Texas Independence Day Dinner Honors Prominent Texans At The Bullock Museum

By Rob Giardinelli   Photography by Chris Caselli

THE SETTING: The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin was the venue for the 15 th Annual Texas Independence Day Dinner. The event, hosted by the Texas State History Museum Foundation, featured over 400 of the state’s most notable sociables and politicos for an evening of fun and tributes to two Texans who have made an indelible mark on the states culture and independent spirit: Charles Butt and Flaco Jimenez who were each honored with the History-Making Texan Award.

THE STYLE: The black-tie crowd kicked off the festivities in style before with a one-of-a-kind red carpet located at main entrance where attendees posed for photos with the iconic Texas star located outside of the museum as a backdrop while listening to ambient music courtesy of Austin Soundwaves Orchestra. Once inside, guests ascended the staircase in the main foyer of the Bullock to the second floor for cocktails where VIP’s had the opportunity mingle with the guests of honor.

The fun continued as partygoers gathered in the main foyer of the Bullock for the event program. The space, beautifully transformed in a sea of whites and metallics, with red floral décor that offered the space an extra pop of color, was where patrons dined on a delicious meal catered by The Four Seasons Hotel. Next came the tributes to the honorees, each of whom were the spotlight of a video showcasing the impact they have had on the state. After the program, the gracious honorees stayed well into the night to further mingle with VIP’s, capping off a magical evening that will be the talk of the Texas social scene for some time to come.

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Carla Moran with Jan Bullock serving as honorary chair, raised over $1 million dollars for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum educational programs and special projects.



Haukohl Family Medici Art Collection Kicks Off Tour Through Europe

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by John Frassanito

THE SETTING: The historic town of Augsburg, Germany was the recent setting for the debut of a one-of-a-kind collection that showcased the art from one of history’s most historic Italian families. The events to toast Beyond the Medici: The Haukohl Family Collection featured many prominent art patrons, collectors from around the world jetted-in from locales ranging from Texas to Paris to Singapore for an incredible weekend of events including walking tours, concerts and five-star cuisine. The gathering was hosted by Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl of Houston, whose family has been collecting Medici art for six generations.

THE VIBE: The well-heeled art aficionados kicked off the weekend in style at the northern baroque Schaezlerpalais Palace, which featured southern Italian works of art owned by Haukohl. The weekend only became more dazzling from there. Meghan Gregonis, United States General Counsel in Munich, officiated the opening at the Grand Goldener Saal. Prominent museum directors from both sides of the pond, were treated to an awe-inspiring display of 17 th century paintings, sculptures, textiles and drawings also owned by Sir Haukohl.

The fun continued as art enthusiasts were treated to a five-star luncheon at Schloss Wellenberg Castle. Sir Haukohl brought the Texan largesse with him by offering Lone Star-blue aprons and Bucee’s barbecue sauce as gifts for attendees. The festivities were capped with a Vivaldi concert hosted by Haukohl and featured VIP’s including Mary Mochary, retired Chair of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Dr. Eric Motley of the Aspen Institute. If the success of this weekend is any indication, the Beyond the Medici: The Haukohl Family Collection tour which will include stops in Brussels, Munich and Luxembourg among others, will be the upcoming talk of the European and American art scenes.



Stages Repertory Theatre Hosts The Night Garden Gala

By Jennifer Roosth     Photography by Priscilla Dickson and Daniel Ortiz

THE SETTING: Attended by a record breaking 464 guests, the 2019 Stages Repertory Theatre hosted its most successful gala to date. The Revaire’s ballroom décor, designed by Bergner and Johnson, was inspired by the theme, The Night Garden, with a hint of the theatre’s upcoming show, Little Shop of Horrors. Garden vines, blooming branches, trailing greenery and carnivorous plants filled the space, along with touches of rich red and hot pink, adding a sensuous layer to the evening. Following dinner with cuisine by A Fare Extraordinaire, attendees crowded the dance floor and danced the night away to the sounds of Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra.

THE STYLE: It was a night charmed with a big surprise. Glenda and Russell Gordy’s longtime friends, Sue Smith and the late Lester Smith, had informed them that they would not be able to attend this year’s gala. However, unbeknownst to the Gordys, the Smiths had reserved a table and planned to make a special announcement at the event. Following dinner, a messenger presented the Gordys with a giant red gift box containing a check revealing a $2.5M gift, enabling Stages Repertory Theatre to fully fund their new campus, The Gordy, nearly a year ahead of opening. The Smiths deliberately chose to bestow their first significant performing arts donation in honor of their close friends, the Gordys.

THE PURPOSE: The gala chairs were Judy and Jim Nicklos and Brenda and Bradley Jones served as the underwriting chairs, The evening raised over $630,000 including auction proceeds. The Gordys made a leadership $5M gift to the capital campaign, Staging Our Future in 2017, making their gift one of the largest individual gifts in the history of Houston’s performing arts community. The campaign supports the construction of its new 66,850-square-foot three-theatre campus, The Gordy, which will open in January of 2020. Stages surprised both the Gordys and the Smiths by announcing that the new campus’s 223-seat arena stage will be named the “Lester and Sue Smith Stage”.



Dell Children’s Medical Center Gala Shatters Fundraising Records.

By Rob Giardinelli Photography | by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: A beautiful evening at Austin’s JW Marriott hotel was the setting recently for the annual Dell Children’s Medical Center gala. In total, over 1,000 of Austin’s most notable sociables, community leaders and philanthropists were on hand to support one of Capital City’s most venerable organizations for a night of hope, fun and fundraising.

THE STYLE: The fun began even before the impeccably dressed crowd in their finest black-tie attire ascended the escalator to the main ballroom. Here guests had the opportunity to pose for photos on a one-of-a-kind step and repeat, set as a living room, designed by Autumn Rich and Lisa Hickey. Dapper in gowns and tuxedos, the partygoers then made their way to their seats in an impeccably designed ballroom full of orchids courtesy of David Kurio. The program included heart-warming testimonials from families positively impacted by Dell Children’s Medical Center and a spirited live auction. The festivities were capped off in the foyer-turned-disco of the JW Marriott for the after party where guests danced the night away in style.

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Pat and Katherine Jones, raised a
record-setting $1.7 million dollars for Dell Children’s Medical Center. Since 1996, the gala has raised over $18.5 million dollars to provide valuable resources and programs for children and their families.



San Antonio’s Epitacio R. Resendez Jet-Setting Forever Fiftieth Birthday Party In Budapest

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Ati Boldog

THE SETTING: Budapest, Hungary was the setting for a recent epic birthday weekend celebrating Epitacio R. Resendez. Titled, Forever Fifty, the fifty-five people from around the world who made their way to the Pearl of the Danube were treated to a series of five-star festivities throughout the enchanting city. 

THE STYLE: The weekend began at the Budapest apartment of Resendez, who purchased the residence after falling in love with the city on a trip to Europe eight years ago. The guests, donned in their finest cocktail attire, were greeted by the guest of honor, who stood atop a candle lit staircase where partygoers sipped champagne and sampled morsels by Nobu while pianist Csaba Novak performed for the adoring crowd.

The next evening the festivities moved to The Queen Elisabeth & Andrássy ballroom at the Gundel Etterem, a world-renowned restaurant which has hosted Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth over the years. The black-tie clad revelers were treated to a lavish dinner while being serenaded by musician Gyula Horváth.

Once dinner was completed, the doors of the salon were opened to reveal a dance floor and DJ where revelers partied the night away. The weekend concluded at the residence of Mexico’s Ambassador to Hungary Hon. David Nájera for a brunch and farewell toast to Resendez, perfectly capping off a weekend that those on hand will long remember.



Celebrity Designer Bob Mackie Jewelry Stuns

By Lance Avery Morgan  Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SETTING: Recently, at two spectacular private residences, the buzz was palpable as celebrity fashion designer Bob Mackie wowed a crowd of attendees with the launch events of his Bob Mackie Fine Jewelry collection. The jewelry pieces, set in precious stones including diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, coral as well as favorites like coral and turquoise set in white gold, rose gold and yellow gold.

THE SCENE: The chic residences of Kim Lewis and Sonya Medina served as the venues for each chic gathering. Cocktails flowed and bites were nibbled as prominent San Antonians met and mingled with Mackie, who lent his design expertise as well as insightful stories about Cher, Carol Burnett, Ann Margaret, and other Hollywood legends he has designed for over the years. Currently, Mackie is the toast of Broadway due to his costuming for the hit musical, The Cher Show. In fact, he designed the over-500 costumes for the sparkling production.

We love that the Bob Mackie Design Group has partnered with renowned jeweler Nigaam on the new collection of fine jewelry. The collaboration weds Bob Mackie’s exquisite sense of glamour and sophistication, with Nigaam’s precious stone expertise.

The result? A stunning showcase of beautiful craftsmanship and spectacular color. Upon his arrival, Bob and his team were welcomed in true Texas style by Nancy Hernandez and her staff at the iconic Little Red Barn Steakhouse – an evening to be remembered by all. As a tribute to the designer, artist Analy Diego created a piece for Sonya’s party depicting Bob through her vector illustration technique and is available for collecting at Anarte Gallery. During their visit, Mackie and his team were squired about in brand new Cadillac SUVs provided by Ken Batchelor and Cavender Cadillac who combined efforts to provide the luxe transportation.