IN THE STARS

IN THE STARS

Zöe Legate Dobson And Connor Eaton Howden Wed

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Jenny DeMarco

Sometimes, a couple is destined to be together. It’s written in the stars, one might say. That was the case for Zöe Dobson and Connor Howden. The two have known each other all their lives, growing up in the same neighborhood in Austin and frequently seeing one another due to the friendship between their parents. These childhood friends went to elementary and high school together before they gave romance a go in their junior year of high school. The duo was initially drawn together due to their similar interests and understanding of their unique sense of humor.

The two dated for two years when college beckoned. They parted ways as they went to separate universities in different states. After two years apart, “We both realized during our junior year of college that we were each other’s person,” mused Zöe. “We have been together ever since and are still best friends today.” Upon completing college, Zöe returned home to Austin to continue their romance. After dating for several more years, the bride-to-be was in for the happiest surprise of her life. “Connor had my friends organize a girl’s happy hour on the patio at The Four Seasons in Austin,” Zöe happily recalls. “They got me to walk down to Lady Bird Lake for pictures where Connor was waiting. He rented a boat for us and proposed at sunset, overlooking the city’s skyline where we both grew up just as stars started appearing in the evening sky..”

The couple was engaged for 13 months before their wedding at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. There, on a picture-perfect spring day, the couple exchanged their vows in an outdoor ceremony underneath The Star of Texas on the newly opened promenade outside the museum. The bride looked stunning in her Ramona Keveza wedding dress as her father escorted her down the aisle with an elegant mix of white, light blue, and peach flowers designed by Remi + Gold. Zöe’s brother, Jack, wedded the couple in front of 350 invited friends and family members.

The reception, held inside the atrium of The Bullock Museum, was beautifully executed by Lexie Perez of 787 Events. The duo opted for open seating where guests could sit and dine at their leisure in a fun mix of square, round, and high-top tables, all featuring Lucite chairs. During the reception, guests were treated to a custom margarita bar, a five-tier all-white wedding cake, and late-night chicken and biscuits. The couple departed with the help of family and friends who stood on either side of the couple, holding sparklers and cheering them on a clear, starry night.

As for their favorite part of the day, the bride and groom agreed it was being with their friends and family who had been with them through their entire 10-year journey. “To have all of our best friends from growing up together, college, and adulthood was so special,” they remarked. “It was so special and fun to connect all of our favorite people in one room.”

Zöe, the daughter of Diana and Casey Dobson of Austin, is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and an investment banker at Focus Strategies. Connor, the son of Jenna and Robert Howden, also of Austin, is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and works in commercial real estate for Kairoi Residential. The couple reside in Austin, where they enjoy exploring the city’s vibrant food scene, boating on Lake Austin, and attending University of Texas football games.

FIT FOR A PRESIDENT

FIT FOR A PRESIDENT

THE LBJ Presidential Library Hosts MONTHLY Program Series

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Jay Godwin

THE SETTING: The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin hosts an annual season of special Evening With programs featuring dynamic conversations with some of the most notable leaders in the political, cultural, and media fields on topics related to American history and current affairs. The special events, open to Friends of the LBJ Library members, draw some of the Lone Star State’s most notable sociables, history lovers, and philanthropists. Following the programs, members at the Legacy and Cabinet levels are invited to a cocktail reception and dinner with the featured speakers in the 10th floor atrium.

THE STYLE: On one to two nights a month between September and May, audiences of up to 1,000 attendees dressed in Austin-chic attire fill the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium for interview-style discussions, moderated by Mark Updegrove, president and CEO of the LBJ Foundation and presidential historian for ABC News.  

This past year, speakers included William McRaven, who shared highlights from his career as an Admiral in the Navy and lessons on leadership from his book, The Wisdom of the Bullfrog. Jake Tapper talked about covering current affairs as an anchor at CNN and his recently published book, All the Demons Are Here. Heather Cox Richardson, historian and editor of the popular daily newsletter, “Letters from an American,” spoke about the state of our democracy and lessons for the current moment drawn from our national history to a capacity crowd of 1,000. The season closed out with former Defense Secretary Dr. Robert Gates, who shared insights about current world and geopolitical events, including the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

THE PURPOSE: Membership gifts to the Friends of the LBJ Library benefit the Evening With series, special museum exhibitions, and educational programs for K-12 schools. Annual memberships start at $65 and include access to the museum, special events and exhibit openings, and invitations to the Evening With programs. Members at the premium levels ($1,000 and above) receive preferred seating for Evening With programs, as well as access to exclusive dinner receptions and VIP events each season. To join or for more information, visit www.LBJFriends.org or email Friends@LBJFoundation.org

ROAD TO ROMANCE

ROAD TO ROMANCE

Elle Moody And Jimmy Gray Wed

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Matt Lankes

 

Life’s various paths to love are fascinating. During the holiday season of 2017, Elle Moody was making a familiar holiday trek back from New York City to her hometown of Austin to spend the holidays with her family. On this particular year, she arrived just in time for her mother’s annual Christmas party. Elle was thrilled to be home catching up with friends at the party when her mother, Shannon, approached her. She whispered in Elle’s ear, “There is a cute boy in the kitchen. Go introduce yourself.”

That cute boy turned out to be Jimmy Gray. Also, a native Austinite, Jimmy had every intention of staying home the night of the party, yet his friends convinced him to join them in various holiday festivities that included what turned out to be one life-changing party stop. Elle introduced herself to Jimmy, and they immediately hit it off, initially bonding over their tales of growing up in Austin, as well as their mutual love of family. Elle enjoyed Jimmy’s compassion and sense of humor, while Jimmy appreciated Elle’s laid-back nature and loyalty to her friends.

The new romance continued for the rest of the holiday season until Elle had to return to New York. Jimmy promised to stay in touch, which resulted in a long-distance relationship where the two frequently made treks between Austin and New York. After a few years of dating long-distance, Jimmy moved to New York City for Elle, where the romance grew, and Jimmy knew the time was right to pop the question.

Elle thought they were en route to an intimate dinner for two when Jimmy invited his unsuspecting bride-to-be to join him in the backyard. Then, as singer Bonnie Raitt’s Thank You played in the background, Jimmy got down on one knee and asked Elle to marry him. After enthusiastically saying yes, they were joined by a group of friends for a surprise party. After the party ended, they continued the fun dancing the night away in New York City into the wee hours of the following morning.

The bride and groom-to-be selected the ranch of a close family friend as their wedding venue surrounded by those who meant most to the couple. The couple created a day filled with special touches that reflected the simple, beautiful nature of their love. The ceremony was held outdoors under an oak tree, which the bride had played under as a child. The tree featured sunflowers hanging from branches for additional ambiance. The bride, stunning in a classic, long-sleeved dress with a pearl-encrusted veil designed by Suzanne Neville, walked down the aisle as On the Nature of Daylight by Max Richter was played on a violin. The couple was married by their best friend and officiant, Jay Krishnan, whose moving speech about their love brought tears to the 175 friends and family members in attendance.

The reception was held under a tent with beautiful floral decor hanging from the ceiling that continued the relaxed wedding theme. The couple created a fun experience for their guests, who found their seats via various photos of the couple’s beloved Labradoodle, Eddie. The crowd was served dinner that featured handmade interior Mexican cuisine perfectly paired with the mezcal and specialty margaritas created especially for the occasion.

After dinner and initial dances, the rest of their loved ones joined the newly married couple on the dance floor to the tunes of DJ Mel. C-Boys in Austin was the destination for the after-party where the bride changed into a pink sequin dress designed by Jonathan Simkhai, and the fun continued well into the night, capping off a fun road to romance.

Elle, daughter of Ross Moody and Shannon Moody of Austin, is a graduate of Rice University and earned her master’s degree from New York University. She spent 10 years working in New York at a global cultural communications agency and is now the Senior Vice President of The Moody Foundation. Jimmy, son of Jim and Patty Gray, also of Austin, is a graduate of Auburn University and a Corporate Account Executive at Hubspot. The couple and their dog, Eddie, recently returned to Austin from New York for the bride’s new professional role.

SUCCESS 101: DALLAS’ HIVE & COLONY CUSTOM CLOTHIERS CREATES A CUSTOM SUITING EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER

SUCCESS 101: DALLAS’ HIVE & COLONY CUSTOM CLOTHIERS CREATES A CUSTOM SUITING EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER

By Lance Avery Morgan         Photography courtesy of Hive & Colony

Sure, you can go to Savile Row in London when you are there next. People do it all the time. Or, you can have the same experience here in Texas. Dallas, to be exact. Getting a custom suit made by Hive & Colony Clothiers is an experience that goes beyond the ordinary and delves deeply into the realms of craftsmanship, luxury, and personalized style. Here’s what it’s like to embark on this sartorial journey – and you will want to do it again and again like Rob Giardinelli and I soon thought as we both embarked on this creative process of having new tuxedos made.

First, the consultation.

The journey begins with a scheduled appointment at the Hive & Colony showroom, an elegant space that exudes timeless sophistication in Dallas’ NorthPark Center. The occasion for the new tuxedos was for the annual DIFFA Dallas gala where every iteration of black tie is seen in full regalia. If anyone has declared the Peacock Revolution over, then this event defies it. So, to match, and even, surpass the colorful expectations of attending DIFFA, Hive & Colony is the only place to go. As you step through the door, you are greeted by a knowledgeable and impeccably dressed customer service expert, who will be your guide throughout the process.

You’ll want to have a personal style assessment done to begin exploring all your choices. The customer service experts at Hive & Colony take the time to understand your personal style, preferences, and lifestyle. They ask questions about your prior and current fashion choices, the occasions you plan to wear the suit for, and the image you want to project while wearing it. After all, his consultation is crucial in ensuring that the final suit reflects your unique personality and requirements. As the Hive & Colony expert Pablo Mendez shared with us, “Whatever you want, however you want it…we can make it happen because we want you to feel as special as the occasion that the suit is for.”

Then, the real fun begins.

The fabric selection is like a trip to a fabrication candy store. Hive & Colony boasts an extensive selection of the finest fabrics from around the world. Here, you are presented with a curated collection of luxurious materials, including sumptuous wool, silk, and cashmere blends. Each fabric is a work of art in itself, and you’re encouraged to touch and feel the different textures and weights. The tailor provides expert advice to help you choose a fabric that complements your style and the purpose of the suit. Since the occasion we were shopping for was creative black tie, there were no boundaries to fabric selection, so I went with a sleek charcoal gray and Rob chose midnight blue. My guidepost in life is usually: What Would Cary Grant Wear?…and then I choose accordingly, as does Rob.

For custom measurement and fit, precision is paramount at Hive & Colony. The customer service expert takes a comprehensive set of measurements with a cool and futuristic 3D scanning method that Hive & Colony has developed, capturing every nuance of your body shape. They pay attention to details such as posture, shoulder slope, and arm length to ensure that the suit will fit you perfectly. These measurements are the foundation upon which your unique suit will be built. Plus, they are taken electronically with a computer program that Hive & Colony created, so it feels futuristic in a good way, to complement the good old-fashioned client servicing.

As you might expect, there are plenty of customization options at Hive & Colony.

To us, the really exciting part was customizing the suit. You have the opportunity to make a myriad of choices, including lapel style, button configuration, pocket styles, and vents. Whether you prefer a classic two-button suit with notch lapels or a more contemporary three-piece with peak lapels, the customer service representative guides you through the options, helping you create a suit that’s uniquely yours. With our classic tuxedos, they feel almost one-of-a-kind.

Beyond the exterior, the design details can be personalized in many ways…like the interior of your suit with options such as contrasting lining fabrics, monogramming, and even hidden pockets. These details add a touch of exclusivity and personality to your garment. Our favorite? A wildly cool print custom lining and matching pocket square. Talk about individualism.

Over the course of several fittings (about two to three, depending on how exacting you are), the skilled artisans at Hive & Colony meticulously craft your suit. The initial fitting allows you to see the suit in its early stages, ensuring that the fit and style align with your vision. Any necessary adjustments are made with expert precision, ensuring that the suit drapes perfectly on your body. And by perfect, we mean perfection.

The moment of truth arrives when you return for the final fitting for the final reveal.

The suit is unveiled in all its glory by Hive & Colony, impeccably pressed and ready to be worn. As you step into it, you feel the transformative power of bespoke tailoring – a suit that is not just clothing but is also a reflection of your personality and aspirations.

The tailoring tips you learn during the process are also invaluable. Before leaving, the tailor imparts valuable advice on how to care for your custom suit to maintain its pristine condition. They will also suggest coordinating accessories and shirts that they sell to complete the ensemble so that you feel like a billion dollars from head to toe.

We have found that owning a Hive & Colony custom suit or tuxedo is a privilege that extends beyond the initial experience. “We want to make sure our clothes we create for you are as special as the occasion for which you want it,” shares Pablo Mendez of Hive & Colony in Dallas. “It becomes a cherished part of your wardrobe, elevating your style and confidence on every occasion you wear it,” he continues.

So, getting a custom suit made by Hive & Colony Clothiers is not merely a transaction; it’s an immersive journey into the world of timeless elegance and self-expression. It’s a testament to their artistry, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that defines this renowned clothier, resulting in a suit that embodies your own unique identity and style. Run, don’t walk to Hive & Colony to create your favorite new suit now.

HOW TEXANS AT ASPEN ARTCRUSH REALLY CRUSHED IT

HOW TEXANS AT ASPEN ARTCRUSH REALLY CRUSHED IT

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Jojo Korsh and Zach Hilty/BFA.com

THE SCENE: A picture-perfect summer night, at the base of Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, was the recent setting that capped off an incredible week of art and fundraising. Over 500 of the world’s most notable art patrons, collectors, and philanthropists were on hand for the 18th annual ArtCrush Gala. The event was the grand finale of the third annual Aspen Art Week featured great food, fantastic conversation, and fabulous art.

THE VIBE: The black-tie crowd featured an elegant mix of black ensembles and bright colors, creating a fun, welcoming environment for all. Many chose to wear ensembles by Prada as a nod to one of the evening’s title sponsors who helped make the event happen. After patrons posed for photos on the red carpet, they proceeded to a lively cocktail hour where guests sipped on their favorite spirits while mingling with other guests.

The evening fun was mixed with some good-natured suspense with patrons keeping track of online auction items on their phones. The online auction featured an impressive lot of 60 items which included works by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Kerstin Brätsch, Naotaka Hiro, Roberto Lugo, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Cauleen Smith, and Lily Stockman, with the auction raising an impressive $1.8 million.

Revelers then headed to their seats for the evening’s main program. As partygoers dined on their multi-course meals, they were treated to words by organization and event leaders. Next came a spirited live auction, helmed by Quig Bruning from presenting sponsor Sotheby’s. Collectors bid on 10 different contemporary art pieces including works by Haas Brothers who were raised in Austin,  Charles Gaines, Chase Hall, Peter Halley, Spencer Lewis, Liza Lou, Howardena Pindell, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, and Carmen Herrera. The live auction also included a piece by Nairy Baghramian, who received the 2023 Aspen Award for Art, which coincided with her solo exhibition Jupon de Corps at the museum.

THE NON-PROFIT: ArtCrush 2023, co-chaired Jamie Tisch and Sara Zilkha, with Abigail Ross Goodman and Molly Epstein serving as auction chairs, raised over $3.8 million dollars for the Aspen Art Museum. ArtCrush 2023 was made possible because of its generous supporters including Steven Shane of Compass Real EstateJ.P. Morgan Private Bank, Tata Harper, and UOVO. The globally engaged, non-collecting museum featuring contemporary art has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1979. Funds raised from this year’s ArtCrush will go towards funding the museum’s curation and education programs.