While all 540 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show & Luncheon guests and Neiman Marcus Downtown staffers were checking their hems and making sure that not a split end was in sight, many of the CCB 10 Best Dressed were in flips-flops and very casual attire. Why one was actually doing the runway walk-through wearing a crown of curlers (sorry, can’t tell because she’d kill us.).
This mother of all Dallas fashion shows/luncheons boasts not only the highest of couture designers on the catwalk, but had the most beautifully dressed crowd in the tiers of padded chairs on the second floor of Neiman Marcus Downtown.
The day started with four areas of activities, with Dallas Fashion Mother Superior Shelle Sills flawlessly at the helm with First Officer in Charge of Perfection Sandy Marple navigating the behind the scenes.
On the first floor, the reception for the vast majority was just downright homey. After all, this crowd knows the first floor from such things as Stiletto Strut and everyday drop-by shopping. Of course, it’s always nice to have a lineup of adorable fellows with trays of adult libations at their beck and call.
On the second floor, what was formerly the Couture Salon was a showroom with levels of gold chairs with thick cushions along a wooden runway down the middle of the room. Shelle took her place at the podium and started the rehearsal. Every detail was reviewed and scrutinized. The 10 BD-ers and their male model escorts did their part. 10 BD newbie Lynn McBee wasn’t worried because, “They (the escorts) won’t let us fall.” The only challenge was navigating the turnaround at the end of the runway. Do you turn left or right?
Cutest twosome was Hall of Fame honoree Lana Andrews, escorted by husband Barry. Afterwards, Barry kidded, “Those guys (the male models) have black ties and I have a red one. Besides that, do you see any difference between them and me?”
Word was making the rounds: “Have you seen the fourth floor?” That’s where the entire 540 guests and BD-ers would lunch. Someone said, “Instead of heaven, I want to go to the fourth floor.” CCB Chair Aileen Pratt giggled with delight that it was getting such reviews.
No sooner had the rehearsal been locked down, than the 10 BD-ers scampered up to the sixth floor and Michael Flores Salon with Ceron for flutes of Cristal thanks to hostess/10 BD grad Nancy Rogers, who had just flown in. Somehow Nancy not only is gorgeous, but she also makes everyone around her seem more over-the-top beautiful, too.
10BD husband Dwight Emanuelson was a real trooper directing some of the new 10 BD-ers to the appropriate makeup artists and hairdressers. Wife Claire will be chairing the luncheon in 2013. . . 2011 CCB Chair Connie O’Neill was showing photos of her two Shih Tzu puppies to friends on her smartphone. . . 10 BD-er husband Jim Lee was escorting around daughter/former Fresh Facer
Casey Robinson, mom-in-law Sue Peege and wife DeeDee‘s BFF Dr. Rebecca “Becca” Booth, who was in from Louisville for the debut of DeeDee on the 10 BD list and to promote VENeffect, Becca’s skin care line that NM sells exclusively. . . In the meantime, future 10-BD-er, seven-
year-old Emmie Casey, was upstaging everyone in her Lanvin Little. She was in town with her mom Kimberly Casey for her aunt Lynn McBee’s runway walk. Even Lanvin envoy Scott Studenberg was amazed at how adorable Emmie was. . . Houston’s Diane Lokey Farb in black
and white Lanvin was joined by her bud Ceron in black-and-white tweed with a mega pin that he’d borrowed from “Todd.” Little did Diane know that she would be seeing her dress on the runway later. Oh, that Diane is always ahead of the fashion curve . . Fort Worth’s Olivia Kearney, picture perfect as usual, was worried about her hair. She claimed, “I tried to do my hair [tease it out] like Adele, but it turned out to be more like the women from East Texas — the women in Bernie!”
Before long, the gaggle of gals moseyed on down to the second floor for the big show. As the coifed and coutured set found their places, two youngsters (Kathryne Armada, 9, and Daniel Cantu, 10) from Our Lady of Perpetual Help sat quietly in their school uniforms.
Others taking their seats included
- the 10 BD husbands and male friends clustered in chairs near the front of the stage entry,
- Women’s Wear‘s Holly Haber sitting next to Yvonne Crum, who would be hosting a Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas fundraiser at the Galleria Bachendorf’s for the evening’s Fashion’s Night Out,
- NM President of Specialty Retailing Jim Gold and NM Group CEO Karen Katz with Lanvin’s CEO Thierry Andretta in from Paris and Executive VP Cecile Andrau across the way from CCB Chair Aileen Pratt, CCB Fashion Show & Luncheon Chair Robyn Conlon, 2013 CCB Chair Caren Kline, Nancy Dedman, Lee Ann White, Ruth Altshuler and Betsy Sowell,
- Mother/daughter teams of Doris Jacobs in Lanvin with chinchilla wrap and Teffy Jacobs, Peggy Sewell and Jacquelin Sewell Taylor, Sharon McCullough and Libby Hunt, Vicki Chapman and Lauren Chapman, Billie Leigh Rippey and Paige Locke, Cynthia Melnick and Leslie Dier, Marilyn Augur and Margaret Hancock, Caryl Keys and Pam Krueger, Lydia Novakov and Isabell Novakov, Barbara Stewart and Melissa Macatee and Sara Martineau and Maria Plankinton.
Shelle kicked things off by saying this event marked the true beginning of the fall season and reminded guests that for 38 years, NM has supported the luncheon. She then asked Jim to speak. He told guests, “We’ve set the thermostat at 59, so bring on the fall fashion!” Unfortunately, the seemingly atomic-powered spotlights throughout the room quickly raised the temperature, but the fashions still looked cool.
Then Aileen took over, thanking all and introducing CCB Fashion Show & Luncheon Honorary Chair Gene Jones, saying, “Straight off the runway from New York and a Cowboys win!” Proving why she is a fashion legend, Gene looked flawless as usual. It was hard to tell that she had been in New York the night before for the Cowboys-Giants game and arrived via the Jones’s private jet in Dallas at 4 a.m. Don’t know whether it was the Cowboy win, Gene’s popularity or both, but the crowd was exuberant in their applause.
Aileen then reported exciting news: Annette and Harold Simmons had donated $1M to the 2012 CCB! Immediate applause as the two Our Lady of Perpetual Help students presented Annette with a bouquet of roses. Aileen told guests that Annette and Harold have supported CCB since they were married in 1980.
Immediately after, Kathryne and Daniel were whisked away to return to school and NM Corporate PR VP Gabrielle de Papp put the roses away for safekeeping.
Just as they said the show was to start, there was a long dead silence before the music kicked in. Somewhere in the room a fellow was heard saying loudly over a walkie-talkie: “Has the show started yet, Edgar?” No one heard Edgar’s response, because the show did indeed start.
All the 10 BD-ers (Tricia Besing, Nancy Carlson, Nancy Carter, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, DeeDee Lee, Lynn McBee, Pat McEvoy, Kim Miller, Pam Perella and Ellen Winspear) and HoF-er received overwhelming applause, but Ashley seemed to spark a little bit higher response. Husband Ward looked like the quarterback who had just given his letter sweater to the homecoming queen, saying, “She did look terrific, didn’t she?”
Allan McBee, on the other hand, was a regular guy reviewing the Lanvin show: “I liked it. Kind of weird.” He also added that little Emmie was going to “have to be deprogrammed!” after witnessing the fashion spectacular.
As for the models, they wore their outfits perfectly, only hinting that the shoes were proving to be a bit of a challenge.
Then as quickly as it all started, it was over, and the crowd of hundreds made their way up to the fourth floor for lunch. The entire floor was a showroom of beauty. No one was disappointed one iota.
As Gene Jones rode up the elevator to the fourth floor, a friend asked if husband Jerry was ecstatic about the previous night’s win. Gene immediately responded: “We all are!”
Perhaps such excitement and immediacy should have been passed along to the valet service. After such a marvelous morning of fashion and food, some guests faced an extended wait for their cars. One guest complained that she arrived outside and couldn’t even find anyone to take her valet ticket. Perhaps she should have just gone back in the store and shopped. It’s much more fun than waiting 45 minutes in the September sun for a car.