SHEER? SENSATIONAL.

SHEER? SENSATIONAL.

With the brighter days of summer here, a sense of freedom is evoked by the sheer trend, inspiring care-free nostalgic innocence and a return to the simpler days spent outdoors bathed in sunshine. Our creative curator, Eleanora Morrison of Eleanora.co, shares the products that have sent her imagination on vacation this season.

PLEATS, PLEASE

This pleated silk-organza midi dress takes us back to the dreaminess of childhood, in the most elegantly exaggerated way. This whimsical frock is oh-so-Alice, and we are willingly following her into Simone Rocha’s design couture wonderland. $1,610. Photo and availability courtesy Net-A-Porter.

UTMOST IMPORTANCE

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend who is always on the go? This transparent pouch by Anya Hindmarch is cleverly etched with Important Things across the top and made with clear PVC, so you never have to scramble to find the things you’re always reaching for. $275. Photo and availability courtesy Net-A-Porter

AU NATUREL

Natura Bisse’s Diamond Cocoon Sheer Cream applies as smooth as silk–at first beige, and it then transforms to any skin tone. It’s made with SIRT-AP peptide complex and plant-derived Detoxin that boosts the skin in battling stress, aging, and helps retain moisture. $225. Photo and availability courtesy Net-A-Porter.

SLITHERING SUNCHASER

Norma Kamali’s bold Snake swimsuit is for the chic sunchaser. Designed  to elongate the frame with white stretch fabric and panels of sheer beige mesh, this summertime staple is the perfect poolside accessory for the brighter days ahead. $265. Photo and availability courtesy Neiman Marcus.

SMOOTH AS SILK

This oversized silk-organza scrunchie will punctuate your seasonal looks with just enough dainty drama. Perfect for accessorizing your messy bun, low ponytail, or other heat-beating hairdos this summer. Sophie Buhai’s delicate take on the recycled fad won’t snag or pull. $195. Photo and availability courtesy Net-A-Porter.

SPARKLE IN YOUR STEP

Who doesn’t love a go-to summer sandal? These Marion Parke shiny patent leather slides will take you from cottage to the clubhouse for every sunny social occasion. $595. Photo and availability courtesy Neiman Marcus.

BEIGE BEAUTY

Chanel’s Les Beige Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick is the perfect punctuation for your summer glow. Just enough color contour, this tiny, totable trick is the shiny sculpting finish for your freshly sun-kissed cheekbones. $45. Photo and availability courtesy Neiman Marcus.

UNIQUELY IRIS

Iris Apfel’s iconic maximalist style has made its indelible mark on the fashion and design world. This crystalline paperweight outline of her will give any space just as much character as if Iris herself came to visit. $80. Photo and availability courtesy Neiman Marcus.

WHATEVER TOTES YOUR BOAT

Staud’s Shirley Clear PVC and Crocodile-Embossed Tote Bag is great for the beach, the pool, and even sporting and theatrical events after the cherished vacationing season comes to an end. It comes with a timelessly classic pouch. $208. Photo and availability courtesy Neiman Marcus.

THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT

We have our eye on Transparent sunglasses. These sparkling “Donatella” indoor/outdoor shades designed by Houstonian Margot Hogan are inspired by Donatella Versace, and we love the packed-with-personality pairs we are seeing from this new Texan-owned eyewear brand. These are the perfect accessory to exude your many moods, no matter the season. Prices vary. Model shown: $60. Photo and availability courtesy Transparent.

RUFFLE MY FEATHERS

A cocktail dress that is sure to ruffle feathers, Valentino’s Ruffled Silk-Tie Neck silhouette is alluringly sheer with romantic floral patterns that sweep elegantly with each step. Highlighting the feminine silhouette with its delicate fabrics, this dress is the piece for making a bold statement. $9,800. Photo and availability courtesy Neiman Marcus.

BET ON THE FUTURE

BET ON THE FUTURE

CASAblanca Gala 2020 Smashes Fundraising Records

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Chad W. Adams

THE SETTING: The Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa was the recent setting for the annual CASAblanca Gala 2020. In total, a sold-out crowd of over 1,000 V.I.P.s, sociables, and community advocates took part in an evening of fun and fundraising that those fortunate enough to be a part of will not soon forget.

THE STYLE: The warmth of the event was evident the moment guests arrived for the V.I.P. pre-party in the Omni Barton Creek’s Hill Country Pavilion. Here, against the backdrop of gorgeous, twilight Hill Country views–the dapper, black tie patrons enjoyed their favorite spirits while perusing the impressive array of live and silent auction items up for bid during the evening.

The action then moved to the main ballroom for the evening’s program. As patrons dined on a delicious multi-course meal, they were treated to touching mission moments from several of CASA’s most prominent supporters and advocates. Next came a spirited live auction and fund-a-need that raised over  $1 million. The evening was capped off with a casino after party where revelers celebrated well into the night the success of another fabulous CASAblanca gala.

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Holly Mace Massingill and Gavin Massingill, raised a record $1.7 million for CASA of Travis County. Standing for Court Appointed Special Advocates, CASA provides dedicated advocates to abused and neglected children to speak out for their best interests in court. This year’s gala proceeds will allow 850 children the powerful voice of a CASA volunteer in the coming year.

RISING TO NEW HEIGHTS

RISING TO NEW HEIGHTS

Fashion Group International Dallas Toasts Rising Style Stars

By Cynthia Smoot         Photography by Danny Campbell

THE SETTING:  Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas) celebrated its annual Rising Stars gala at the mid-century icon, Statler Dallas Hotel. This year’s event honored the fashion makers in Texas who are achieving notoriety in their region…and beyond. The evening of glamour and excitement praised the community’s individuals and business leaders for their contributions within fashion and its related industries.

 

The honorees of the evening included Lela Orr of FERRAH (fashion), Barbara Kaiser Harvel and Stephanie Harvel of Kaiser Atelier (accessories), Matt Alexander, proprietor of Neighborhood Goods (retail), Marsi Hubbard of Brite Bar Beauty (beauty), Lea Fisher (art and design), and Samantha Stewart of Style of Sam  (fashion blogging).

 

THE STYLE:  The evening, emceed by Courtney Kerr, began with many of Dallas’ most fashionable as they mixed and mingled over cocktails and light bites. Guests also had the opportunity to support the nominees at specially created pop-up shops and enjoyed a beauty activation sponsored by Toni & Guy. During the ceremony, guests enjoyed runway shows featuring fashions from the 2020 Rising Star’s fashion nominees, produced by Jan Strimple Productions. It was the place to be to celebrate and admire the state’s thriving fashion scene.

 

THE PURPOSE:  Fashion Group International, Inc. provides a high-profile forum to promote the fashion business by hosting events that educate and facilitate the exchange of ideas by giving back to the community.

 

SETTING THE TONE

SETTING THE TONE

Every host knows that the secret to a successful event is strategically fusing the energy of the guests. If it is a seated affair, it’s even more important that the mix around the table is fun, festive and even, educational, according to our entertaining expert, Jay Remer.

MATCHING MATES

Husbands and wives may be seated at different tables, including formal dinners, but try to avoid seating them together unless one of them is painfully shy or there is some extenuating circumstance. After all, they see one another regularly, and interacting with other guests is the purpose of having a fun party. Conventionally, couples who are dating usually are seated beside one another, although, for me, this is a flexible guideline. If there is a male guest of honor, he would be seated to the right of the hostess; a female guest of honor would be seated to the right of the host.

 

Given modern partnerships, common sense trumps conventional norms. The overriding principles of proper etiquette are flexible enough to accommodate all guests with egalitarian grace. If a host decides they would like a a different mix other than what tradition dictates, they should follow their heart and act accordingly. This perspective removes all sorts of conventions and allows for the originality that so many party planners crave today.

 

However, do be thoughtful about your seating plan. It’s common sense not seating people together whom you know have a poor history with one another, have little or nothing in common, who are overly shy or overly talkative. Try to seat people next to those whom they would most enjoy–with interesting backgrounds, professional pursuits, or a unique hobby.

 

To accomplish this task efficiently, write the name of each guest on a small card. Divide the ‘deck’ into male and female decks. Some people may be more interested in politics, others in sports, others in gardening, etc. Think of this gathering as an opportunity for people with common interests to engage in elusive and lively conversations.

 

WHAT A CARD

After you have the seating chart sorted, write the names on place cards and band them together by table for placing once the table(s) have been set. Once you have placed the cards, the plan is written in stone. Any guest who thinks they can change their seat assignment is sadly mistaken. Some may quite justifiably consider this to be an egregiously poor lapse in judgment and possibly a short cut to elimination from future invitations.

 

When hosting a dinner party at a restaurant, be sure to arrive at least twenty minutes ahead of the invited start time. Some people may mistakenly arrive early, so either wait for them at the entrance bar (and have a drink) or go directly to the table and wait for your guests. Do not order a drink at the table until guests are seated. And do not touch your napkin. Your guests should arrive at a pristine table. Always try to give your guests the best view, either one facing into the room or out a window over a stunning vista, not facing the kitchen’s swinging door or viewing the restrooms. Know ahead of time exactly where each guest will sit, and as they arrive, simply let them know. For tables of more than six, I recommend place cards. Following these guidelines will ensure things run smoothly and will reflect well on you as a great host for your next gathering and many more to come.

 

 

GROOVE IS IN THE HEART

GROOVE IS IN THE HEART

McNay Art Museum Celebrates Gala With 90s Theme

 

By Leanne Raesener         Photography by David Sixt

 

THE SETTING: The McNay Art Museum’s gala, Dining With The Masters: Fashion Nirvana, recently provided over 300 of San Antonio’s notables, sociables, and arts patrons the exclusive opportunity to dine among the masterpieces. The elegant evening also offered an exclusive preview of the spring blockbuster Fashion Nirvana: Runway to Everyday. This cutting-edge exhibition, from gowns to grunge, is the first-ever major presentation devoted to the art of fashion at the McNay. Featuring over 40 garments by Escada, John Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Todd Oldham, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, and Vera Wang, to name a few, the exhibit celebrated the designers, models, artists, and celebrities who made the 90s an iconic decade.

 

THE STYLE: Patrons posed in front of a 90s inspired graffiti wall designed by artist Elizabeth Carrington before they made their way inside the museum as the festivities commenced. The cocktail hour was held in the venue’s courtyard where guests enjoyed a raw seafood bar and were entertained by break-dancers and DJ Sara Jessop, who played popular 90s hits.

 The dinner tables were strategically placed in the Fashion Nirvana exhibition and museum lobby. The committee did an amazing job with décor–minimal and elegant, which let talented David Garcia with Statue of Design create stunning ombre centerpieces, including clouds made entirely of baby’s breath. Don Strange of Texas treated guests to a sumptuously catered dinner of Asian inspired cuisine. During the meal, everyone showed their appreciation by funding over 140 field trips to the museum. After dinner, guests made their way to the after party for dancing led by the band Finding Friday and enjoyed 90s inspired snacks as well as a boozy inspired Capri Sun.

 

THE PURPOSE: Corinna and J.B. Richter chaired the event, presented by The Tobin Endowment and Frost Bank, which is the largest annual fundraiser for the museum. Proceeds from the gala benefited the McNay’s education, exhibition, and conservation programs, enabling the museum to continue its mission of engaging a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts.

 

THIS SIDE OF PARADISE

THIS SIDE OF PARADISE

Asia Society Tiger Ball Creates More Success

By Jennifer Roosth       Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Leah Wilson

THE SETTING:  Asia Society’s 2020 Tiger Ball, Celebrating the Elegance of Japan, honored Texas’ iconic and beloved champion of the arts, legendary philanthropist Lynn Wyatt. Welcoming 725 guests, it was more people than at any other event since the building opened in 2012. The Events Company created a Japanese-inspired spring paradise, transporting attendees to another world and season. A pink carpet lined with Japanese cherry blossom trees and special lighting served as a lovely pathway into the venue, which is itself an award-winning work of art, created by famed Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi.

THE STYLE:  The evening was indeed an exquisite celebration of the elegance of Japan. An entire truckload of Japanese cherry blossom branches decorated the Center and the Gala Pavilion, plus white Phalaenopsis orchids, roses, pink orchids, Vanda orchids, magnolia Japonica, fringed tulips, Asclepias, and a new breed of tulip known as the Leo spider tulip. Flowers were sourced from Thailand, Holland, and Oregon, and totaled approximately 10,000 blooms. Japanese taiko drummers led the way into the lavishly decorated 80’x181’ gala pavilion that transformed the Asia Society’s exterior space. Dozens of origami-inspired cranes and white rice paper and feather lanterns dotted the ceiling. Several oak trees outside the venue were adorned with cherry blossom branches to add to the Japanese springtime ambiance. A sumptuous Japanese-inspired menu, created by City Kitchen was served, featuring okonomiyaki pancakes with smoked duck, as well as tuna tartar, Wagyu beef tataki, spring rolls, edamame and jasmine rice cake, jumbo lump crab with melon, miso-glazed sea bass, and kabocha squash timbale. 

THE PURPOSE:  Kathy and Marty Goossen, and Akemi and Yasuhiko Saitoh co-chaired the event. Honorary chairs Kathy and Glen Yoshiaki Gondo, Wendy and Jeff Hines, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Brenda and Marc Watts, Donna Fujimoto Cole, and Shota Kondo were also recognized. A total of $1.34 million was raised in support of Asia Society’s programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach to enrich and engage the vast diversity of Houston.