Women’s Council Of The Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden Hosts 34th Annual Mad Hatters Tea
By Cynthia Smoot Photography by Danny Campbell, Thomas Garcia and Rob Wythe
THE SETTING: Claire Catrino, Mad Hatter’s Tea chair, Lisa Loy Laughlin, president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, and honorary chair Laurie Sands Harrison welcomed chapeau-donned guests to the 34th Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This year’s theme, Dallas, encouraged the attendees to enjoy their own interpretation of how to represent the city in a hat or fascinator. Guests promenaded down a red carpet vying for coveted awards in various categories. This year’s judges included Mary Brinegar, Dallas Arboretum CEO, Kim Noltemy, Barbara Bigham, Vanessa Logan, Amy Hofland, and Tanya Taylor, who was the featured celebrity designer.
THE STYLE: The afternoon’s program included an elegant luncheon service and a European-style fashion show produced by Jan Strimple Productions, which highlighted the styles of the spring season and featured designs by Tanya Taylor. Emcee Calvert Collins announced category winners to a rapt luncheon crowd. Marena Gault and Elizabeth Smith tied in the category of “Best Use of Botanical Components: Bluebonnets.” Prashe Shah won “Most True to Theme: Flying Horse,” and Dr. Linda Burk won “Best Big Over the Top Texas Hat: Everything is Bigger in Texas!” In addition, Venise Stuart was awarded “Best Fascinator: Uptown Girl,” Debbie McKeever’s table won “Best Group Hats: Dallas Dynasty,” Robert Wilson was bestowed “People’s Choice Award: Deep in the Hat of Texas,” and Sharla Bush and Terry Irby tied for “Best in Show: Don’t Mess with Dallas.”
THE PURPOSE: 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 and funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women. The Women’s Council is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.