Start Working Out Because A Weekend Of Fundraising Gala Collisions Lies Ahead

Côtes du Coeur (File photo)

Well, yuck! North Texas is preparing to have one of those fundraising collision weekends. Drat!

On Saturday, April 22, two major, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious events are taking place. The wine-loving types will be at the Omni Dallas for the American Heart Association graze and gaze with a corral full of chefs and more wines than California could produce for Côtes du Coeur thanks to Co-Chairs Kelly and David Pfeil.

Art Ball 2016 (File photo)

Over at the Dallas Museum of Art, new kid-on-the-block (aka Eugene McDermott Director) Agustin Arteaga will be introduced to fundraising Dallas-style with the 2017 Art Ball. With Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson at the helm and the taste of romantic France via “All That Glistens,” it’s pretty darn obvious that it’s gonna be a night of killer fashions, food and fantastical auction items. The tent is already being erected next to the DMA.

Trammell S. Crow

2016 Children’s Cancer Fund (File photo)

And Friday is just as bad. Here, the EarthxGlobal Gala folks moved their big soiree from Saturday to Friday night to avoid the Art Ball/Côtes du Coeur traffic jam. Only problem: there’s still another mega fundraiser — Children’s Cancer Fund — taking place at the Hilton Anatole that night with kids and celebrities on the runway.

Oh, dear! What is one to do? Do two-a-night and then hit the after-soiree stop — Whataburger?

If either any of ‘em sounds to your liking instead of the same-old Friday and Saturday night sock-sorting and grilling steaks, there are still tickets available. Here’s the one for Côtes du Coeur and here’s the one for Art Ball. Either way you can win!

Horse racing (File photo)

BTW, if you think Sunday is gonna be any better, think again. The Retina Foundation‘s Racing for Sight at Lone Star Park is on a collision course with the Nasher Sculpture Center‘s Great Create.

The Great Create (File photo)

It just ain’t fair!

2017 Art Ball’s “All That Glistens” Eight Live Auction Items Revealed

Peggy Sewell, Agustin Arteaga and Ann Hobson

Rajan Patel and Jennifer Karol

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball is one of the knock-it-out-the-park fundraising galas of the year. Not only is it set at the DMA, but the guests just have a certain panache in the glamorama category. One of the highlights of the black-tie evening is the live auction of amazingly curated items.

Last night, Art Ball’s “All That Glistens” Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson along with their Auction Co-Chairs Rajan Patel and Merry Vose held a reveal party at Grange Hall for folks like DMA Board of Trustees Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, new grandmamma Peggy Sewell, always young-and-beautiful Jennifer Karol, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and DMA Director Agustin Arteaga. Each of the elegant eight auction items was beautifully displayed on tables in the restaurant. But what else would you expect from this group?

Here is the lineup of the goodies that Christie’s Auction House President Brook Hazelton will be auctioning off on Saturday, April 22:

  • ¡ HOLA, AGUSTIN!”* — He’s hardly unpacked his bags and DMA Eugene McDermott Director Agustin Arteaga is already slated to be on the road again. He’ll guide the lucky winner on a tour of the world-renowned Guggenheim Bilbao in San Sebastian, Spain. After seeing the sights of this incredible museum, it will be lunch at a three-star restaurant to break bread, sip wine and discuss art with Agustin. During their three-day stay in San Sebastian, the winner will “bunk down” in the luxurious Hotel Maria Cristina. As for where to eat, toss the Frommer’s Travel Guide. World traveling foodie Cindy Rachofsky will take care of restaurant selections and rezzies.

Compliments of Hotel Maria Cristina, Guggenheim Bilbao, Cindy Rachofsky and Strong Travel Services

¡ Hola, Agustín!*

Foodie Fantasy*

  • “FOODIE FANTASY” † — Two new restaurants are slated to join the Highland Park Village cuisine collection this year. For a sneak peak, Chef Nick Badovinus and Chef Julian Barsotti have cooked up this package for the winner and 12 pals. The tasteful chefs will “execute superbly individual supper experiences six courses including excellent wine and champagne.” Start dieting now!

 Compliments of Julian Barsotti, Nick Badovinus, and Highland Park Village

  • WHEN IN ROME…FENDI ROME EXPERIENCE”* † — Rome is known for the Coliseum, the Vatican and cuisine. But to fashion trendsetters, it’s fashion and leading the pack is Fendi. The winner of this package plus a BFF will spend two nights at the newly renovated Fendi Palazzo Private Suite. And lunchtime will be ala Fendi with a special luncheon at the Fendi Palazzo Prive Apartment. And what would be a Fendi outing be without a “private presentation of Fendi’s Haute Fourrure, as well as customized experiences for guests based on personal interests — perhaps cocktails and/or dinner at a private home or a private tour of the Sistine Chapel?” In addition to a special Fendi gift for each guest, the winner will receive the Fendi Peekaboo Bag by artist Francisco Moreno that will be revealed at the Art Ball.

Compliments of Fendi

When in Rome…Fendi Rome Experience**

Headstart The Holidays With Grange Hall**

  • HEADSTART THE HOLIDAYS WITH GRANGE HALL” — It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, but who wants the same-old, ho-hum, ho-ho decorations dragged down from the attic? This package will make this year’s giving season a true memory maker thanks to the Grange Hall pros dazzling your digs. That in itself is a $7,500 value. Then to show off your new look, Dallas’ fav Chef Sharon Hage will plan and execute a dinner for 10. (Restriction: Wine and spirits are not included.)

 Compliments of Sharon Hage and Grange Hall

  • THE SUITE LIFE AT LE MEURICE”* — A fashion lover simply cannot arrive in Paris without the appropriate wardrobe. Merry Vose is going to take care of that situation for the winner of this package. Thanks to a $5,000 gift certificate at Canady, she’ll put together such fashions that even the French will be impressed. And rightly so, since this package includes a four-night stay at Le Meurice plus special dinner for two in the hotel’s Alain Ducasse three-Michelin Star restaurant. During the stay, Merry will be the winner’s tour guide for behind-the-scenes of Paris Fashion Week including premium seating at Dior and Celine, plus a private tour of the Hermes family museum inside the flagship store. And what is fashion without jewelry? How about visiting the Parisian private studio-workshop of the queen of contemporary costume fashion jewelry, Marie-Noëlle. If a little breather is needed, an exclusive tour of the gardens of Versailles, including a private tour of the Orangerie of Louis XIV is on the docket.  (Restriction: Dinner does not include wine.)

Compliments of Le Meurice, Céline, Dior, Merry Vose, Canary, Hermès and Strong Travel Services

The Suite Life At Le Meurice**

Life As Royals: Private, Princely, Porcelain**

  • LIFE AS ROYALS: PRIVATE, PRINCELY, PORCELAIN”* — Leave it to the Grange Hall team to take the art of design and dining to a whole new level. They’ve arranged for a two-night stay for two people at the Kempinksi Four Season in Munich and not just for sightseeing. The winner will be treated along with an exclusive VIP tour for up to eight guests of the fame Nymphenburg’s workshops where the world-famous porcelain is made. Afterward His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and his wife, Katrin Beatrix, will host a dinner in the blue room of the manufactory overlooking the Nymphenburg palace. And, no, the royals will not be cooking the meal. They’ll have their private chef prepare the feast that will include wine from the prince’s wine cellar. All of this is in preparation for the Grange professionals’ providing the winner with a $10,000 credit and their advice on designing his/her own custom pattern china.

Compliments of Grange Hall and Porcelain Manufactory Nymphenburg

  • SANTA’S VILLAGE IN HIGHLAND PARK” — How about being a top-tier Santa Claus this year and getting a load of thank you notes? That’s exactly what’s going to happen for the winner of this package. Instead of a workshop with elves at the North Pole, s/he will have the shops and restaurants at Highland Park Village. For supreme convenience, a personal valet will meet and assist the winner upon arrival and departure between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And to ease the post-holiday bills letdown, the winner will have $5,000 gift certificates for HPV, Hadleigh’s and Madison, as well as $3,000 for Market and $2,000 to spend on holiday cards customized by Ellis Hill. You’ll look to all your friends like a big spender with spending a penny… unless you want to. To look spectacular during the shopping spree and party season, Frédéric Fekkai will provide weekly manicures and blowouts from November 20 through New Year’s Eve. And don’t worry about ruining that manicure with giftwrapping and bow tying. A personal shopper will arrange for the gift to be wrapped and delivered to the winner’s home.

Compliments of Highland Park Village, Market, Hadleigh’s, Ellis Hill, Madison, and Frédéric Fekkai

Santa’s Village In HIghland Park**

Mon Chateau Privé**

  • MON CHATEAU PRIVE”* † — This package is tailor-made for the most worldly travelers. Imagine having a chateau situated on 154 acres in the South of France with its seven bedrooms plus a butler! How simply marvelous for the lucky 14, who will be able to explore the surrounding nature preserve, visit the neighboring Aries, Avignon, St. Remy and Aix, relax by the pool and/or play tennis after breakfast on the terrace. For the winner of this package, there is also two-night stay for two at the Esprit Saint Germain Hotel in Paris on the way to or from the chateau.

Compliments of Ann and Lee Hobson, Esprit Saint Germain Hotel and Strong Travel Services

* Airfare not included. 
** Graphics provided by 2017 Art Ball
† Mutually agreed upon date(s).

2016 Art Ball Patrons Partied Among “Couture Construction” At The Joule’s Terrace With Appetizers In Toolboxes, Designer Jeremy Scott And Beautiful Peeps

The collegiate basketball title was over. The politicos were taking a timeout for the night. So, it was perfect timing for the beautiful peeps to get together with fashions and art at The Joule Terrace on the evening of Wednesday, April 6.

To spotlight the poreless folks and artistic clothes, Mother Nature shone a perfect light with equally perfect temperatures. Unfortunately, Uncle Bag of Wind gusted through the open terrace occasionally.

But before the first guests even arrived, they knew something was up. The outdoor entrance to the private lift to the Terrace looked like a construction project with yellow tape and helmeted construction workers. Only on second look did they realize that instead of the tape warning against entering, it read “Couture Zone Ahead” and the hunky construction team was familiar gents from the runways.

Piper Wyatt, Brian Bolke and Claire Emanuelson

Piper Wyatt, Brian Bolke and Claire Emanuelson

So, the evening’s theme of “Construction” in connection with the Art Ball’s “Art and Architecture” was off and running. But then what would you expect from The Joule’s owner Tim Headington, who was also a major sponsor of the Art Ball and backer of the soon-to-open Forty Five Ten Downtown. Such a smart fella. He and Forty Five Ten czar Brian Bolke just knew that this event would be a feast for those who have taste, love fashion and have an eye for art like DMA Board President Catherine Rose, Elaine Agather, Shelle and Michael Sills, Faisal Halum, Capera Ryan, Gonzalo Bueno, Sharon Young, David Nichols with Ashley Tatum, Jim Showers, Yasaman Djunic, Claire Emanuelson, Piper Wyatt, Erin Mathews with Russ Davis, Diane and Stuart Bumpas, Piper Smith, Douglas Penick, Tina Craig, Suzanne Droese, Barbara Womble with Bob Minyard, Tierney Kaufman Hutchins, Kendall Kinsman, Anna Bresskaya, Vodi Cook, Cathy Hodges, Christina Nortzon and Mackenzie Brittingham.

Walter Elcock

Walter Elcock

Gonzalo Bueno

Gonzalo Bueno

Shelle Sills

Shelle Sills

Faisal Halum

Faisal Halum

And Brian smartly combined the theme of the night with Moschino designer Jeremy Scott’s most recent “Dangerous Couture” collection that featured dresses and accessories. In town for the party, Jeremy felt right at home with his clientele and designs everywhere on the Terrace.

Jeremy Scott and Nancy Rogers

Jeremy Scott and Nancy Rogers

Appetizers in toolbox

Appetizers in toolbox

Construction buffet

Construction buffet

From the moment the elevator doors opened, The Terrace was spectacular with delicious appetizers being served in toolboxes and lunchboxes, mountains of shrimp, crab claws and oysters-on-the-half-shell in 100-quart coolers and DJ Lucy Wrubel surrounded by more directional and warning signage than Riverfront at Continental.

Surrounding a headless mannequin in an ice-blue party dress all puffed up thanks to  fluffy petticoat were upside-down orange cones serving as vases for huge balls of yellow flowers and waiters in helmets and orange vests with trays of Moet and Chandon with top cap-coupe adaptors. One guest giggled that sipping champagne via the mini-champagne resulted in bubbles in her nose.

David and Ann Sutherland and Rachel and Michael Osburn

David and Ann Sutherland and Rachel and Michael Osburn

Interim DMA Director Walter Elcock was in fine fettle greeting guests with wife Laura Elcock. When asked if there was any chances of his taking on the duties fulltime, he laughed that idea away… 2016 Art Ball Co-Chair Ann and David Sutherland were surrounded by well-wishers for the upcoming April 23 gala at the DMA…Nancy Rogers in shades and a marvelous Moschino coat arrived with hair artisan Michael Flores and ended up chatting with Jeremy, who had designed her gown for last year’s Two By Two fundraiser, and Moschino Director of Communications Pablo Olea in a black jacket and red-and-black pleated skirt/kilts…Architect David Droese reported that work on Forty Five Ten Downtown was moving along quickly for a fall opening…DMA Junior Associates Co-Chairs Rachel and Michael Osburn were explaining how Folly After the Ball was replacing its annual An Affair of Art… Moll Anderson in a standout Moschino coat…New homeowner Andy Beal brought along Olya Sinitsyna and his son Ryan Beal…The Joule’s Tim was turning a head or two. Yup, the blonde philanthropist has lost more than 30 pounds and looks healthier and slimmer than ever.

Ryan Beal, Piper Smith, Douglas Penick, Tina Craig, Olya Sinitsyna, Andy Beal and Anna Bresskaya

Ryan Beal, Piper Smith, Douglas Penick, Tina Craig, Olya Sinitsyna, Andy Beal and Anna Bresskaya

For more pictures of the event, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Art Ball Auction Item #1: I’m Frank Sinatra!

The April 11 Art Ball’s 8 live auction items are living up to this year’s theme — Art Ball 50: Self-Portrait. Each is tailor made for the art lover. They range from far away locations associated with art to staying near-and-dear for one-of-a-kind opportunities.

In the days leading up to the black-tie gala fundraiser for the Dallas Museum of Art, various packages will be presented for your consideration. It will make things so much easier when Christie’s Hugh Edmeades conducts the live auction, don’t you know!

I’m Frank Sinatra — Modernism In Palm Springs* (Value: $15,000)

Back when Sinatra led the Rat Pack, Liz Taylor was still a blushing bride numerous times and Lucy and Desi were America’s ideal couple, Palm Springs was the hood for Hollywood’s elite. It was the showcase of mid-century architecture with homes boasting clean lines, loads of windows and flat roofs.

Think the beautiful people types sipping cocktails with flawless views of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, following afternoons of sitting by pristine pools.

But that was a time when the Art Ball was just getting its start as a fundraiser. Over the years, both Palm Springs and the Art Ball have moved on with the times and flourished.

Emily and Steve Summer's Eldorado home**

Emily and Steve Summer’s Eldorado home**

For two nights the winner of this package will live the good life. No, make that “the very good life.” Instead of a hotel, they’ll stay at Emily and Steve Summer’s more-than-perfect modernistic home that can accommodate six guests and looks out on the golf course.

Emily and Steve Summer's Eldorado home**

Emily and Steve Summer’s Eldorado home**

As if that wasn’t enough, they can either dine in with a dinner catered by the Eldorado Country Club. Or, if they want to venture out and experience the club set, they can settle back on the club’s patio for dinner or head over to the Stone Eagle Country Club with its views of the Coachella Valley.

Emily and Steve Summer's Eldorado home**

Emily and Steve Summer’s Eldorado home**

During the day, they’ll be able to play golf at one of the courses at Eldorado, Stone Eagle, Vintage or Quarry. And, of course, there’s taking in the legendary architecture of the area’s homes and a tour of the Palm Springs Art Museum.

* Courtesy of Emily and Steve Summers 
** Photos provided by the 2015 Art Ball

Art Ball Past Chairs Were Celebrated At Nancy Carlson’s With Sweet Masterpieces As Part Of 50th Anniversary

In the world of visual art, Wednesday, March 18, was a gathering of angels. At the invite of 2015 Art Ball 50: Self-Portrait Chair Nancy Carlson and the host committee, the previous chairs were invited to be honored for the past years of the multi-million dollar fundraiser.

Julie Hawes and Jennifer Karol

Julie Hawes and Jennifer Karol

Elaine Agather and Catherine Rose

Elaine Agather and Catherine Rose

Maxwell Anderson

Maxwell Anderson

Ann Barbier-Mueller and Cristina Lynch

Ann Barbier-Mueller and Cristina Lynch

The day’s rain had pulled back, so the ladies and Dallas Museum of Art Eugene McDermott Director Maxwell Anderson headed to the Carlson estate.

Cake masterpieces

Cake masterpieces

Most never made it past the entry hall, but those who like Cristina Lynch and Ann Barbier-Mueller did discovered a banquet of all types of goodies including edible lipsticks.

Sweets including edible lipsticks

Sweets including edible lipsticks

One of the first to fall victim was Max, whose lipstick kept falling off his plate.

Greer Garson and Jodie Biddle

Greer Garson and Jodie Biddle

Why the shout-out for the past chairs? Because this year’s Art Ball is the 50th anniversary. And to salute the past, Nancy had large blow-ups of past special Art Ball moments that included Greer Garson and Jodie Biddle.

Schatzie Lee

Schatzie Lee

Past chairs like Schatzie Lee were being videotaped in a side room about their Art Ball memories.

BTW, the Art Ball wasn’t always the Art Ball. Back in the yesteryear it was a mega-costume ball called the Beaux Arts Ball. But those were days when the DMA was at Fair Park. Only proving that memories are the foundation for today’s successes.

This year’s gala is right on target for Saturday, April 11, at the DMA.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetWishList: Art Ball 2015

According to Art Ball 2015 Chairman Nancy Carlson,

Nancy Carlson*

Nancy Carlson*

“Eugene McDermott Director Maxwell L. Anderson and I recently announced that Art Ball 50: Self Portrait, benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), will be held Saturday, April 11, 2015. Art Ball 50 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Art Ball and will feature a host committee comprised of past Art Ball Chairs. Proceeds from Art Ball directly affect the DMA’s ongoing commitment to providing access to its collection and a wide range of exhibitions and educational and public programs to the community.

“Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation and public engagement. In the last 15 years, Art Ball has raised more than $22 million to support the DMA’s mission of engaging and educating the community, with funds going directly to the Museum’s operating budget. 2014 alone raised $2 million for the DMA, and our wish is to continue that success in 2015.

“We hope you will join us for Art Ball 50. Its theme, “Self-Portrait,” embodies reflection and will also tie in several self-portraits by acclaimed artists in the Dallas Museum of Art collection. The event’s tented space will feature an ethereal and edgy atmosphere through the use of mirror components, projections and bit map technology. The 50th annual gala will include a multi-course seated dinner, a luxury live auction, and a festive after party chaired by Jackie Bolin and Erin Wasson.

“For more information, as well as underwriting opportunities, please visit www.dma.org or contact the Art Ball Office at [email protected] or 214.922.1353.

 -Nancy Carlson, Art Ball 2015 Chairman

* Photo provided by Art Ball 2015

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Art Ball Can-Canned Hemingway’s Paris With Glorious Gems, Gee-Whiz Glamour And A Generous Gal And Guy

There was a magic to Midnight in Paris. It took today’s ultra-cool back to 1920’s Paris when F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice B. Toklas, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein schmoozed with Josephine Baker, Cole Porter, Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

Ken and Gina Betts

Ken and Gina Betts

With that in mind, Dallas Museum of Art’s 2014 Art Ball Chair Gina Betts had ventured to Paris last year to scope out the extreme locales of those golden days. Her journey was a result of a lunch date with DMA Board Chair John Eagle. The ultimate salesman, Eagle took her to lunch at Charlie Palmer, and it wasn’t to sell her a Honda. Cornering Gina in a booth, he notified the attorney that he wasn’t going to let her leave until she agreed to chair the 2014 DMA fundraiser. Eagle knew that Gina was a powerhouse fundraiser. Why, she had set a record when she chaired the 2007 Cattle Baron’s Ball. Since then she had had the Midas Touch for every fundraiser that she had chaired. Gina finally relented, but with one caveat: It had to be her way or the highway. Eagle agreed.

Part of her way included event producer Tom Addis and putting out bids for new vendors. Instead of a tent brought in from another state, she located a North Texas provider, saving bucks. Gina, who was juggling the transition of changing law firms, arranged to have Honorary Co-Chairs Nancy C. and Richard Rogers underwrite the entertainment — Grammy Award winning John Legend and Parisian DJ Stephane Pompougnac.

Another change was the auction house running the silent and live auctions. Again, she went with a hometown team: Heritage Auctions.

Instead of the red carpet entry of the past that slowed arrivals down, it would be a simple check-in after handing the car to valets at the Ross Avenue curb.

Suffering a bit from the $5,000-a-seat sticker shock herself, Gina managed to talk John into loosening up some cheap seats at $2,500.

As the big day approached, however, questions about the silent and live auction started popping up. Why weren’t catalogues being distributed to guests in advance, so they could plan bidding budgets? Yes, the auction was now online during the weeks prior to the gala, but the information was scant.

The night of the gala, there were even guests who had no idea of the offerings. HA auctioneer Mike Sadler advised guests at one point in the live auction that if they didn’t know about Meadowood, they could check the website on their smartphones.

But back to the evening’s developments.

Katherine Coker and Katy Bock

Katherine Coker and Katy Bock

As guests arrived to music a la Edith Piaf and a welcome from a Moulin Rouge Harold Zidler look-alike ringmaster on a pedestal and doormen in top hat and tails, it was obvious that the fashion was a step beyond perfection. Unlike years of yore when the Art Ball’s predecessor, the Beaux Arts Ball, was renowned for lavish costumes, the 2014 version was purely couture on parade including Gina Ginsburg in Herve Leger Runway, Ellen Winspear in Escada, Kris Johnson in Jenny Packham, Terra Perez and Jennifer Eagle in Ralph Lauren, Jacqueline Anderson in Zac Posen, Katy Bock in Herve Leger, Katherine Coker in Marchesa, Debbie Oates in Escada, Deedie Rose in Lela Rose (of course!), Terri Provencal in Binzario, Sunie Solomon in Luca Luca, Shelle Sills in Ann Demeulemeester, Amanda Johnson in Badgley Mischka, Nancy Carlson in Valentino, Holly Davis in Armani and Erin Mathews in Tom Ford.

Holly Deason found a fabulous golden Kaufman Franco. Problem was that due to her recent workouts and resulting weight loss, the Dallas gown was too big. No problem. Her Neiman’s advisor, Angela Malone, found a smaller size in Las Vegas and had it flown in.

One sweet young thing whispered that her budget had resulted in her being a modern-day version of Cinderella. That’s because her gown that retailed for more than $600 was only good for a one-night stand at $150. It had to be shipped back to RentTheRunway.com the next day.

A couple of the ladies managed to adapt 21st century versions for the 1920’s Paris posh theme. Gina wore a limited edition midnight blue beaded Roberto Cavalli gown with a “borrowed” diamond and sapphire necklace. She’s put that on her wish list for the holidays or any other gift-giving occasion.

Nancy C. Rogers

Nancy C. Rogers

Nancy Rogers needed no spotlight, thanks to a collection of diamonds and emeralds (barrette in her upswept blonde hair, drop earrings, broach attached to a necklace, mammoth ring and bracelet) and all-diamond choker bracelet and a simple strand of diamonds that extended just perfectly down the back of her dazzling Roberto Cavalli Runway gown.

But the beautiful peeps weren’t girls only. The gents did their best to match the elegance of the occasion and to accommodate their ladies. Following the traditional guaranteed winning tuxedo route were Stubbs Davis in a Kiton and Michael Sills in Brooks Brothers. Michael Domke just blew off the whole dress-up issue by describing his tuxedo as “Mine’s by Legos.”

Alas, one poor chap proved to be supportive but clueless about his wife’s gown. He insisted that she was wearing a Valentino. Wife registered a look of puzzlement but couldn’t recall who the designer was. The following week, he admitted that he had been off by a designer or two. The designer was actually Melinda Eng.

After checking in, the 700 guests strolled up the Concourse to the stairway leading down to the Sculpture Garden that was enclosed in a clear tent.

 A living Picasso

A living Picasso

Ross Perot

Ross Perot

As another group of formally attired doormen opened the doors to the stairs to the steps, the boldface types ambled down the way lined with lounging models in hand-painted, Picasso-styled bodysuits and headdresses. They appeared so real that some art-loving guests didn’t guess they were actually living, breathing models.

The sea of elegant types filled the tent to the max. How filled was it? So filled that many claimed they didn’t know there was a silent auction in the place. But they had no trouble finding the Golden Girls, whose full metal skirts held rows of champagne filled flutes.

Cocktails in the tented Sculpture Garden

Cocktails in the tented Sculpture Garden

Then, without warning, a bevy of can-can dancers kicked the next part of the evening into place leading the guests up the stairs to a mirrored walkway to a mammoth tented ballroom that was encased in silvery blue pleated gauzy draping with two large flatscreens on the far sides of the area.

Some noted that the space was smaller than the 2013 arena. Correcto!

Unlike last year, when the tent extended to include the towering orange Mark di Suvero sculpture, the decision was made to not extend the ballroom tent to include the sculpture. Instead the huge orange metal artwork was hunkering down in an adjacent tent, where Cassandra’s catering army was prepping.

Gina attributed the look to Tom Addis, saying he “made all my visions come to life. I cried when I saw it. He is amazing.”

Maxwell Anderson

Maxwell Anderson

Unfortunately, getting the hundreds to settle down in their seats was challenging, so dinner was stalled. Finally, DMA’s Max Anderson took to the stage to welcome all and recognized chair Gina and mega donors. As he prepared to toast honorees John and Jennifer Eagle, the ever-smooth and elegant Max realized that he was without a toasting glass.

Luckily, Nancy Rogers was seated front row center and came to his rescue offering her glass to complete the tribute.

Before dinner got underway, Heritage Auctions’ Mike Sadler took his place on stage to auction off the eight remarkable items.

Nancy C. and Richard Rogers, Doug and Molly Barnes

Nancy C. and Richard Rogers, Doug and Molly Barnes

Once again the Rogers team came to the rescue, with Lady Nancy providing the top bids for the Sue Gragg rings and the Joule hotel weekend. The Rogers’ dinner companions Michael Flores won the shopping spree in NYC, and Doug Barnes bought a black Birkin purse, as wife Molly happily looked on.

For bargain hunters, it was a gold mine. . . if they were listening. A number of the table chatted throughout the auction, missing out on the treasures.

As the final paddle was raised, it was time for dinner and table-hopping. While visiting tables is a tried-and-true indoor sport, it can result in traffic jams for servers and the delaying of the rest of the program.

Finally, after the last table was served the entrée of tournedos of beef, foie gras and Roquefort pâté aux pomme de terre, fricassee of wild mushrooms, spring garlic, grand claret cotes de Bordeaux réduction, John Legend took his place at the baby grand on the stage surrounded by a guitarist and less than a handful of violinsts. Those in-the-know like Barbara Daseke were thrilled to have the world-famous musician on the premises playing. But a surprising number of guests were wondering, “Who’s the guy at the piano? He’s good. Is he local?”

John Legend

John Legend

Legend crooned his way into the hearts and ears of the vast majority. However, one local doyenne admitted later that she had fallen asleep somewhere between “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and “All of Me.”

Ken Betts

Ken Betts

Sharon Young

Sharon Young

But as Legend finished his final song with no encore, the clock was approaching midnight, the bewitching hour both for parents with waiting babysitters and older folks wanting to head for home. Like salmons heading upstream, guests made their way to the doors heading for the valet or the after-hours party in the Sculpture Garden. The “upstream” challenge resulted from the parade of servers with foamy chocolate mousse cake with caramel sabayon sauce desserts heading for the abandoned tables. As a result, over half of the yummy desserts ended up uneaten. Those who stayed to sample the chocolate goodie had no regrets as they gobbled up every bite. One socialite, upon seeing the untouched desserts, gathered some up to “take home for my kids.”

Stephane Pompougnac

Stephane Pompougnac

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

While in his Legend made time for photos with VIP’s including Entertainment Chair Tanya Foster in his tour bus and then headed to his suite at Fairmont to join his wife Chrissy Teigen, Art Ball guests who still wanted to party made a beeline to the Sculpture Garden. There the after-party chaired by Kameron and Court Westcott and Chart Westcott was underway with  Parisian DJ Stephane Pompougnac looking right at home setting the pace for the festivities. In keeping with the evening’s theme, Anna-Sophia van Zweden appeared on the stairs wearing a delicious off-the-shoulder white Vionnet.

For those who had to bypass the after-party and head home, they found La Madeleine desserts and coffees set up along the museum’s circular driveway. As French music played, some of the ladies found their stiletto heels didn’t cotton to the cobblestone driveway. One observer noted that four of the ladies had already “gone down.”

More than 60 photos of the evening and fashions are posted on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for your consideration.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2014 Art Ball

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball has been known for decades as one of the most magnificent showcase for gowns, jewelry and flawless faces. On Saturday, May 3, the Art Ball’s 1920’s Paris theme was a perfect opportunity to incorporate old-fashioned glamour with OMG modern day razzle-dazzle.

Brad Kelly and Jacqueline Anderson

Brad Kelly and Jacqueline Anderson

As the lengthy write up on the DMA fundraiser is being finished, the multitude of photos of the beautiful peeps is posted on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Be prepared. There are more than 60 photos in the collection.

John Legend

John Legend

Art Ball Auction Item #10: Breathtaking Indonesian Getaway

There are just times when one needs to escape the noise, the traffic, the non-stop schedules and even being with the very best of friends. It’s a time to just take a breather and relax. But that doesn’t have to mean hunkering down in a tent in the wilderness and cooking over a campfire. The Art Ball committee has found the ultimate place to enjoy beauty, calm and luxury for five nights in this package**.

Breathtaking Indonesian Getaway* (Value: $5,577)

For decades Bali has been synonymous with lush tropical beauty, unique art forms and its unique cuisine. In addition to its coasts being kissed by waves and highlighted by coral reefs, the Balinese interior is breathtaking with Mount Agung and tropical forests. Located among the rice paddies and ravines of the central foothills is the town of Ubud. It’s considered to be one of the major arts and culture centers and has attracted the likes Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Barbara Hutton and H.G. Wells in the past.

Viceroy Bali **

Viceroy Bali ***

 

Today another highlight of the town is The Viceroy Bali. Family-owned, the resort is “majestically situated in Bali’s ‘Valley of the Kings,’ an appellation given by locals for the generations of Balinese royalty who had resided in nearby villages.”

Deluxe Terrace Suite **

Deluxe Terrace Suite ***

Renowned for its emphasis on privacy, comfort and bliss, the highland property has 25 luxuriously appointed private pool villas that have spectacular views of the valley. Of course, there are marble bathrooms, twin vanities, shower plus separate bath, espresso coffee machines, 24-hour room service, bath robes and slippers, evening turn-down service and high-tech pluses (wireless internet connection, satellite TV, etc.). Ah, there’s more. For the winner of this package, they will enjoy the perks of calling one of the 1,615-square-foot Deluxe Terrace Villas home. Just imagine having a “bale” adjacent to your private outdoor pool and overlooking the Petanu River gorge. The perfect way to enjoy coffee in the morning and watch the sun rise, then settle back in evening with a glass of champagne and listen to the sounds of nature.

Lembah Spa **

Lembah Spa ***

And to remove those stresses of home that you perhaps brought along, the Art Ball committee has arranged for a two-hour couple’s spa treatment at the Lembah Spa featuring treatments developed by a certified Swiss therapist who combines Western knowledge with natural and traditional Balinese wellness techniques. Envision having those naughty tight muscles massaged away on the spa’s terrace.

In addition to daily a la carte breakfasts, the winners will also enjoy a five-course candlelit dinner at the resort’s CasCades Restaurant with “its breathtaking views, hushed atmosphere and conscientious service.” While being French inspired, the menu blends the finest from the world of international cuisine. The restaurant is a favorite of international travelers as well as island locals, who have been known to arrive by helicopter thanks to the Viceroy’s helipad.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself debating on what to do off property. There are so many things, from helicopter tours, horseback riding, places to see and art to peruse. But if you get a chance, check out Padangtegal Monkey Forest. But be forewarned. The long-tailed macaque are both entertaining and mischievous. If they spy a shiny object, they’re likely to snatch it away and hold it for the ransom of a treat.

So, start making plans for your trip and bid online or at Saturday’s ball on this package or one of the other goodies.

* Compliments of Viceroy Bali 
** Restrictions:
  • Voucher not valid for High Season periods: July 15th – September 30th, 2014,
  • and December 20th, 2014 – January 6th, 2015.
  • Voucher is non-transferable, non-changeable and non-refundable.
  • Reservations must be made in advance and is subject to availability.
  • Voucher must be presented at time of check-in.
*** Photos provided by Dallas Museum of Art's Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #9: Heather Asbury — Rare Gems Of India

All artwork isn’t found in museums or hidden away in private collections. Some of the most creative and fabulous masterpieces can be seen on wrists — bracelets. Some are simple tennis bracelets. Others are handcrafted cuffs of natural materials partnering up with precious jewels. This Art Ball auction item is such a cuff.

Heather Asbury — Rare Gems Of India* (Value: $6,500)

Dallas interior designer Heather Asbury has loved beautiful things since she was a little girl. But one of those “things” that was at the top of her list was jewelry. Back in 2003 she took a trip to Turkey, where the world of more exotic jewelry really got her hooked. When she discovered the prices that were being charged for such pieces, she decided that she had the talent and connections to create her own bracelets.

After creating the designs and having an Indian jeweler produce them, she was shocked. They not only were incredibly gorgeous, but the quality of craftsmanship was phenomenal. Her project was done. . . or was it? Instead the bracelets became compliment magnets forcing her to produce “a collection of more than 350 pieces.”

Heather Asbury cuff**

Heather Asbury cuff**

For the Art Ball, Rare Gems of India has provided a Heather Asbury one-of-a-kind, naturally shed horn cuff highlighted by a vintage Indian broach with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and rough-cut diamonds.

Bidding is open now online and will conclude the night of the Art Ball.

* Compliments of Heather Asbury — Rare Gems of India
** Photo provided by the Dallas Museum of Art's Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #8: Explore Napa Valley & Celebrate Sophia Loren With Robert Redford

There are some packages that are simple priceless because they’re a one-time-only opportunity. Any part of this Art Ball package would be drool-able, but all together. . . Well, you’re just going to have to settle back to take this one in. In fact, you may want to read it a couple of times. Then bid online or prepare to wave your paddle high Saturday night at the Dallas Museum of Art fundraiser.

Explore Napa Valley And Celebrate Sophia Loren With Robert Redford* (Value: $19,700)

Festival del Sole*

Festival del Sole**

It’s called Napa Valley Festival del Sole and takes place from July 11-20 in Napa Valley, where else. It’s a glorious time when the lush valley with its countless wineries and restaurants are the setting for enjoying 10 days of wining, dining and taking in 60 events with stars of music, dance and theater.

To start off, the twosome will have two-day VIP passes for the opening weekend (July 13-14). That’s when the Annual Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley takes place with special performance, lunches and dinners hosted by local wineries. Ah, just to say Meadowood is delicious. In a past life, it had been a private country club. H. William Harlan, who had been looking for property to raise grapes, fell in love with the property. So the story goes, Harlan called his partners and within 48 hours, the estate was theirs. Their goal: to create “an upscale resort in Napa Valley that would become a luxury destination for discerning travelers from around the world seeking an authentically Napa Valley experience.” Mission: accomplished.

Meadowood*

Meadowood Napa Valley**

This 250-acre resort is the epitome of luxury. In addition to golf, tennis, swimming and spectacular scenery, a perfect evening is sitting on The Grill’s balcony overlooking the Jerry Stark Memorial Croquet Lawns and taking in the surrounding hills and forest. And the rooms! With their down bedding, fabulous views of the property, fireplaces and private outdoor terraces, it’s better than home. And the staff is so accommodating that if you write a thank-you note to General Manager Alex Kim, watch out. You’ll probably get a thank-you note thanking you for allowing them to pamper you. It’s a wonder anyone ever leaves.

Meadowood*

Meadowood Napa Valley**

Speaking of which, the winner of this package will not only attend the July 13 and 14 festivities at Meadowood, they’ll call it home-sweet-home.

But, wait, there’s more. It only gets better.

Now that the winners have had time to get the feel of the “festival” fever, they can head to nearby San Francisco to shop, rest and prepare for the weekend. While there, they will have two nights in a Metropolitan Suite at The St. Regis with daily breakfast for two at Vitrine.

Sophia Loren and "friend" (File photo)

Sophia Loren and “unidentified person” (File photo)

Rested and pampered, the winners will head back to stay at Meadowood for July 18 and 19 and the closing of the festival on Saturday, when the stars will be in the sky and on the ground at Far Niente. From around the world, stars of stage and screen will be on hand to pay homage to a true legend — Sophia Loren. The emcee for the evening? Robert Redford. The conductor of the evening’s concert? Sophia’s son, Carlo “Cipi” Ponti Jr. Talk about history-making selfie heaven!

The Restaurant*

The Restaurant**

Far Niente*

Far Niente**

Just in case the winners meet up with “Bob” or “Sophia,” they can take the stars to The French Laundry thanks to a $1,500 gift certificate. After all, it’s the only restaurant, besides Meadowood’s The Restaurant, west of the Mississippi that has earned Michelin’s three-star rating.

And, if they’re feeling like showing the two legendary stars the sights, the winning couple will be able to take them for tours and tastings at both Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries.

Nickel & Nickel*

Nickel & Nickel**

As for traveling to and from California, American Airlines will provide two round-trip, first-class tickets.

American Airlines **

American Airlines **

* Compliments of: Napa Valley 
Festival de Sole and Barrett 
Wissman, Meadowood Napa 
Valley, The St. Regis San 
Francisco, Nickel & Nickel, 
Far Niente, The French Laundry 
and American Airlines

** Photos provided by the 
Dallas Museum of Art's Art 
Ball

*** Restrictions include:
• Napa Valley Festival del 
Sole: Certificate valid for 
July 13-14, 2014, and July 
19, 2014 only. 
• Meadowood Napa Valley: 
Certificate valid for 
July 13-14 and July 18-19, 
2014, during Festival del 
Sole.
• St. Regis San Francisco: 
Certificate is not redeemable for cash, non-transferable, and cannot be 
extended beyond the date indicated. 
• Reservation is based on space availability and blackout dates may apply. 
Original certificate letter must be presented at check-in.
• Far Niente: Certificate valid for four people. Luncheon by prior 
arrangement, valid for June-September of 2014. Date must be mutually 
convenient for bearer and winery.
• The French Laundry: Winner must contact Gina Betts on or before May 8,
2014, to confirm reservations.
• American Airlines:  Travel is from any destination in the 48 contiguous 
United States where American Airlines offers service and returning to 
the original starting point of the trip.

Art Ball Auction Item #7: Oxxford Custom Suit

Over the year designers of women’s couture have been celebrated with fashion shows, magazine covers and mentions in chic columns. Names like Galanos and Herrera have been renowned for their designs as well as the beauty of the construction. But in the world of men’s fashion, Oxxford Clothes has been living up to its standard of excellence for nearly 100 years.

Oxxford Custom Suit* (Value $5,000)

Founded in 1916 by brothers Jacob Weinberg and Louis Weinberg, Oxxford Clothes has time and time again been considered “the quintessential American suit maker.” Why, in 2001 Forbes Magazines declared Oxxford to be “the best American suit.” Perhaps it’s because the brothers established and stay committed to their goal of establishing “the standard by which all men’s tailored clothing is judged.”

Oxxford Suit**

Oxxford Suit**

From the start, the Oxxford suit was worn by the likes of Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Walt Disney, Joe DiMaggio and U.S. Presidents. In fact there is a Dallas connection to the Oxxford story. Neiman Marcus was the first to introduce Oxxford to its clients.

In 1985 author Alan Flusser described the points of high-end suits in “Clothes And The Man” —“In most cases, the softer the feel of the suit, the better it is. One might try putting one’s hand on the chest and squeezing the cloth. If it is soft to the touch, chances are it’s not only a fine fabric but of quality manufacture. Perhaps the easiest way to experience the feeling of wearing a hand-made suit is to try on one manufactured by the Chicago clothing firm of Oxxford. While the design is for the older man, it is the finest quality ready-made suit manufactured today.”

But Oxxford has added new cuts that appeal to the younger audience thanks to the artisans who treat each jacket, pair of trousers and garment as if it were a piece of artwork, which it is. For instance, such little touches as the one-piece waistband on the back of the trousers may not be obvious to the uneducated but to men of discriminating taste, it’s just one of the differences in wearing Oxxford. That’s why the Oxxford client is typically at the head of the boardroom table.

* Compliments of Neiman Marcus
** Photo provided by the Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball
***Restrictions: Must be redeemed at Neiman Marcus Downtown

Art Ball Auction Item #6: Romantic Danube Cruise

Sitting poolside can get a tad bit boring and requires so much sunscreen. Ah, but a cruise through Europe’s most gorgeous countryside with its charming villages and historic cities might be just the way to spend a leisurely eight days.

Romantic Danube Cruise* (Value $10,000)

Romantic Danube**

Romantic Danube**

Ah, the romantic blue Danube surrounded by mountains and charming villages has long been fodder for poets and songwriters. No wonder. The second longest river in Europe flows through some of the most beautiful scenery that has fascinated artists throughout the centuries. What a marvelous variety of sites to see. There are Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities that boast magnificent architecture and are steep in historic landmarks like Budapest’s Heroes’ Square and 19th and 20th century mansions; Vienna’s Opera House, Stadtpark and the Habsburgs’ summer “house” Schonbrunn Palace; and Nuremberg’s amazing Main-Danube Canal that was begun by Charlemagne in 793 and completed in 1992, the dramatic Gothic fountain and landmarks of World War II including the Palace of Justice.

Grand European Tour**

Grand European Tour**

But the Danube is also known for its charming Wachau Valley that includes the Benedictine abbey at Melk with its elaborate frescoes and library of medieval manuscripts; Passau’s Oberhaus Fortress and St. Stephan’s Cathedral with its 17,000-pipe organ; and Regensburg, considered to be “Europe’s best-preserved medieval” city with its 13th and 14th century church spires, towers and patrician houses.

To truly enjoy the experience of traveling the Danube, this Art Ball package*** includes an eight-day cruise with Viking Cruises for two. It’s available for a bid online now and at Saturday’s ball.

* Compliments 
of Viking Cruises
** Photos provided by Dallas Museum of Art's Art Ball
***Restrictions: Cruise in Category D. Airfare, transfers, optional shore 
excursions, and land extensions are not included and are available for 
purchase at current brochure fare. Not transferable and may not be exchanged 
for cash. The certificate is not combinable with air promotions or other 
promotions. Stateroom upgrade is available for purchase at prevailing rates 
subject to stateroom availability. Valid on available embarkations for 
2014 river sailing season only. Reservations are only accepted within 90 
days of departure. Space per sailing is limited and yield controlled. 
Not applicable for Viking Tours or other Viking products including Viking 
Ocean. Offer valid for river cruise only. Other restrictions may apply.

Art Ball Auction Item #5: Vacation In Cabo

Not interested in trips to places on the other side of “the pond”? Just what the Dallas Museum’s Art Ball committee thought. That’s why they came up with this perfect getaway that’s just a time zone away, but still deliciously luxurious and exotic.

Vacation in Cabo* (Value: $2,628)

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort*

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort**

Pampering has been redefined in Mexico by Rosewood. At its Las Ventanas al Paraíso, luxury is understood. From the staff that is always one step ahead of the guests’ wishes to the suites that boast the finest craftsmanship, Mexican motifs and artworks and Conchuela limestone floors, wood-burning fireplaces and both indoor/outdoor living areas, this Los Cabo resort is the gem of the Sea of Cortez.

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort*

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort**

Activities range from taking in the rays poolside with service just a wink away and observing the whales playing in the ocean to just hand-holding while strolling the grounds under the twinkling stars after enjoying a supper prepared by Las Ventanas’s Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset and Executive Sous Chef Gustavo Pinet in The Restaurant.

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort*

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort**

This Art Ball package includes a three-night stay in an Ocean View King Junior Suite plus breakfast each day for two.

Restrictions:

  • Winning letter must be presented upon arrival and additional charges are the sole responsibility of the guest.
  • This offer is non-transferable and is not valid for the following dates: May 23-26, 2014; July 3-6, 2014; August 30-September 1, 2014; November 26-30, 2014; December 18, 2014-January 3, 2015; January 16-19, 2015; February 12-16, 2015; April 2-6, 2015.
* Compliments of Las Ventanas al Paraíso
** Photo provided by the Dallas Museum of Art's Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #4: Custom Hermes Birkin Bag

There’s a problem with this Art Ball auction item. The winner will have to decide whether to use it or to hide it in the family vault, while it only grows in value. Ah, the problems of owning a Birkin! Oh, and there’s also the jealousy factor of your friends. But then nothing comes between a Birkin and its owner.

Custom Hermes Birkin Bag* (Value $12,500)

As Heritage Auctions Director of Luxury Accessories Matthew Rubinger told Forbes, “Birkins are the most sought after bag in the world and have been for a long time.” Did you know that “a ‘carefully used’ one typically fetches between 80% and 120% of what the previous owner paid for it”?

Hmm, perhaps these bags should be sold through stockbrokers.

Hermes Birkin Blue Jean*

Hermes Birkin Blue Jean**

The reason this custom Ardennes  made of black  leather with gold hardware is in pristine condition is because it’s brand spanking new.

(No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The bag in the photo is indeed blue because it’s a cousin of the black Ardennes. It’s a Blue Jean. Here’s what the real Ardennes looks like!)

It’s just the right size for what the fashionable type wants to tote along — smartphone, lipstick, passport, sunglasses, eye drops, appropriate credit cards, pepper spray, tablet and that hanky your granny always told you take with you. If you want to, you can even dress your Birkin up daily with your fav Hermes scarf that goes with your outfit.

Or, you can just stash it in a safety deposit box for safekeeping.

* Compliments of Heritage Auctions
* Photo provided by the Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #3: Three Rings By Sue Gragg Precious Jewels

There’s simply nothing like a piece of fine jewelry. But imagine three spectacular rings in one package. Then add the name Sue Gragg Precious Jewels and you just know they’re all eye popping and going to stop traffic across the boulevard.

Sue Gragg Precious Jewels* (Value: $34,000)

Let’s just say that you’ve pampered your hands like the British nannies are treating Prince George, only better. You’ve had your weekly manicure using only the newest colors from Opi. Every night as you’ve prepared for sweet dreams, you’ve swathed your cuticles with deep-penetrating oils. You’ve avoided typing on your computer for fear of breaking one of those luscious nails. And without fail, you’ve worn gloves outdoors when the temperatures dipped to the chill factor.

Okay, so maybe you didn’t go those extremes, but your delightful digits deserved a true-to-life bling for all those years of putting on makeup, gripping your steering wheel and signing checks.

Dallas jewelry designer Sue Gragg not only has the answer. She has three solutions and they’re all exquisite, using only the most precious gems and finest metals. Think of it as world-class wearable hand art.

For the Art Ball, she’s provided three of the most dazzling rings! And, no, these aren’t your typical lonely solitaires nor ho-hum cocktail band rings. Oh, please. We’re talking Sue Gragg’s touch of whimsy and beauty. Of course, you’ll want to check them out before bidding online or in person, so here are the three darlings:

Rings by Sue Gragg**

Rings by Sue Gragg**

  • “Louise’s Darling Ducks” — So adorable, you almost think it would quack. With 18kt yellow gold, .02-carat white diamonds, .06-carat black diamonds, .18-carat orange sapphires and a whopping 18.58 carats of yellow sapphires.
  • “Eastern Europe’s Jeweled Dolls” — Who needs Barbie when you have an enamel Russian doll ring made of 18kt yellow gold, 1.46 –carat diamonds and 1.51-carat black diamonds.
  • “Kai Xin Panda” — Black-and-white pandas are so every day ordinary in the world of rarity. That’s why this little bear is so amazing with its 18kt white gold, 12.61-carat pink sapphires and 10.69-carat white sapphires.

Remember you don’t have to be present to bid at the Art Ball. You can easily go online and Heritage Auction will take care of fulfilling your wishes.

* Compliments of Sue Gragg Precious Jewels
* Photo provided by Dallas Museum of Art

Art Ball Auction Item #2: Parisian Tour

Next on the list of the Art Ball’s package is a trip to France’s Paris. Oh, but you’ve been to Paris a dozen times. In fact, you probably considered it a suburb of Dallas. But this Paris is one that you’ve never seen. In fact, few if any will be able to tell the tales that the winner of this package will bring back. Don’t forget to take along your cameras. This one deserves so much more than iPhone shots.

Parisian Tour* (Value: $33,553)

Leon Andre Talley, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld*

Leon Andre Talley, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld (File photo)

After December’s Métiers d’Art, Dallasites felt like they had earned their master’s degree on Coco Chanel. One of the Coco subjects that kept popping up was Mademoiselle’s 31 Rue Cambon apartment. It is where the late Stanley Marcus first met her. She entertained clients, world leaders and the international set like Dali, Stravinsky and Giacometti.

Thanks to the 2014 Art Ball committee, the winner of this package will have a private tour of the luxurious apartment.

But, of course, there’s more. So much more.

There’s also a private tour of the Musée Bourdelle with its 500 magnificent marble, plaster and bronze pieces of artwork. Afterward there’s lunch with Museum Director Amelie Simier. It was originally the studio of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, and includes his works including 21 studies of Ludwig van Beethoven plus Bourdelle’s personal collection of works by Eugène Delacroix and Auguste Rodin.

But it’s not all indoor touring. Oh, please. This is an Art Ball package. Imagine a full day of cruising the Seine for up to 12 guests on the yacht Petrus III with yummy delicacies and wines. As for lunch, it will be at a famous guingette. Perhaps one that you’ve seen in a Renoir? And as the day winds down, you’ll sup on board the Petrus with the lights of Paris providing the backdrop.

Mandarin Oriental Paris**

Mandarin Oriental Paris**

During the stay in Paris, home will be a deluxe room for two at the Mandarin Oriental.

American Airlines **

American Airlines **

Round-trip, business-class airfare for two will be provided by American Airlines.

Bid now or at the night of the ball, but bid!

* Compliments of Mandarin Oriental Paris, Patrick Esquerre and American Airlines
** Photos provided by the Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball

Art Ball Auction Item #1: Balenciaga Cape

To kick off the countdown of over-the-top luxury items up for bid at the Art Ball benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art is a true work of art for the couture lovers.

Balenciaga Cape* (Value $27,000)

Balenciaga jacket*

Balenciaga cape**

The legendary Cristóbal Balenciaga was the role model for countless 20th century couture designers. Christian Dior once declared Cristóbal to be “the master of us all.” His lines were dramatic resulting in the creation of the balloon skirt, tunic dresses that evolved into the chemise dress and “what is considered to his most important contribution to the world of fashion: a new silhouette for women” in the 1950’s. By the 60’s he was exploring the use of heavier fabrics, intricate embroidery and bold materials. While his clients ranged from the Duchess of Windsor, Bunny Mellon, and Marella Agnelli to Jackie Kennedy, his protégés included Andre Courreges, Emanuel Ungaro and Hubert de Givenchy. According to Vogue, “He always insisted that only women of strong character would wear Balenciaga: One such intense and devoted client was the eminent stylist Countess Mona Bismarck; when the designer retired in 1968, it was said she mourned by cloistering herself in her room for three days.”

Hearkening back to his early days as a young designer, the Spanish-born designer presented a spectacular evening mantelet in the winter of 1964. To celebrate this legendary coat, the House of Balenciaga has meticulously researched the original fabrics and the design and incorporated today’s manufacturing techniques. Ah, but they’ve added materials that the master himself would have relished. The results? A tulle base that is knit with chenille — a small chenille knot to the tulle and a larger chenille with metallic yarn inside. Throughout the jacket are small groups of iridescent sequins hand-embroidered together. The collar, sleeves and edges of the jacket have faceted bead details.

Get online or prepare to wave your paddle when the bidding starts for this true couture treasure. Even Countess Bismarck would have left her room to get this darling.

* Courtesy of Balenciaga
** Photo provided by the Dallas Museum of Art

MySweetCharity To Kick-Off Art Ball List Of Auction Items Available Online And At The Gala

With the Dallas Museum’s Art Ball less than two weeks away, a lot of the talk has focused on the event’s auction. Ball Chair Gina Best and her team decided to open it up for all to participate.

How did they do that?

First, they had Heritage Auctions come on board.

Then they arranged to have the items posted online, as well available for bids the night of the Saturday, May 3rd fundraiser.

Finally, they assembled the OMG most incredibly delicious trips, clothes and gems to raise eyebrows and money. But then, what would you expect when Skye Brewer and Roz Colombo were put in charge of searching the world for the finest of the finest?

Starting Monday, MySweetCharity will post an item a day for your consideration.

In addition to the 10 goodies listed on MSC, there are even more that can be found online now!

Court and Kameron Westcott (File photo)

Court and Kameron Westcott (File photo)

Sorry to report that tickets for the gala are fleeting, so don’t wait. This one with John Legend headlining and Stephane Pompougnac DJ-ing at the after-party chaired by Chart Westcott and Kameron and Court Westcott is going to be the talk about town.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Art Ball’s “Wanderlust”

Dozens and dozens of photos from the Art Ball’s “Wanderlust”  have just been posted on MySweetCharity’s Photo Gallery including real gems and unreal eyelashes.

Art Ball Raised Lots Of $$$ And Announces Plan For 2012

Merry Vose

The April 30th Art Ball was made even more memorable now that the accountants have tallied up the grand total raised. According to the Dallas Museum of Art’s calculators, a nice, tidy sum of $1.3 million resulted from PastPresentFuture.

The 2012 chairs Julie Hawes and Merry Vose are already plotting next year’s extravaganza and have settled on Saturday, April 28, for Art Ball 2012.

Negotiations are underway for Mother Nature to have a good talk with Old Man Winter about behaving himself next year.

Art Ball’s PastPresentFuture: DampDelayedDone

Photo Gallery Alert: Additional photos are available for viewing MySweetCharity’s “Photo Gallery”

In a weekend when news of interest was breaking left and right (the royal wedding of Kate and William, Bill Lively‘s Dallas Symphony Orchestra CEO resignation, the death of Osama bin Laden), Saturday night’s Art Ball started off so well, and then . . .

But more about that later.

The theme for the Dallas Museum of Art‘s 46th Art Ball was PastPresentFuture and had great promise as always. This gala’s reputation for being the creative black-tie event is legendary. There’s a true spirit of fantasy and fun in the look of the evening. It’s only fitting, since the building has served as the cornucopia of Dallas art for 27 years.

In the days leading up to the event, there was a rumbling among weather predictors of stormy weather. But what do weather people know? However, Saturday it appeared that they just might know what they were talking about. Still organizers decided to charge ahead with their original plans to hold the reception and silent auction within the confines of the Dallas Museum of Art building. The seated dinner under the direction of National Culinary Director/Executive Chef Chazz Alberti, on the other hand, would be held “under the stars in the Museum’s gorgeous Sculpture Garden.”

Deedie Rose

6:30 p.m. — Guests arrived at the DMA’s Flora entrance noticing the weather was dampish — but not to worry. It was just a few steps from their vehicles to the museum. Once inside they were immediately greeted by DMA board of trustees chair Deedie Rose, looking rather fabulous in a gray sweater and glorious skirt by daughter Lela Rose and a Rick Owens belt. Perched high above on a stage behind Deedie was an orange honeycombed cage with DJ Lucy Wrubel breaking all sound barriers and dancing like no go-go dancer has been seen in eons. For the occasion she even borrowed one of her mom’s (Jennie Reeves) “vintage” outfits from the past.

Along the museum’s Concourse marvelous silent auction items tantalized the guests. These “luxurious” must-haves were handpicked by “forty of Dallas’s most stylish Trend Spotters.”  It was great stuff — jewelry, bags, clothes, lavish trips, etc. with legendary names like Prada, Gustave, tra-la-la.

In the Barrel Vault, the art had been cleared out except for more silent auction items on the wall. Thanks to special lighting, there was a definite aura of orange and white in keeping with the look of the invitations and promotional materials. Any University of Texas grad would have felt right at home.

Jeremy Strick and Margaret McDermott

Like a straight spine, a double row of orange and white flat couches ran down the middle of the room. The back wall was bordered with snowy white banquettes. Here such stellar guests as Margaret McDermott were in deep conversation with the likes of Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick.

Near the entrance to the Sculpture Garden, some naysayers were cautiously eyeing the moisture-laden area through the tall windows. They whispered that the dinner was truly going to be held under the stars. . . sans a tented cover. Veterans looked incredulous at the very idea of tenting the area. Of course, there would be no tents in the Sculpture Garden. The trees would not allow it.

Pat and Charles McEvoy

Would the mature trees shield the dinner guests? But tut-tut. It was a beautiful gathering of pore-less people and flawless fashions. Everyone looked glorious in their recycled Crystal Charity Ball and fresh-off-the-runways gowns. Even the men in their tuxedos seemed to have a certain air of perfection about them. . . except for Charles McEvoy, that is. It seems that just minutes before leaving for the gala, he realized that the cleaners had returned the wrong tuxedo jacket resulting in trousers by Armani and jacket by an unknown in China. Ah, but who could tell. With his Ten Best Dressed wife, Pat, in a short sizzling Oscar and diamond earrings that outdid Kate Middleton’s, Charles looked right in place.

Howard Rachofsky's shoes

Howard Rachofsky was a standout in his Gucci/Tom Ford white suit highlighted by a purple pocket square and purple-and-white-checked slippers from Hadleigh’s.

Vicki Chapman

For the ladies who decided to go the full-blown ball gown route, Mary McDermott was strolling the Concourse with designer Terri Camarillo, who created Mary’s white low-cut blouse and full black skirt. . . Taking the same color combination in reverse, Vicki Chapman‘s Zhair Murad’s billowing white skirt with floral appliqués was topped off by a low-cut black décolleté. . . Erin Mathews had had her blonde-signature page boy twice curled during the humid day to go with her Kaufman Franco frock and deBoulle necklace. . . Nancy Halbreich‘s Julius Cohen necklace was just the perfect accessory for her navy J Mendel gown. . . Doris Jacobs managed to find perfect

Jessica Olsson

orchids for her hair that matched the purple orchid design in her gown. . . . Jessica Olsson floated through the Barrel Vault in a mustard-colored Kaufman Franco with just heart-shaped earrings. Nothing else was needed for this beauty. To say the least, it was an artistic collection of elegant silks, satins, jewels and fragrances.

Matthew Simon

Retailers like Neiman’s Matthew Simon, Korshak’s Ann Sappington and Fort-Five Ten’s Brian Bolke looked like proud parents seeing their children off to their first proms. Their clients dazzled.

Lisa Runyon

8:10 — One guest asked if he had missed the chimes declaring dinner was served. After all, dinner at 8 p.m. was scheduled and the music had been bouncing off the walls of the Concourse and Barrel Vault. Was something amiss? No, no, no. Perhaps ball chairs Lisa and John Runyon wanted to provide just a little more time for the silent auction bidding. Lisa had been seen comparing notes with Deedie during the evening. And besides, some guests were still arriving. Richard Rogers, who was probably the envy of every man there, arrived in an open sports shirt and jacket and headed immediately to a perfect spot on the orange and white flatbed couch.

Maura Binz Jones, Terri Camarillo, Mary McDermott and Phyllis Cole Spence

Further down the couch Mary and Terri had been joined by Phyllis Cole Spence and Maura Binz Jones.

Ross Perot Jr.

8:30 — Millionaire businessmen like Ross Perot Jr., Allen Questrom and Carl Sewell were leaning against the walls of the Concourse chatting like they were holding a coffee klatsch. Those eyeing the silent auction items were starting to wilt. After all you can only check out “stuff” so many times before it gets boring. Sorta like the old days of standing in line at the Highland Park Cafeteria with its wall of presidents.

Waiting in the Barrel Vault

In the Barrel Vault the throng of swell-egants was growing and beginning to feel like an overly-crowded casting call for Bonfire of the Vanities. There was nary a spot on any of the couches. Adding to this cozy setting was the fact that humidity was playing “top ya” with the temperature. Lucky were the cool ladies who could and did wear form-fitting silk

Jennifer Eagle

gowns with major cutouts (Jennifer Eagle in Kaufman Franco, Brett Levy in Versace, Cecily Gooch in Bottega) or those who opted for the formal cocktail dress (Anna-Sophia van Zweden, Emily Summers,  Lucrecia Waggoner, Merry Vose). The gentlemen were keeping their cool, but a couple were starting to look “moist.”

Gregg Asher

8:45 — The hostages. . . er, guests . . .were starting to question the delay among themselves with more conviction. It was hard to mount a revolt because the music was so loud, but Barrel Vault was now feeling truly like a vault. Gregg Asher in a sequined Lanvin tunic, white Marc Jacobs trousers and Miu Miu high-heel sandals continued to stroll the Concourse with David Martin in his Jean-Paul Gaultier suit. It almost

Fanchon Hallam

appeared as if Gregg and Fanchon Hallam had compared notes.

9:00 p.m. — The poor soul with the chimes made his way through the crowd. He only needed one pass before the herd headed out of their pen. One five-figure sponsor was overheard saying, “If I’d known we were going to eat outdoors, I wouldn’t have spent so much on this.” While the majority dutifully walked up the Concourse, some very, very VIP’s were seen heading to the Mansion. Did they know something the rest didn’t? Text messages were spewing out like Charlie Sheen tweets. The word was leaking out to Dallas social elites that a problem was underway at the DMA.

Stepping out of the building and into the dimly lit garden, veterans of the locale advised newcomers to watch their steps as they entered the steamy setting. “Do you know where we’re going?” someone asked. The large glass cylinder vases with candles were beautiful but hardly did the trick for lighting the way. The ladies in the long gowns were now regretting their decision as the delicate hems of their skirts swept the wet walkway like glamorous mops. Their elegant Louboutins, Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks  bravely assumed galoshes duties. The men in their tuxedos were feeling the brunt of the skyrocketing outdoor sauna.

Smart guests who had studied the layout of the tables enclosed in their check-in packets realized that the garden had been divided into the theme’s three “time periods” — past, present and future. While the past and future shared one massive kitchen, the present with top-drawer sponsors had its own kitchen and the staging for the band and live auction.

One female guest ventured from her table in the future to see friends in the present. Upon arrival, she brightly chirped, “I swam all the way to see you.” Well, it wasn’t that humid.

Ah, but the chairs and tables were dry and beautiful with votives surrounding centerpieces. Unfortunately, the little candles were beyond the place settings and glassware  providing little if any light to read the menu and program, now rippled from the dampness. When one guest was asked if he was hungry, he snapped, “Not seriously. I did want to eat, but now I don’t (expletive) care.”

While there were no baskets of bread on the elegant tables, on one side of the round tables were oblong trays with small square dishes filled with slivers of mozzarella, pine nuts, shallots, mushrooms and flatbread.  Guests closest to the trays started picking at the goodies to balance the wine that was generously flowing. The trays, like the votives, were just out of reach, but guests rearranged glassware to share the kibble and bits with the guests on the other side of their tables.

9:20 — The parade of servers in black t-shirts with vibrating lights started presenting plates to the guests. Ah, the salad. Wrong! This was the main course. The perfectly arranged-plate had a slow roasted Scottish salmon with artichoke, fava beans, asparagus, roasted peperonata, pine nut gremolata and Oregon black truffles and four slices of pumpernickel bread. What!  As one guest muttered that he wished he had brought his flashlight, another picked up the dark brown “bread” with her bejeweled hand. Almost immediately she dropped it back on the plate. Oops, it was tenderloin and cooked just right. For those who enjoy sushi, the salmon was almost perfect.

By this time, tuxedo jackets were starting to be stripped off and ties loosened. Gel eyeliners were beginning to smear.  Teflon coiffures were going down for the count. The formerly beautiful silks gowns were starting to cling to the bodies beautiful. The scent of perfume and after-shave colognes was being replaced with the smell of super-duper Powder Fresh and Woodspice deodorant. Thanks to the humidity and heat, the Sculpture Garden was turning into a melting wax museum. A gentle breeze swept through the garden providing a kiss of relief. Then a few sprinkles of rain started falling. Guests stopped complaining for fear that Mother Nature might really unload.

As some guests gave up the noble fight to head home to air conditioning and to raid their refrigerators, others stayed to help raise the bids in the live auction and party at the Lounge, where DJ Lucy was holding court but in a short, leg-showing outfit of “the future.”

What many didn’t realize was the reason for the prolonged delay. Earlier in the evening it seems organizers had realized the rain was going to come down and had covered all the tables and chairs with tarps. They felt sure that the rain would let up shortly. Unfortunately, the rain was too overwhelming for the tarps, resulting in drenched tables, linens and chairs. In a desperate attempt to salvage the evening, event staffers valiantly restaged the entire setup with dry linens, glassware, silverware, centerpieces and votives, while the unknowing guests got hot under the collar in the museum.

It was truly a noble effort to save a dazzling night. But it also proved once again that outdoor events demand  backup plans. One could only wonder what would have happened had the downpour continued into the night. Also, had the organizers only shared the daunting situation with the guests, they might have been surprised by the sympathetic reaction of this stellar crowd of art lovers.