aim to help the plethora of causes for those much less fortunate. “When I started covering the non-profit scene in 1976, the big four social events were already in place—Admirals Ball in August, Symphony League Jewel Ball in September, Bachelors Ball (which was in the fall, but moved to January) and the Helping Hand Ball in February,” remembers Robert Godwin (who now chronicles the St. David’s Foundation events) in his book about the city’s pre-1990 social scene, Austin Faces of Philanthropy. He goes on to say, “Philanthropy is a thread found throughout the fabric of everyday life in Austin. I’ve documented that thread running through three generations of families and am beginning to see the initial efforts of the younger fourth generation,” muses Godwin. “As that fabric is woven, it extends to cover friends, neighbors, and draws in those newly arrived. As it grows to shelter those in need, those clients add their own stitches to the fabric to create a cloth that is uniquely Austin. The city is a patchwork quilt of different colors, different hopes, and different dreams—but a common desire to be of service to others.”

PREP 101

Lisa Bernbach, author of The Official Preppy Handbook

 It was like a shot heard ‘round the world when The Official Preppy Handbook appeared in 1980 after a raucous 70s. “Thinking back, for our moment in time, it was big,” confides the book’s author, Lisa Birnbach. “What I didn’t know in the intervening 30 years was that it was still big. People are so proprietary about what Preppy means to them. Preppies do love their art museums as well as conservation societies, which are both about preserving that which is old. It’s also a way to give without being reminded that people are suffering. Giving to the mentally disabled is a big one–look at the Kennedy’s who created the Special Olympics as an example.” “Let’s face it,” Birnbach muses, “I knew the Preppy world from the inside and  outside. It has helped insiders feel more inside and has allowed people to understand more. I am a social observer and majored in Semiotics [every cultural phenomenon can be studied as communication], which is about what things represent. I didn’t try to change anyone’s life or make it over with The Official Preppy Handbook. I didn’t want to be famous.”


Dana Rogers Martin, Miss Texas 1983, San Antonio & Las Vegas

 In the 80s, everything was big. Big hair, big shoulder pads, long nails, lots of makeup, tanned skin—that was the 80s pageant girl. We personified Madonna’s Material Girl and pageants ruled because everyone was trying to be a Miss Somebody long before social media.

 The 80s proved to be an incredible decade for pageants since each year the competition for the highest TV ratings was between the two annually televised giants: Miss America and the Super Bowl. Miss America was big business. Everyone in America, and hundreds of countries around the world, tuned in to hear ‘There she is, Miss America’ and see a beautiful crowned Barbie doll walk down the runway in Atlantic City. The Miss Texas telecast was also a ratings giant–each year the pageant was broadcasted to millions of people in Texas and the surrounding states. There was no shortage of contestants, either. In my year, 1983, a record number of 82 girls entered. That record is yet to be broken.

 After I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1984, I competed in the Miss America pageant the same year (the state title is one year behind the national title in name only even to this day). There were a couple of firsts: Vanessa Williams, Miss New York would be crowned the first African-American Miss America, and I would be the first contestant to admit publicly that I had undergone plastic surgery. Vanessa and I were interviewed by every major TV morning news and entertainment shows. Ironically, I was considered the scandal of the pageant that week. We know who beat me out in the ultimate scandal that year.


Charity Ball, San Antonio

 A constant in the social history of Texas is San Antonio society. The  Charity Ball  Association of San Antonio, lnc. supports the children of Bexar  County by  distributing grants each year since 1954, now totaling more than $21 million.The  Association’s tenet is Children Benefit Always.

The 1980s were particularly prosperous times for the organization and its annual Chrysanthemum Ball. Full tafetta gowns and elaborate hair, that was also scene in the rest of the state’s society circuit then, was in full force in that decade of decadence.


Brooke Shields, Model, and Actress, New York

 For me, the 70s was a rather extraordinary time. I was able to meet and work with people like…Debbie Harry. I was able to be in rooms with Warhol and those incredible photographers who were renowned in what they were doing. The artistic matrix around that was so free and unfettered. There was a purity to it, I think.

 Plus, I was working with extraordinary directors and talent. I mean, to come out of the gate and your first photographer is Scavulo, and your first director is Louis Malle? Clearly, I thought then that it was always going to be like that. It was a really beautiful and creative time. Sure, it was also tumultuous and political, but I was so young, that part didn’t really affect me.

(Excerpted from an interview, 2019)


Bradley Bayou, Designer, Dallas & Los Angeles

 What happened to me and my wife, Twinkle, at the time, could never happen today. All of us then thought, why is everyone coming here? Yes, Dallas was the #1 show in the world and the Dallas Cowboys were the #1 team in the country. In fact, Twinkle and I were even in a couple of Dallas episodes at the time as extras. Instead of looking to New York, Los Angeles, and London for style and energy, the world seemed to look to Dallas because there was a sort of mystique about the city then. Before that, they just associated Dallas with Kennedy.

 I’ll never forget when we hosted three parties for Andy Warhol since we knew him from the New York scene. He was dying to come to Texas. He and Jean-Michel Basquiat stayed with us when they each visited. Our parties were legendary–Catherine Oxenberg, who was on Dynasty at the time, came to stay with us, and we hosted a dinner party for Rock Hudson…two weeks before he announced he had AIDS. It was all like being in an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, which we actually appeared in, too.

 But, really, it was all about Twinkle since she had the big blonde hair and a huge personality. People naturally gravitated to her. I just happened to be the guy standing there wearing a Zegna suit. It could never happen again–the innocence, timing, and over-the-top life that people lived vicariously through us like they saw people living on TV. Could you imagine if we had Instagram then–we weren’t ready for that. Life was more mysterious. We were in the right place at the right time.


Bob Mackie, Fashion Designer, Los Angeles

 The 70s were really busy for me. I was doing both The Carol Burnett Show and dressing Cher for her show. Sometimes dresses for them had to do double duty. Carol liked to accentuate her beautiful back and legs, so I’d make something backless for her. Then, later, to repurpose it for a Cher costume in a pinch, I’d turn it around and make the back of Carol’s dress into a low plunging neckline for Cher, and it usually worked fine.

 Also, in the 80s, I could always tell a woman from Texas walking down Fifth Avenue. She always wore color amongst a sea of black.


Wendy Ward Payne, 1980s Debutante, Houston & Dallas

 Party, party, party comes to mind when I think of the 80s. Of course, there were grand cultural events such as the opening of the Wortham Center in 1987, and thinking about events at Tootsies, as well as going to events at the Metropol, Michele’s, and Riches brings a smile to my face. At my deb party, at Rich’s in 1985, I wore a lovely Arnold Scassi dress. In fact, the dress happened to end up on the cover of a fashion magazine the following month. The party was called A Neon Night. How 80s is that?


Jerry Hall, Model and Muse, Gonzales & New York

 God that was a fabulous time. I was so young, hanging out with Andy Warhol. Neither of us drank so there we’d sit with our Perrier’s. Can you imagine? I adored it. It was so much fun, and I met every movie star there was…people such as Nureyev and Baryshnikov. I’d only read about them, and then I got the chance to know them.

(Excerpted from an interview in 2006)


Carolyn Farb, Philanthropist, Houston

 The 80s was a life-changing decade for me, and I was on the front line of the call to duty. I was asked by the Challenger Space Shuttle widows and their families to create a living legacy in memory of  the fallen heroes. We gathered at the Museum of Natural Science, where Jane Smith and June Scobee officially asked me to create the first Challenger Learning Center out of the nation’s collective grief. There are now 50-plus Challenger Centers across the nation and they are a favorite of Queen Elizabeth in England. 

The late folk humorist from Austin, John Henry Faulk,  said that I needed to help people with AIDS. So, the Evening of Hope came to be, and it began a movement of compassion. 

Marvin Hamlisch and I joined together to fulfill a promise to Dr. John Stehlin to raise a million dollars in a single evening for the Stehlin Foundation. This raised the bar for all fundraisers to follow and was the first in the state of Texas that reached that goal. We invested our energy and  passion enlisting superstars Ann-Margaret, Liza Minnelli, Crystal Gayle, and Allen King who donated their time and talent on behalf of cancer research.

 Clint Eastwood and I did a benefit for the premiere of his movie, Sudden Impact, and his star power was so bright that we needed security to keep the guests at the after-party in check. I learned that Clint liked Mexican food and so that’s what we prepared for the dinner in his honor. We left in a motorcade of white cars that took us to The Galleria, where there were once movie theaters. I was accidentally quoted as saying, “The dog stole the show.” 

 My beloved son, Jake, got his first car as  I watched him grow into a handsome young man. That was an interesting decade in my life with so many changes, and I feel I lived through the 80s with passion and heart.


Dwight Adair, Television Director, Dallas TV series, Austin

 My first job in the movie business was serving as the dialect coach for John Travolta on Urban Cowboy. Dallas, at that time in 1979, was the number one show on the planet. I became the dialogue coach for the cast and guest actors in the series’ fifth season and became one of the principal rotating directors four years later. 

 To be one of the directors was the triumph of my career; that and directing another 80s icon, Dynasty. The inner relationships of the two casts could not have been more different. Everyone on Dallas understood what a fantastic ride they were on and were having a great time together, creating the first night-time soap opera. Dynasty, however, was another matter altogether.

 Larry Hagman’s character, JR, was the quintessential 70s and 80s conniving, hedonist manipulator. In real life, you could not find a more generous, supportive, or loyal friend than him. The series was a worldwide phenomenon, and everything would stop everywhere on Friday nights for the show. And, I must say, one of the most humorous depictions of the character of JR was the version on Italian television. Hilarious.


Ultra Magazine, 1980s

 In the world of glossy magazines, Texas finally got its own in the 1980s, and it became the must-read for the affluent set and those aspiring to climb the social heights. It represented oodles of jewels, sky-high hair, and yes, lots of furs.

 Appropriately titled and similar in spirit to Town & Country and Tatler, the Houston-based Ultra presented the richness, literally, of the Lone Star State. From its very beginning, the magazine reflected the upscale, grandiose, and intelligent personality of its reader.

 The covers ranged from Patrick Swayze to Dennis Quaid to Jaclyn Smith, and other potentates of the era with Texas ties. Liz Smith, Liz Carpenter, and Rex Reed were just a few of the high-life chroniclers the publication enlisted to capture the essence of the globe-trotting Texan, from ballroom to night-club.

 Gone, but not forgotten since it folded in the 90s, Ultra was the first publication to showcase the glamour of this state’s residents, and it remains a robust historical reference where we can reflect back to the way Texas was.


Neal Hamil, Model, Houston

Of course, there had never been anything like it before, or since, like Studio 54. It was a moment in time that I can’t imagine will ever be fully replicated. I was a 19 year-old tall Texan model, which opened the door to Studio 54, and many other hotspots.  I truly had the most fun ever. What a time to be alive.

 I was lucky the first time I attempted to go, I exited my cab, looking over and past the throng of people hoping to gain entry. There was Steve Rubell, who pointed at me and signaled to me to come forward, and whooooosh I was standing inside. I went back for the next 120 nights and a million more over the years. I was never denied entry, and I met and made so many friends there because it truly seemed to be the center of the universe. Every night the place was crawling with the most glamorous people from all over the world, and I saw a lot of famous people doing a lot of naughty things. 

My favorite moments were those when I was on the dance floor tripping the lights fantastic, and all of a sudden in the DJ booth would appear Michael Jackson, Diana Ross or Donna Summer…so many mega-stars. One night Peaches & Herb were performing on the movable bridge over the dance floor–it was surreal. Betty Ford, Liza Minnelli and Liz Taylor hosted a party once that was beyond fun. This was pre-Betty Ford Center, of course.  

 Plus, the fashion was really experimental and outrageous.  Glittery and glamorous. I’ve always felt lucky to have  experienced Studio 54 in its prime and to have been allowed “all access”.  


Farrah Fawcett and Gray Hawn, Corpus Christi, Austin & Los Angeles

 I’d been friends with Farrah since junior high school and I knew intuitively that there was something really special about her… and we remained dear friends all of our lives. Hollywood pursued her because she was that All-American golden girl. After being pursued by talent scouts at The University of Texas in the 1960s, she decided to go Hollywood, fell in love and then, married Lee Majors. It didn’t take long until she was cast in Charlie’s Angels. While working on that series, the iconic poster and the role really made her career take off. She was a phenomenon. I think America was falling in love with her, and it was for more than just beauty. I can remember everybody cutting their hair to try to make it look like Farrah’s…and she was on the cover of every magazine.

 She did the series as long as she could, until she was ready to leave, which was not easy to do.  I remember her wanting to pursue more serious film work. Later on, she was nominated for her television films, like 1981’s Murder in Texas, and her work became more appreciated. In 1983, she did Extremities on Broadway. We went to New York to watch her perform, I was totally blown away by her performance.

After the show, we had dinner with Farrah, Liza Minnelli, and Robin Williams. After that, Farrah kept reinventing herself. She was very smart and always negotiated her  contracts. She was an advocate for the equality of women in Hollywood long before any of the things we see today had come to light.

Throughout all her fame, she never forgot her friends. She would always call when she knew someone might be going through a hard time, to check on them and see she what she could do to help. I had so much respect for her. I remember so many times that I’d meet her in Houston, but the very last one stands out. I was with my daughter, Joy, who was sitting between me and her and she said to me, ‘Even today, it’s hard to be Farrah Fawcett.’ It was a couple of months later that she found out she had cancer, she had more courage and bravery than anybody I knew. She wanted to share this experience to give hope to other people; She was a fighter and she was fearless. In the end, it took her life, but her legacy lives on in her diverse work generations to come will enjoy.


Evelyn Haney Anestos, Austin and New York

 I loved being a model in the 80s…you would have thought I hit life’s lottery. I have been obsessed with fashion my entire life, so getting to work with creative people from around the world, who would style inspirational outfits on me in unique locations, was a dream come true. It was mind blowing to me that I got paid to travel, wear beautiful clothes, and have so much fun. I worked with so many photographers over the years like Chris Micaud, Gregg Stevens, and Ian Lowry. 

 Modeling in Texas, we were always doing the shoots during the opposite seasons of the clothes. So, it would be 100 degrees outside and I’m wearing a wool coat and acting cold or… wearing swimsuits in the Texas winter, while jumping into a production car with the heat blasting in between shots. 

 I traveled around Texas quite a bit and  then other parts of the US in my teens, and then in my early 20s, I moved to Barcelona and then Paris to model.  This was a time when it was extremely uncommon for semesters abroad so for me to get to live in and travel around Europe for months was a life changing experience and one that was very uncommon for other young Americans at the time.

 Reviewing my 80’s modeling pictures, I thought my hair was going to look bigger, but in the professional shoots, they actually made my hair look normal. I remember teasing and spritzing my hair all the time. Once I went to a casting at Christian Dior in Paris, the first week I moved there, and a guy came up to me and said, with his European accent, ‘Where in the United States are you from?” And, I proudly said, Texas. He then said, ‘It’s obvious because of your hair,’ turned his back on me and walked away. 

 I got to travel to so many interesting and beautiful places and met so many fun, fascinating, and cool people. I am still very close to many of the models I used to work with, and we have all stayed in touch over the years.


Charles Ward, PR Wiz, Dallas & Houston

 I represented public relations for the hottest club in Houston in the 70s and 80s, élan. It was unique because there were no private clubs like it 40 years ago.

 In our initial teaser ads, we showed Clark Gable with the headline, Clark Gable Had élan, yet it had no address or phone number. You had to find us. In the beginning, we assembled 7,000 names of affluent Houstonians and sent them complimentary 90-day memberships. Then, we deleted every fourth name, knowing that they were all friends, and the deleted ones we knew who would immediately buy a $125/year membership. The exclusivity worked.

 Our client, Lance McFaddin of McFaddin Ventures, allowed our agency to do outstanding creative, unlike most club operations. The club attracted all ages and was known for having beautiful people as members.  Happy hours were packed to prime the pump for an evening of socializing and dancing.

 There was room to roam because we Texans love our space. The club was multi-level, with 17,000 square feet of game tables, dancing, a cozy library, bars, and an elegant restaurant. Backgammon was becoming popular, so we had backgammon tables in the bar, and that was a great way to meet new people.  

 Halloween was always a crazy, packed theme night. We targeted high profile Houstonians to throw parties for their friends. We published a magazine for members showing élan activities around the country.

 Many may recall that élan was a major location in the 1979 film, Urban Cowboy…and my personal high rise was another location in it, too.


Jan Strimple, Model, Dallas

 I tip my hat off to J.R. and Sue Ellen for piquing the fashion world’s curiosity of Texas. My savvy European agents played up the Dallas angle by marketing me as ‘the 6-foot redhead from Texas’ and, the world’s top fashion houses took the bait. I’d slip on my Sergio Valente jeans, or a new pair of stirrup pants and dash off to my show fittings. While I couldn’t muster a sugared Texas accent, I non-apologetically delivered the fantasy glamour the fashion biz expected, wearing peplum jackets with projectile shoulders, dramatic scarves, and earrings large enough to float a family of four down the Nile. While sporting Madonna’s colored mascara or playing the Pac-Man between flights was not my thing, Flashdance-inspired layering was perfect for traveling. Donna Karan provide the biggest moments of the 80s good taste fashion which she split from Anne Klein and introduced gender power into the workplace.

Walking the finest runways in the world in the 80s was a wild ride. Theatrical shows ruled with the backstage consisting of a mélange of the top walkers, drag queens, the press, and supermodels. I seldom saw Cindy Crawford without her laptop, Anna Bayle without her cigarettes, Iman without her diva attitude, and Diane Dewitt without her Texas-bred warmth. They were all beauties with their own distinct style. We were like thoroughbred racehorses being prepped for the races–except those tracks were the runways. We were traded by agents to make zillions for them and hundreds of thousands for us. We’d hop on planes to do the circuit, starting in Paris, followed by a long weekend of shows in London, then it was off to Milan for fittings and shows.

 Occasionally, the shows in Barcelona could be slipped in before New York and the Spanish designers were thrilled to get us on their runways. They encouraged us to return by giving us clothes in appreciation, which was a lovely job perk. Then, we were back on American soil to walk for the New York designers. That was the twice a year schedule of the fashion rat pack––seven weeks of non-stop fashion insanity. I’d be at tents in London, on Avenue Marceau in Paris, on Corso Garibaldi in Milan, or in New York’s garment district for fittings and see the same people in the airports, the showrooms, and at the shows. By the time the core models landed back in New York, we had all reduced one full size and the New York designers had to refit our looks. Madness. Complete, fabulous, fashion madness.


Todd Allen, Actor, Austin & Los Angeles

I became an actor while being a business major at UT.  I was driving to our ranch in Johnson City to get my head together and think about what I wanted to do in life–I was supposed to be the one to take over my father’s insurance empire, but I knew that was not what I wanted.  As I was driving,  I saw movie trucks and lights at another ranch off the highway. I pulled over and walked in the gate.  They, mistakenly, assumed I was the son of the property owner and immediately whisked me over the meet the director (an Oscar winner, which I did not know at the time) and the producer.  After a couple of minutes, the director asked if I wanted to help rehearse the actors. So, I did. And then he asked if I’d like to be in the scene. So, I was.

 After a scene where I thought I royally messed up, the director looked at me, reached into his wallet and pulled out a card. He said, ‘This is my private number in LA.  When you get home, and you think about today…and you decide that this is what you are going to do for the rest of your life, and if you move to LA…call me. I’ll help you.’

 I then decided to go to New York to attend acting school, and toward the end of my first year there, I was invited to attend a screening of Walter Hill’s great 1981 film, Southern Comfort. As luck would have it, I sat next to Hill. I introduced myself and we had a good chat. He told me he was about to do a film in Los Angeles called 48 Hours. A couple of weeks later, I got the call to come to LA, got an agent and got the role.

 My ICM agent team kept trying to drag me into Brat Pack since I was young and the age of most of them.  I was always invited to parties with Judd Nelson, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, and the others, but I never wanted to be part of that group. I met Lawrence Kasden and was cast in Silverado, which meant I couldn’t play Demi Moore’s husband in St. Elmo’s Fire, the ultimate Brat Pack 80s movie.

I did tons of films, like Witchboard, which remains a cult hit, Swing Shift with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Mask that was directed by Peter Bogdonovich and starred Cher, Uncommon Valor where I played Gene Hackman’s son and tons of television. One of my favorite times was researching a role in an F-4 Phantom jet to play test pilot Chuck Yeager. There were so many fun times and rich experiences. It never occurred to me that I would not be successful. I just put my head down and went to work.