FRENCH TIES: ALICIA BRYAN NAMED NEW PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN FRIENDS OF VERSAILLES ORGANIZATION

FRENCH TIES: ALICIA BRYAN NAMED NEW PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN FRIENDS OF VERSAILLES ORGANIZATION

Texas Ties Support New Era Of International Philanthropy

By Sharon King Hoge    Photography courtesy of American Friends of Versailles

Alicia Bryan has been named President of The American Friends of Versailles. A native of San Antonio, she is already planning events to promote Franco-American relations and raise funds to help restore and preserve the historic Château. For the first three days of June 2024, patrons will gather at Versailles for a picnic on the palace grounds and a grand Gala des Fleurs d’Oranger in the Chateau’s giant Indoor “greenhouse” L’Orangerie.

Historic renovation is not new to Bryan, who with her father, J.D. Bryan, restored the Gage Hotel in Marathon, TX, which was voted #1 Hotel in Texas by Condé Nast Traveler. The Bryans are currently involved in the building and design of an additional 50 rooms at the hotel and were instrumental in designing its famous White Buffalo Bar, also known as the “Best Hotel Bar” in the state. Another instance of the Bryan family’s legacy in the state is The Bryan Museum in Galveston.

Alicia Bryan was elected President at the AFV’s annual meeting held this year in October in Chicago. Greeted by AFV Founder and Chairman Emeritus Catharine Hamilton at a reception in the French paneled rooms of her high-rise residence, AFV guests then proceeded to the elegant private Casino Club nearby for a candlelight dinner.

After an early morning private tour of the renowned Impressionist collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, guided by celebrated Curator Gloria Groom, the group progressed to the meeting at the Chicago Racquet Club where Bryan was introduced to international members present and by video livestream.

A luncheon in the Club’s Lounge room concluded the proceedings with members looking forward to joining friends from around the globe at the events next summer in Paris. For more information on the American Friends of Versailles and how you can support it, visit AmericanFriendsOfVersailles.org.

SEEK AND FIND

SEEK AND FIND

Now that things are back to normal for most of us, so many adventures await, don’t you think? Our very own cool hunter Lance Avery Morgan is on the scene to share his insights of where to go, what to have, and things to own.

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

LET’S BOOK THAT

One of the most intriguing luxury book sources we love is the famed French publisher Assouline bookstore in the River Oaks District. Loaded with five-star books to taunt your wildest imagination, this is perhaps the perfect host gift source for your next dinner party.

At Assouline.com.

SOME MORE DIOR

The Brooklyn Museum of New York presents the premiere of the exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which traces the groundbreaking history and legacy of the House of Dior and features unique pieces drawn primarily from the Dior archives. From September 10–February 20, 2022.

At BrooklynMuseum.org.

Courtesy of Haute Hostess
Courtesy of Virgin Dallas

MUSEUM QUALITY

While seeking that perfect birthday gift for a friend, why not look at your local museum gift shop? Loaded with plenty of unique items indigenous to the culture the museums reflect, there’s something for everyone, according to the Texas State Preservation Board. Shown is an item from the Bob Bullock State History Museum gift shop, as an example.

At TheStoryOfTexas.com.

SPEAKING OF PARIS

In Houston’s River Oaks District, Moreau Paris is the custodian of an exceptional French tradition, both for the manufacturing processes and in the materials used for its leather goods. The result is timeless, functional, light, and elegant pieces to own forever. We especially love the Faubourg collection, shown here.

At Moreau-Paris.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green

MORE…

Courtesy of Restore 180

DRESSING FOR ALL OCCASIONS

Austin-bred Barbara Geller knew that her family’s secret dressing for salads and seasonings would be popular beyond friends and family. The garlic-infused dressing and marinade had developed a fan following, and it’s now on the shelves of Central Market and finer specialty grocery stores everywhere.

At LilliansDressing.com.

RAISING THE BAR

On your next trip to Manhattan, why not nurture your inner icon with a trip to the legendary Bemelman’s Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, now open. Sexy and darkly lit, something always special happens amongst the hand-painted wall murals. Just sit back and listen to the stories the piano has to share through its tickled ivories. Oh, and always order the Vesper cocktail.

At RosewoodHotels.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green

BE IN THE KNOW

BE IN THE KNOW

Where to go and what to do right now around the state and beyond? Look no further since we’ve assembled the newest and different to try and enjoy, according to our cool culture hunter, Lance Avery Morgan.

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

HEIGHTENED SCENTS-ABILITY

The newest candle to be a hit with those in the know is Social-Lite. Gorgeous and filled with delectable scents with such themes as Set To Jet, Make Mine Champagne, Modern Ingenue, My Secret Past, Darling Really, and Isn’t It Rich, these five-star candles will add a sophisticated element to every room.

$58 each. At SocialLiteCandles.com.

EUROPEAN JAUNT

The American Friends of Versailles, led by Amarillo-born Catharine Hamilton, is inviting guests, under the gracious guidance of Princesse Béatrice de Bourbon des Deux Sicilies, to enjoy a spectacular benefit trip of palaces and gatherings from Vienna and Prague. This one-of-a-kind tour of the fabled cities benefits the ongoing renovation of Versailles. Make plans now for October 2–10. $20,000 per person.

At AmericanFriendsOfVersailles.org.

Courtesy of Haute Hostess
Courtesy of Virgin Dallas

BOXT & READY

BOXT luxe table wine, Austin-based and female-owned by Sarah Puil, has launched into the new hot craze of premium boxed wines. The three red and white varietals use Napa winemaking techniques, are eco-friendly, and sourced from the best grapes in the world. Available through a subscription service, with free shipping direct to your doorstep.

At DrinkBOXT.com.

ESCAPE WITHOUT LEAVING HOME

With travel in all of our futures, we can hardly wait. Until we’re on that jet, headed for, say, Italy, we can enjoy the flair of the fabled country with art by San Antonio-based artist Allison Gregory, whose contemporary work of abstract and specific venues, like the Italian Riviera, shown here, always brighten any venue.

At AllisonGregoryFineArt.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green

MORE…

Courtesy of Restore 180

ALWAYS LOOKING UP

You’ll definitely want to see the Texas Performing Arts exhibit Behind the Scenes: Hollywood’s Sistine Chapel.  Among the 50 backdrops received by Texas Performing Arts from the Art Directors Guild Backdrop Recovery Project was a nearly complete replica of the Sistine Chapel.  These 18 backdrops represent full-scale copies of the historic frescos, that are a cornerstone of High Renaissance Art, and were used in MGM’s 1968 papal drama, The Shoes of the Fisherman, starring Anthony Quinn.

At UTPerformingArts.org.                   

TOTES WITH A CONSCIENCE

The BAE bag is a flagship product from Austin-based Betsy Christian, founder of Bae Liles. The totes, which come in orange and white, and black and white canvas, sport sturdy leather handles. Maker Moms handcraft them in Kenya to create sustainable lives through Fair Trade and every purchase contributes to their financial well-being. Look for a line of easy-to-wear dresses next.

At BaeLiles.com.   

Courtesy of Discovery Green
FIVE-STAR ADVENTURE

FIVE-STAR ADVENTURE

By Lance Avery Morgan                       Photography courtesy of American Friends of Versailles

Upper Belvedere in Vienna

The American Friends of Versailles, founded by Amarillo, Texas native Catharine Hamilton, and under the exceptional, gracious guidance of Princesse Béatrice de Bourbon des Deux Siciles, invites you to a spectacular benefit trip to Vienna and Prague to take place from October 2–10, 2021.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent & Mr. and Mrs. David Hamilton at an
American Friends of Versailles gala


The Princess curated this one-of-a-kind, benefit tour filled with illuminating visits to must-see sites, as well as uncommon entrees to impressive private locales, via invitations from her family and friends. It promises to be a very moving time together. There may be slight edits to this itinerary including surprise, wonderful additions in this exclusive opportunity. 

Prague

The hotel reservation deadline is June 11th for the first deposit, due to the demand for fall travel and five-star hotels. This opportunity is  $20,000 per person (with appx. a $9,500 tax deductible portion).  If you are unable to subscribe, kindly know donations of any size are greatly appreciated. For more information, you can email info@americanfriendsofversailles.org for the itinerary–or call 312.943.0173. 

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
NOW MAKING HER DEBUT

NOW MAKING HER DEBUT

64th International Debutante Ball Elevates Three Texans To The International Social Stage

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by ChiChi Ubina and Elaine Ubina

THE SETTING: The Pierre Hotel in New York City was the setting recently for a biennial ball tradition known the world over. The 64th International Debutante Ball featured the debut of twenty-two debutantes hailing from nine states and eight countries around the world. This group of outstanding young ladies included three Texans: Catherine Coselli, Olivia Late and Dominique Melcher, each of whom represented Texas with a sense of style and grace that is known around the world.

THE STYLE: The men wore white tie and tails, while the women wore an array of colorful ensembles among the winter white attire of the debs. The evening began in the hotel’s Cotillion Room for a fun cocktail hour before the action moved to the main ballroom for the dinner and presentation.

Against the backdrop of the Lester Lanin Orchestra, who played each of the debs’ country or state song, the women made their bows to the room full of family, friends and well-wishers. Carrying a bouquet of pink roses that perfectly complemented their white designer gowns each wowed the audience with their composure and grace. After the presentation the fun continued well into the night as revelers danced the night away.

THE PURPOSE: The evening was co-chaired by Anne Eisenhower and Catharine Hamilton with Julia Irene Kaufmann serving as honorary chair. Proceeds raised for the event benefitted The International Debutante Ball Foundation Charities.

[et_pb_flex_gallery _builder_version=”3.19.11″ gallery_ids=”30407,30408,30409,30410,30411,30412,30413,30414,30415,30416,30417,30418,30419,30420,30421,30422,30423,30424,30425,30426,30427,30428,30429″ zoom_icon_color=”#a5469a” hover_overlay_color=”rgba(165,70,154,0.24)” hover_icon=”%%51%%” title_font_size_tablet=”51″ title_line_height_tablet=”2″ caption_font_size_tablet=”51″ caption_line_height_tablet=”51″ pagination_font_size_tablet=”51″ pagination_line_height_tablet=”2″ show_title_and_caption=”off” /]