Annual Destiny Award Luncheon Benefits St. Philip’s School

 By Cynthia Smoot                    Photography by Tim Heitman

THE SETTING: More than 1,200 guests filled the Landmark Ballroom at the Downtown Dallas Hyatt Regency recently for a big personality…and even bigger cause. St. Philip’s School and Community Center welcomed Basketball Hall-of-Famer and cultural icon Shaquille O’Neal as its guest speaker for the 22nd annual Destiny Awards luncheon. It featured a comedic and heartfelt conversation between O’Neal and NBA Champion and former Mavericks coach Avery Johnson. O’Neal shared that excellence is not a singular act with St. Philip’s students, who also performed at the luncheon. Also, Dr. Bobby Lyle was honored with the Mona & David Munson Humanitarian Award for his outstanding commitment to the school.


THE STYLE: Standing at 7 feet 1 inch, no one stood taller or caused greater excitement than the guest of honor. Before the luncheon, O’Neal greeted fans and engaged in a quick game of hoops with the St. Philip’s students. He also toured a dynamic student showcase that included sports trivia, the math of basketball, and more. It was no surprise the event was packed with friends of St. Philip’s, donors, and sponsors from across the metroplex.


THE PURPOSE: Pete Chillan served as the event chair. The St. Philip’s School and Community Center luncheon raised more than $1.2 million. These funds will facilitate the expansion of St. Philip’s School in the 2022-2023 school year. St. Philp’s mission is to develop each student’s mind, body, and soul. The school is committed to excellence in academics and community service.

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Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas) Hosts Night Of Stars Gala

By Cynthia Smoot     Photography by Thomas Garza and Danny Campbell

THE SETTING: Over 250 fashionable guests packed the Thompson Hotel ballroom downtown for the Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas) annual Night of Stars gala, themed Iconic Glam. Designer extraordinaire Naeem Khan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Fashion. In addition, Jonathan Adler was awarded the Career Achievement Award in Design, Gray Malin was awarded the Career Achievement Award in Photography, and Dee Lincoln was awarded the Career Achievement Award in Business.

THE STYLE: Chic supporters, dressed to the nines, with pandemic protocol in place, included Sam Saladino, Steve Kemball, Elizabeth Savetsky, Lele Sadoughi, Ese Azenabor, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Heidi Dillon, and Daniella Bell. Master of Ceremonies James Aguiar hosted the star-studded annual event, while the organization’s Chuck Steelman deftly guided the live auction of luxury items. The evening included a cocktail reception, a fashion show featuring the Naeem Khan Spring/Summer 2022 collection produced by Jan Strimple, and an after party at Kessaku.

THE PURPOSE: The event was chaired by Ken Weber of Martini Consignment and Richard Rivas of TONI&GUY. 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. The evening raised funds for the organization’s student scholarships.

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33rd Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Benefits The Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden


By Cynthia Smoot       Photography by Danny Campbell and Rob Wythe

THE SETTING: The Women’s Council of Dallas recently celebrated the spring season and A Woman’s Garden with a sold-out crowd at the 33rd Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea, among the glorious floral displays at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This year’s theme was Out of Africa Into The Garden.

THE STYLE: Guests, WITH PANDEMCE with pandemic protocol in place, donned in their finery and plenty an enviable chapeau, enjoyed a champagne reception in the Scott K. Ginsburg Family Plaza. They paraded before the hat judges on the green carpet walkway, vying for the coveted prizes. Once the program began, winners were bestowed awards in various categories. A lovely, seated afternoon tea followed on the Plaza featuring a spring fashion promenade expertly produced by Jan Strimple with fashions from Tootsies.


THE PURPOSE: Jolie Humphrey chaired the Mad Hatter’s Tea this year, along with Kay Weeks, president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Carole Ann Brown served as honorary chair. Since 1986 the primary goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding, and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women, and dedicated to the spirit of women. The support of over 500 members of the Women’s Council makes possible the continued expansion and development of A Woman’s Garden.

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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.


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AIN Art+Fashion+Community Event Highlights Dallas-Based Artists

By Cynthia Smoot Photography by Danny Campbell and Marcus Perryman

THE SETTING: AIN (Access & Information Network) recently hosted a new event, Art+Fashion+Community, which was welcomed with open arms to a sold-out crowd with presenting sponsor AHF. It was a meeting of the minds that brought together an exhibition of the who’s who in the art and fashion world. Guests were treated to an array of photography, paintings, sculpture, and fashions from six local designers.

Models, poised on pedestals, were transformed into works of art in the Samuel Lynne Galleries. Designers included Project Runway alum Venny Etienne, Don Morphy, Julie McCullough, Amy Marshall, Loren Franco, and Arnulfo Villa. Amy Marshall’s collection took everyone’s breath away with her 1981 collection about the outbreak of AIDS in the community.

THE STYLE: Guests strolled through the gallery while being treated to hors d’oeuvres from Doug Boster Catering and drinks from Hell’s Half Acres vodka and Community Beer Co. Guests could also bid on one-of-a-kind T-shirts designed by artists including Tyler Shields, Cristi Meril, JD Miller and Project Runway darlings Daniel Esquivel and Lela Orr.

THE PURPOSE: The event was chaired by Lea Fisher, Ken Weber & JR Hernandez. For over 30 years, AIN been a leading healthcare resource for persons living with HIV and other vulnerable populations in the Dallas region. The organization serves over 2,000 diagnosed low-income men, women and youths by distributing over 140,000 rides annually to medical and social services. It also provides 25,000 hot meals every year through its nutrition program.


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