MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Art Ball Patron Party

Lee and Ann Hobson

Leave it to those art-loving Art Ball types. They simply don’t know how to have a blah get-together. Leading up to the April 22 fundraising gala at the Dallas Museum of Art, 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson had the patron party at Brian Bolke‘s Forty Five Ten on Thursday, April 13.

Models playing backgammon in Forty Five Ten fashions

With models in fabulous evening gowns playing backgammon as if they were in a French chateau’s game room, the guests got in the mood for “All That Glitters.”  Needless to say, there was a lot of gawking from the sidewalk from passersby.

And, yes, you guessed it. The post is in its final stages, but the faces and fashions can be seen over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Celebrates Its Circle Of Angels With A Cocktail Reception And Seated Supper At Forty Five Ten

Forty Five Ten fashions

It was the big hoop-di-doo for Crystal Charity Ball underwriters — the Circle of Angels dinner. Originally slated to be the opening event for Forty Five Ten, it took second place on Wednesday, November 16. Just the Thursday before, The Family Place’s 2016 ReuNight had been the sneak peek before the luxury store’s Saturday, November 12th opening. But not to worry. As it was, it worked out perfectly. It was almost as if ReuNight had been a dress rehearsal.

Instead of arriving at the Main Street curb entrance like ReuNight, most guests got the royal experience of the auto courtyard with Anthony Howe’s mesmerizing, wind-powered 25-foot tall sculpture, Lucea. Now, Tony Tasset’s 30-foot Eye next door won’t be the only “eyecatcher” on the block!

Chris and Christina Durovich and Barbara and Ralph Babb

But unlike the ReuNight guests who explored every nook and cranny of the four-story fashion palace, the Angels stayed primarily on the first and second levels.

Jerry Fronterhouse and Annette Simmons, Christie Carter, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson

John and Mary Martha Pickens

Alison and Mike Malone

While the ladies checked out the shoes, jewelry and clothes, more than two fellows asked, “Where the bar?” The answer was found over in the jewelry department.

Circle of Angels dinner table

Once again to accommodate the dinner, the see-thru tent adjacent was in place. However, there had been some adjustments to the dinner tent from the week before. While the tent’s black flooring still created a slight wobble for guests, the towering glass candleholders of ReuNight had been replaced by 30” tall straight-sided white candles. The mirrored-top tables that had added dazzle to the filled-to-capacity tent the previous week were gone. In their places were tables draped in pink clothes to accommodate a lesser number of guests, say 113. In the center of each table was a low vase filled to the max with white roses. Hmm, round tables with pink table clothes, centerpieces of white roses, simple white candles…well, after all, it was “circle of angels.”

Tanya Foster and Eric and Elizabeth Gambrell

As CCB Chair Christie Carter and Circle Chair Tanya Foster handed out table assignments, some naughty guests got to their tables early and swapped table assignments. And one or two of the guests arrived with someone not on the acceptance list. Emily Post must be rolling her hereafters.

But pretty soon dinner via The Joule was served up, so who cared about tablemates. The salad (escarole salad with herbs, parmesan and bread crumbs) was a hit. The entrée’s (duet of beef filet and main lobster, Thumbelina carrots, king trumpet mushrooms and truffle jus) meat portion was tender on the inside, but a bit challenging to cut into. The “Last” (aka dessert) was a chocolate lover’s idea of palate paradise. To heck with the calories, gobble up the chocolate crème caramel, devil’s food, Cajetan and pecan toffee!

Vicki Chapman and Tom Swiley and Patti Flowers

Jennifer Dix and Stacey Walker

Nickey and Debbie Oates

Tucker and Rick Enthoven and Julie Ford

Table-top topics of the night: Chef Kent Rathbun’s amazing recovery from his November 5th accident in West Texas that resulted in 22 broken ribs, fractured vertebrae and a punctured kidney. The good news is that he was home mending… Christine and Chris Durovich serving as honorary co-chairs for the 2016 Trains at NorthPark…Thanksgiving plans had Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse headed for AT&T Stadium for the Cowboys game; Nancy and Robbie Briggs watching the game with homeless people; Mary Martha and John Pickens staying home with loads of family and friends over for dinner… Claire Emanuelson was receiving congratulations on recently being named the 2018 CCB Chair.

Christie Carter and Brian Bolke

The evening program was brief with CCB Chair Christie thanking guests for their support in raising more than $5.6M for the beneficiaries. Forty Five Ten proprietor/host Brian Bolke graciously thanking the women for what they have done over the years to support the children of Dallas. And the evening sponsor Deloitte’s Bob Chapman proudly appreciating the partnership that DeLoitte and CCB have had for 17 years.

More photos can be seen at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Fabulous Faces, Fashions And Food Came Together At Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten To Net $400K For The Family Place’s 2016 ReuNight

After years of planning, praying and preparing, Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten in downtown Dallas was ready to greet the world of fashion. This four-story, 37,000-square-foot jewel box designed by Dallas architect David Droese was nearly five times the size of its 8,000-square-foot McKinney Avenue predecessor. No longer the quaint and cozy cottage nestled in the Knox/Henderson neighborhood, the new Forty Five Ten was a palace in heady company across Main Street from The Joule hotel and the Neiman Marcus flagship store.

Forty Five Ten men’s fashions

Forty Five Ten fashion

Forty Five Ten footwear

But before its official open-to-the-public debut on Saturday, November 12, Forty Five Ten proprietor Brian had arranged for a benefit supper for The Family Place’s 2016 ReuNight.

Originally, the event was to be a cocktail party at the store and a seated dinner across the street at The Joule. But that would have made for limited attendance. So, just a few weeks beforehand, the decision was made to have the dinner in an adjoining see-through enclosed tent fronting Main Street, with Tony Tasset’s Eye sculpture looking on from the opposite end. The view through the tent couldn’t have been more perfect with the surrounding downtown forest of skyscrapers sparkling.

Brian Bolke

Katherine and Eric Reeves

Candace and Jim Krause

Since the Elm Street auto courtyard was still a work-in-progress, the 160 or so guests (Karen and Stephen Jones, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Michal Powell, Candace and Jim Krause, Sue Gragg, Georgina Hartland, Kristi Hoyl, Linda and Steve Ivy, Connie and Denny Carreker, Meghan Looney and Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner) arrived via the Main Street entrance. There they were greeted by co-hosts Brian and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills.

Nick Wooster, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Faisal Halum

With staffers like Creative VP/Fashion Director Taylor Tomasi Hill and Men’s Fashion Director Nick Wooster on hand to guide the guests through the fashion extravaganza, it was like a glorious feast for the eyes.

Claire Emanuelson, Reed Robertson and Piper Wyatt

On the first level, Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney and Jan Miller were found checking out the goodies in the jewelry salon. Across the way Pat McEvoy, Piper Wyatt and Claire Emanuelson were in the shoe department. Upstairs were Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly, Tucker Enthoven, Kathy Kincaid, Catherine Howell and Heather and Billy Esping checking out the third level, along with architect David Droese and wife Suzanne Droese, Tim Headington, Diamond Mahone, Jeny Bania, Anais Assoun and Sabrina Dee.

Suzanne and David Droese

Billy and Heather Esping

Kathy Kincaid and Catherine Howell, Brad Kelly, Nancy Dedman and Tucker Enthoven

Diamond Mahone, Jeny Bania, Tim Headington, Anais Assoun and Sabrina Dee

But even ultra-sophisticated fashion lovers were impressed by the price tags, like a nifty crop jacket going for $2,300. Still others, like bearded Allan McBee, chuckled that he had found a pair of socks that were pocketbook-friendly.

And speaking of the men, the larger accommodations had allowed Brian to broaden his collection of exquisite taste to include a larger array of men’s clothing, home furnishings, jewelry and all types of luxurious goodies. 

But all too soon, the guests were directed from the brightly lit store to the walkway leading up to Todd Fiscus‘ equally dazzling tent with its black carpeting, candles, mirrored table tops and Lucite chairs.

ReuNight dining tent

Making the stroll a bit of a challenge was the black carpeting, with one poor chap tripping on a step but luckily catching himself at the last minute.

The tent’s flooring added an interesting element to the scene. As guests wandered through the glittering dining room, the towering stemmed candle-holders began wobbling. Despite the flames in motion, nary a one even came close to toppling.  

Sharon Young

Tim Blanks

Niven Morgan and Donna Karan

Todd Fiscus and Ceron

For the first time during the evening, it was an opportunity to see the entire assembled supporters of The Family Place and Forty Five Ten. It was if Brian had curated the best of fashion and fundraising. In front of the mini-stage, with its two leather easy chairs, there was a table with designer/special guest Donna Karan seated next to Tim Headington and across the table from Brian and fashion scribe Tim Blanks. At the other end of the table were Faisal with Nancy Rogers on one side and Shelle and Sharon Young on the other.  At another table to the right of the stage were Mary Clare with Chris Branscun and The Family Place CEO Paige Flink.

Mary Clare Finney and Chris Branscun

Josh Sutcliff

With all the beautiful people in such an elegant surrounding, it was perfectly understandable that dinner missed its start time of 7:45 p.m. After all, who wanted to stop chatting and taking selfies with the other guests? But it was a school night, and the dinner prepared by Joule Chef Josh Sutcliff was all ready to go. Following a first course of a scallop crudo, huckleberries, confit onion and ponzu, the entrée of wagyu beef short rib, crispy potato, spinach and green tomato was served. Finishing off the meal was a trio of hand-painted, rose gold truffles that would have been right at home in the Forty Five Ten jewelry counter.

In an unusual switch from the norm, the live auction did not take place immediately after dinner. Fundraisers tend to hold those bidding competitions when folks are still starry-eyed and receptive to upping the ante. However, this was not your typical affair.

Instead, just past 9 p.m., the conversation between emcee Kim Schlegel Whitman and designer Karan took place on the stage. Donna’s presence was a very special and personal one for both Paige and Brian.

Earlier in the evening, Brian had told guests that Donna had been one of his late mother’s favorite designers.

Paige told the crowd that before joining The Family Place 25 years ago, one of her first jobs was at the late Sanger Harris store as a buyer involved in carrying Donna’s clothing line.

She went on to tell of the 114 families that were being housed at The Family Place, the five men and three moms with kids who were being put up in hotels due to lack of space. She concluded by saying, “You’ll probably never get to meet them, but what we do tonight is going to save their lives. We have to think about that.”

Kim Schlegel Whitman and Donna Karan

As Kim and Donna took their places on stage to talk, a helicopter hovered over the tent with a spotlight. One almost suspected that Brian had arranged to have faux snowflakes flutter down from the chopper. But soon it buzzed off to another part of downtown.

However, it was soon noted that police cars with flashing lights and sirens were screaming down Main Street in the same direction as the helicopter. One guest, upon returning from the restroom, said that she and her husband were leaving because of protesters who were marching in downtown Dallas due to the recent election.

The couple was followed by another agitated twosome who admitted that they were concerned after the July police shootings downtown. However, the departures were unnecessary. Not only were the protestors orderly, they never came near the fundraiser.

Ironically, Donna talked about how she had expanded her focus from dressing to reducing stress for people. While looking good on the outside was well and it good, she felt it was all for naught if one was not well and good on the inside as well.

She also told of her early days working with the American designer Anne Klein as an associate designer. It was when she was in the hospital having her first baby that she learned that Klein was also in the hospital dying of breast cancer. With a new collection due to be completed, it fell upon Donna to produce. But the doctor told her that there was no way she was going to return to the office. So, they brought the entire company to Donna and her newborn daughter, Gabby, named after Donna’s father who had died when Donna was just 3 years old.

After taking over the Klein collection and Anne Klein II, Donna decided that she needed some clothes for herself and friends. The result: she was was unceremoniously fired but, in 1985, went on to launch her Seven Easy Pieces line with her now-legendary black tights, the bodysuit, a versatile skirt, a pair of loose trousers, a tailored jacket, a cashmere sweater and a white shirt.

Shifting directions, Kim asked Donna about her passion today. After having so many of her friends and family suffering from AIDs, cancer and other health issues, she realized that the focus had been on “disease care, not health care.”

Before dying, her late husband Stephen Weiss told her that she must “take care of the nurses” as well as the patients.

It seemed a bit ironic that a fundraiser to prevent violence nearly became the victim of feared violence. But, luckily, the vast majority of generous folks stayed put and helped net $400K to support The Family Place’s efforts to protect families.

What A Night ReuNight Is Gonna Be

If you were one of the lucky few, who moved fast enough and had the extra bucks to be part of Thursday’s ReuNight benefiting The Family Place, you just might benefit from these tips from Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills and Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney.

First of all, there’s going to be just the slightest chill in the evening air, so it’s the perfect opportunity to debut your fall/winter evening wear.

As for arriving for the festivities, the valets will be set up at 1608 Elm Street (aka Forty Five Ten Courtyard). That’s where you’ll just hop out of your car and head straight into the brand, spanking new Fort Five Ten for cocktails at 6 p.m.

After an hour of eyeballing the fabulous, new fashion digs and the other well-dressed guests, you’ll stroll next door to the tent for dinner served up by The Joule. You can’t miss it. It’s right in front of The Eye.

On the agenda for the tent will be a Q&A between local Kim Schlegel Whitman and designer/extra-special guest Donna Karan.

And, of course, there will be the live auction. But in keeping with tradition, a ReuNight live auction is extremely limited and very unique. This year’s collection of four includes the following to-die-for items:

  • Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring*

    Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring*

    Art Deco Citrine Cameo Ring — This gem has got to be seen to be believed. Psyche is depicted crossing the river Styx within the citrine cameo cuvette. It is framed by a pierced and engraved white gold mounting, bead-set with old European and rose-cut diamonds, seed pearls and millegrain accents. Think of artwork for the hand.

  • One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas*

    One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas*

    One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas — So, what would a live auction be without a trip? But leave it to ReuNight to come up with a doozy. For simply ages, Paradise Island has been renowned for its pristine white beaches, luxurious accommodations, golf course and meals provided by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. No wonder it’s considered a getaway magnet for extreme boldfacers.  The package includes a three-night stay in a Hartford Wing Ocean View Room with daily breakfast in Dune Restaurant, a $200-spa credit and, of course, a chef’s dinner by Jean-Georges. Since it’s still cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew partied there, the trip is available from March 2017 to March 2018. 

  • Urban Zen Downtown Experience

    Urban Zen Downtown Experience*

    Urban Zen Downtown Experience — How simply perfect with Donna Karan just a table away. You and a companion will be able to channel Donna thanks to a $5,000 gift certificate to Urban Zen NYC, Donna’s Eastern-inspired luxury clothing and lifestyle boutique. But there’s still more. There will be “a relaxing and healing session for two with an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist in the Loft. While in NYC, you’ll call “a luxe downtown hotel” home for two nights and have dinner at Tutto Il Giorno in Tribeca.

  • Hermes Kelly Pochette*

    Hermes Kelly Pochette*

    Hermes Kelly Pochette — A cross between a bag and a clutch, this Hermes beaut will be an showstopper thanks to its gorgeous vert anis green lizard. And, naturally, the Hermes palladium hardware is front and center, don’t you know?  

Make sure you catch Heritage Auction’s Alissa Ford’s eye, so she doesn’t miss you hand when you bid.

Afterward, head back to the Forty Five Ten Courtyard for your ride home and a night of sweet dreams.   

* Photos provided by The Family Place

Pamela Love’s “Muses And Manifestations” Plus Nick Fouquet Hats Filled Forty Five Ten For Art For Advocacy Kick-Off Party

The invite for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Art For Advocacy kick-off party read that it was taking place at Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten on Thursday, September 22. The question was: Was it the original Forty Five Ten digs on McKinney Avenue, or the gee-whiz new multi-level jewel box across from The Joule?

Lucy Wrubel

Lucy Wrubel

Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray

Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray

Faisal Halum and Jason Hardwood

Faisal Halum and Jason Hardwood

Lindsay Jacaman

Lindsay Jacaman

Since the new one doesn’t officially open until November, it was indeed at the original specialty store where Art For Advocacy Honorary Chair Nancy Carlson, Shelle Sills, Judson Hardwood, Tara Lewis, Lindsay Jacaman, Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray had gathered. On this night it had DJ Lucy Wrubel at the music helm and Nick Fouquet chapeau designs. When asked why she hadn’t been spinning for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala the weekend before, Lucy admitted that it was a case of conflict of interest with her class reunion.

Brian Bolke and Pamela Love

Brian Bolke and Pamela Love

Muses And Manifestations

Muses And Manifestations

As fortune tellers like Laura West predicted future developments for guests, “love” was in the air thanks to petite jewelry designer/author Pamela Love, who was looking way too adorable and accepting congrats on her collection and her new book — “Muses and Manifestations.”

Across the room, the place looked like Javier’s cigar room without the smoke. Very cool chaps were donning Nick Fouquet’s Huckleberry Hats, and why not? Nick had his collection on display, being sold, and making the average cool folks look even cooler.

To make the evening even more special, 10% of the proceeds from sales of Pamela Love, Nick Fouquet and Huckleberry Ltd., benefited DCAC.

It will be a big year for Art For Advocacy. Not only is DCAC celebrating its 25-year anniversary, the Saturday, November 5th fundraiser at GDT Warehouse will be #10 for Art For Advocacy.

JUST IN: Big Plans Revealed For Fourth Annual ReuNight Including Donna Karan And The New Forty Five Ten For The Family Place

Donna Karan*

Donna Karan*

Since stepping down as head of her very fashionable company last June, Donna Karan has not retired to her home in Turks and Caicos Islands and watched the waves. Just last month she was presented the prestigious Founder’s Award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards dinner by her designing buddy Calvin Klein. Despite having been in the rag business more than 40 years, she still manages to get younger and be more vibrant over the years.

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

And she’ll be bringing that zest to Big Old D on Thursday, November 10, for The Family’s Place’s Fourth Annual ReuNight thanks to Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills and Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney.

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

And to do it up right, the evening will start with cocktails at the spanking new, can’t-wait-to-see-it Forty Five Ten in downtown Dallas. For dinner the guests will “be escorted” across the street for dinner at The Joule Terrace.

Topping off the evening will be a “small luxury live auction.” And the emphasis is on “small” as in limited and “luxury” like rarefied finds.

The fundraiser is the rebirth of the legendary Palm Night that raised millions of dollars from 1994 to 2008. After going into hibernation, it rose with a new name, ReuNight, and longtime supporters. In fact this host committee is made up of a lot of those vets including Moll and Charlie Anderson, Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Brenda and Clay Cockerell, Tina and David Craig, Leah and John Davis, Suzanne and David Droese, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Heather and Billy Esping, Todd Fiscus and Ceron, Meg and Doug Florence, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Sue and Jim Gragg, Karen and Stephen Jones, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Liz and Scott Kimple, Jenny and John Kirtland, DeeDee and Jim Lee, Muffin and John Lemak, Lynn and Allan McBee, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Allane O’Neil, Rajan Patel, Pam and Vin Perella, Michal and Loyd Powell, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Nancy and Richard Rogers, Kayla and Brian Roughton, Connie and Mark Sigel, Laurie-Jo ad Steve Straty, Leisa Street, Joanne and Charles Teichman, Debbie and John Tolleson, Ben and Max Trowbridge, Robert Weatherly, Kim and Justin Whitman, Kathy and Rodney Woods, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Piper and Mike Wyatt and Sharon and Michael Young.

Sponsorships and tickets are available here! So, dig through your wardrobe and find that Karan bodysuit. Now’s the time to diet for a reunight with that classic Karan design.

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.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Art Ball Patron Party

Appetizers in toolbox

Appetizers in toolbox

Appetizers being served up in toolboxes. Upside down warning cones serving as vases. Hunky construction workers serving as the welcome committee. Billionaires just hanging out. These were just a few of the elements that made the Dallas Museum of Art‘s 2016 Art Ball patron party at The Joule’s terrace a true memory maker.

Hunky construction workers

Hunky construction workers

Tim Headington, Ryan Beal and Andy Beal

Tim Headington, Ryan Beal and Andy Beal

And leave it to Forty Five Ten fashion wizard Brian Bolke to add that touch of couture with Moschino designer Jeremy Scott on the scene surrounded by gorgeous clients in his creations.

Piper Wyatt, Brian Bolke and Claire Emanuelson

Piper Wyatt, Brian Bolke and Claire Emanuelson

Jeremy Scott and Nancy Rogers

Jeremy Scott and Nancy Rogers

While the post is being finalized, get a gander of the party at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Fashion Guru Tim Gunn, Who’s In ‘Awe’ Of Dallas Women, Attracts Huge Crowd To CPD’s 10th Anniversary Chick Lit Luncheon

Anyone doubting the popularity in Dallas of “Project Runway” co-host/producer Tim Gunn should have checked out the scene at the Friday, April 1, Chick Lit Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. The event benefiting Community Partners of Dallas and featuring the author and TV star drew a crowd of 1,100—up from the annual luncheon’s 650 or so that it’s usually drawn at its longtime venue, Brook Hollow Country Club.

This was Chick Lit’s 10th anniversary luncheon, but surely the huge crowd wasn’t due only to that? “I give credit to our chairs—and to Tim,” CPD President and CEO Paige McDaniel said before the luncheon at the VIP reception in the Anatole’s Stemmons Ballroom. “All girls like fashion, and he’s just … well, when Joanna [Clarke, CPD’s development VP] and I used to talk about guests at our fantasy dinner party, we each had two people in common: Tim Gunn and Jesus!

“So, it was easy this year,” McDaniel went on. “Everybody wanted to come.”

Tim Gunn, Lara and Robert Tafel*

Tim Gunn, Lara and Robert Tafel*

At that moment, the star of the day was demonstrating his charisma across the room at the step-and-repeat, where guests were lined up to meet Gunn and have their photos taken with him. Among them were Elizabeth Gambrell (she’s a CPD director), Anne Stodghill, Dee Simmons, D’Andra Simmons, and Lara Tafel, who was once again the luncheon’s presenting sponsor along with her husband, Dr. Robert Tafel.

Megan Flannagan, Fasi Boltchi, Roz Colombo and Samantha Wortley*

Megan Flannagan, Fasi Boltchi, Roz Colombo and Samantha Wortley*

Jennifer Evans Morris, Krissy Turner and Lauren Reed*

Jennifer Evans Morris, Krissy Turner and Lauren Reed*

Soon Dr. Bob joined his wife for a photo with Gunn, who promptly remarked on the doctor’s colorful pocket square. The TV star pulled the handkerchief out of Tafel’s suit coat, demonstrated another way to fold such an adornment, and then stuffed it back into Bob’s breast pocket—much to Bob and Lara’s delight.

Soon enough, the 1,100 guests including CPD Board Chair Krissy Turner, Jocelyn White, Lee Bailey, Lisa Cooley, Faisal Halum, Holly Davis, Lori Williams, Alissa Gearing, Jennifer Evans Morris, Lauren Reed, Megan Flanagan, Fasi Boltchi, Roz Colombo, Samantha Wortley, Katherine Coker and Simona Beal began making their way into the Imperial Ballroom upstairs.

Kristi Hoyl*

Kristi Hoyl*

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke*

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke*

Luncheon Chair Kristi Hoyl made the welcoming remarks, thanking the Tafels, Honorary Chair Brian Bolke, Underwriting Chairs Cindy Stager and Jill Tananbaum, and Paige and Joanna (“they are angels walking on the earth”). Then Kristi brought up Rev. Elizabeth Moseley from Highland Park United Methodist Church, who delivered the invocation. (Rev. Moseley, BTW, was introduced as a “minister of discipline,” rather than with her actual title, “minister of discipleship.” Hmmmm. Maybe Queenie needs to hire a minister of discipline for misbehaving elves.)

Paige McDaniel and Jill Bee*

Paige McDaniel and Jill Bee*

After lunch was served—a delicious Mediterranean chicken salad and a strawberry “Happy Birthday” cupcake—videos were played honoring Jill C. Bee with the 2016 Partners for Children Award and the Tafels, who were presented with the 10th Anniversary Champions of Hope Award. Then Paige took the stage, telling how all the guests had “agonized over our outfits” trying to impress Gunn, before launching into a tearful talk about children who’d been helped by CPD, like two toddlers nicknamed Princess and King. Paige gave way to Bolke, who introduced the featured speaker as one of two people who’ve had a profound recent influence on the fashion world (the other, he said, was Sarah Jessica Parker of TV’s “Sex and the City”).

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Tim Gunn*

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Tim Gunn*

With that, Gunn—a former chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc. who’s written four books—mounted the stage along with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, who would interview him. Kim began by asking the fashion guru what led him to write books (his latest is titled “The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making It Work!”). Gunn, the son of an FBI agent, grew up with words and books, he replied, and developed an interest in fashion history as an academic at the Parsons School of Design. “Most of the books [about fashion] are giant snoozefests,” he said. He set out to take a livelier approach, crediting the success of such works as “Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and “Gunn’s Golden Rules in part to his editor and co-writer, Ava Calhoun.

Kim asked next what’s behind Gunn’s “kind but firm” approach to young designers on Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” now entering its 14th season. “I can’t want you to succeed more than you do,” Gunn said he tells the fledgling designers. In lieu of direct criticism he peppers them with questions about their design choices, hoping they’ll eventually see what he sees. What’s his favorite of Gunn’s “golden rules”? “The world owes you absolutely nothing!” he replied quickly. “Even though young people don’t like it. … We each have to make our own way and establish our value.” Gunn also explained his “TEACH” philosophy with students and mentees, using an explanation for each letter in the acronym: Truth-telling; Empathy; Asking lots of questions; Cheerleading; and Hoping for the best.

Tim Gunn*

Tim Gunn*

Prompted by his interviewer, Gunn said that when it comes to fashion, “I’d rather work with women than with men. Women are more open to experimentation, and men are so ridiculously intractable. I’ll tell them, ‘Good heavens, it’s a shirt. Put it on!’ ” He also complimented Dallas women on their fashion sense, adding, “I’m in awe of you! … I’d like to take you home with me!” Expanding on fashion in general, he said most people wear their clothes too big. (“Never use the phrase, ‘I only dress for comfort’ with me,” he said. “If you want to feel like you’re in your pajamas, don’t get out of bed.”) He also ripped the current “athleisure” trend including yoga pants, tights, and leggings worn as pants. “It’s an excuse to be a slob,” he said, calling leggings “a form of underwear.”

Wrapping up with a few questions from the audience, Gunn was asked his advice for budding designers. Since designers are barometric measures of our culture, he answered, they should watch TV and movies, read blogs and newspapers, and “assimilate it all” in order to “have a point of view and know who you are. [Knowledge of] construction is important, too,” Gunn said in conclusion, “as are perseverance and tenacity.”

The thunderous applause from the big crowd that followed was a testament to the fashion guru’s tremendous popularity, as mentioned by Paige at the VIP reception. But so, too, was the long wait for their cars that some in the huge crowd had to endure in the lengthy valet line. Although the luncheon wrapped up by about 1:15, some 50 guests were still standing outdoors in the cold breeze, scanning the horizon hopefully for their vehicles, nearly an hour later. There were just too darn many cars, it seems, for the valets to easily handle.

* Photos provided by Community Partners of Dallas

Fashion Guru Tim Gunn Packed ‘Em In At Forty Five Ten’s T Room For Community Partners Of Dallas’ Chick Lit Patron Party

Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn

Not since Rob Lowe and Kevin Costner hit the North Texas area has a man been swarmed like New York Times best-selling author and overall fashion arbiter Tim Gunn was at the 10th Annual Chick Lit Luncheon Patron Party.

Laverne Nieberding and Greg Nieberding

Laverne Nieberding and Greg Nieberding

Yipes! Taking place at Chick Lit Honorary Chair Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten, the place should have been big enough for the guests, the fashions and Tim. But with Tim meeting-and-greeting guests like Luncheon Chair Kristi Hoyl, Melissa Sherrill, D’Andra Simmons, Anne Stodghill and Greg Nieberding with his mom Laverne Nieberding in the T Room, the place was as tight as a stamp on an envelope.

What made it more challenging was Tim somehow managed to locate himself against one of the bars. Goodness, bubbly and Tim together resulted in celebration and selfie-action as everyone wanted a flute of champagne and a photo with Tim.

One lovely evidently was new to celebrity get-togethers and decided that she was Tim’s one-and-only, resulting in more than her fair share of special time with him. But Tim proved as proper and charming as his attire, chatting it up with the gal until someone suggested that others might like some quality time with Tim, too.

Lara and Robert Tafel

Lara and Robert Tafel

Organizers were amazed at how generous Tim was. His contract limited his time at the patron party to 45 minutes, but he stayed way beyond the time limit.

Paige McDaniel and Juilette Coulter

Paige McDaniel and Juilette Coulter

Another couple of Chick Lit celebs were Lara and Bob Tafel, who have been on board in supporting the Community Partners of Dallas fundraiser since its inception. But their involvement is more than being the presenting sponsor of the annual get-together. In the midst of all the partying, Bob voiced genuine concern that recent legislative developments were increasing the need for CPD’s efforts.

And speaking of the 10th anniversary, CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel proudly wore a new piece of jewelry, a necklace spelling out sparkly Chick Lit in its signature font. She told how she and CPD Director of Development Joanna Clarke had had the necklaces especially made for those like Lara, Juliette Coulter and Kristi Bare who have attended all 10 years of the CPD fundraiser.

And while the guests kept coming and coming, it was still an early night because the luncheon was the next day at the Hilton Anatole.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Kick-Off Party And ReuNight Eve Reception Kept Fundraising Going Into The Night

After a day of honoring veterans on Wednesday, November 11, the fundraising efforts for North Texas continued into the night throughout the area.

Michael Flores and Gina Betts

Michael Flores and Gina Betts

Over at the Mockingbird Room in Highland Park Village, St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores were rallying the troops with plans for the Leukemia and Lymphoma of North Texas sweetheart of a fundraiser.

The twosome have arranged for Amanda and Brint Ryan to serve as honorary co-chairs for the Tuesday, February 16th event with fashions from HP Village.

Yes, it’s a couple of days after the right-official St. V-Day, but love is always in the air, don’t you know?

Luke Lange, Tracy Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy Lange and Livia Lange

In the crowd hearing the deets were Platinum Presenting Sponsor Nancy Rogers, Joyce Fox, Holly Davis, Angela Nash, Nikki and Crayton Webb, 2015 St. V-day Chair Lisa Singleton, Pat Holder, 2016 Tom Landry Award recipient Luke Lange with his folks Tracy and Ben Lange and his sister Livia Lange.

Faerber bracelet

Faerber bracelet

Speaking of Nancy, it was tough keeping up with her. She had a full dance card! Seamlessly, she headed over to Forty Five Ten, where Brian Bolke was hosting a private little gathering.

The occasion was for folks to check out to the Faerber collection of marvelous antique necklaces, bracelets, broaches and baubles to benefit Thursday night’s Family Place fundraiser’s ReuNight that was being co-chaired by Lady Rogers and Robert Weatherly.

Brian Bolke

Brian Bolke

Claire Emanuelson

Claire Emanuelson

On hand were ReuNight Honorary Co-Chair Claire Emanuelson, Rainey Fogiel, Shelby Wagner, The Family Place’s Paige Flink.

One guest admitted that she wasn’t able to stretch the budget to qualify for the $1,500-a-head ReuNight dinner at Oak. Then with a twinkle in her eye, she smiled that just perhaps she could get herself an early Christmas gift since Brian was donating a percentage of the purchases to ReuNight.

Pop By Forty Five Ten’s One-Of-A-Kind Pop-Up Shop At The Art Ball

In the international world of fashion jousting, Brian Bolke has emerged as the knight gallant. The Forty Five Ten lord searches the world like Marco Polo for the next…no, the two-steps-beyond-the-next stage of fashion leadership. One might suspect that Stanley Marcus is on Brian’s shoulder smiling.

This Saturday Brian will support the Art Ball’s 50th anniversary and celebrate Fort Five Ten’s 15th anniversary by creating a one-night-only pop-up shop at the Dallas Museum of Art’s fundraiser.

To fill the shop with treasures, Brian called on 15 of his designer buds like Diptyque, Roland Mouret, Edward Bess, Moschino, Chandler x Selima, John Derian, Proenza Schouler, Lisa Perry, Loewe, Ashish, The Elder Statesman, Nicholas Kirkwood, Hoorsenbuhs, Eddie Borgo and David Sutherland to “create exclusive products — in various editions of 1, 5, 15 or 150 — just for this special shop.”

How about a sampling of the goodies? Here goes:

Hoorsenbuhs Forever Mark Diamond Phantom Cuff*

Hoorsenbuhs Forever Mark Diamond Phantom Cuff*

Edition of One

  • Moschino “Label” Gown – $2,550
  • Eddie Borgo Premier Handbag – $2,950
  • Lisa Perry “Selfie” – $4,510
  • Loewe Runway Shopper – $3,950
  • Hoorsenbuhs Forevermark Diamond Phantom Cuff – $100,000

Edition of Five

  • Selima X Chandler “Jane” Sunglasses – $350
  • Diptyque “Fifteen Favorites” Coffret – $1,200
  • Proenza Schouler Briefcase – $2,150
  • Ashish “Hi Haters” T Shirt – $2,220
  • David Sutherland x John Dickinson Table African Table – $2,550

Edition of 15

  • Nicholas Kirkwood Patent Flat – $450
  • Elder Statesman Cashmere Lingerie Set – $1,450
  • Roland Mouret Kimono – $1,850

Edition of 50

  • John Derian Plate “Self Portrait” by Sam Francis Plate – $95

Edition of 150

Edward Bess “Dallas Pink” Lipstick

Edward Bess “Dallas Pink” Lipstick

  • Edward Bess “Dallas Pink” Lipstick – $35

According to Brian, “Being active in the community and giving back has always been part of Forty Five Ten’s DNA. I can’t imagine celebrating an anniversary without also celebrating the community. Our opening party in 2000 was the Art Ball Patron Party, so coming back to Art Ball was only natural. Every designer we asked to design product jumped at the chance to join for such a great cause!”

Such a great feat that organizers have decided to bypass the traditional silent auction for Bolke’s brainchild, with 100% of the proceeds going to the DMA fundraiser.

Round Robin 12/11: Kelly Wearstler @ 40-5-10, CBB Christmas Party & United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas Host Committee KO Party

Well, it happened. Thursday, December 11, had half of the MySweetCharity team cratering. The elves were trying all types of ideas to handle all the party-heartying that tends to take place on Thursdays and this one was a lollapalooza. A couple of the elves suggested incorporating party drones. Party drones? Nope. They don’t really exist, at least not yet. But the elves still thought it was a great idea. Instead of covering events firsthand, they would just send drones with cameras and microphones to do the job.

Needless to say, Queenie quashed that idea and cut off the cable service for the elves. But putting MSC politics aside, here’s what was happening:

Forty Five Ten

Brian Bolke and Kelly Wearstler

Brian Bolke and Kelly Wearstler

It was easy to spot where lifestyle designer Kelly Wearstler was in the posh salon. In addition to being squired around by taste arbitrar Brian Bolke in a leopard print jacket, she was surrounded by a swarm of top-tier friends and fans wanting to chit-chat with her about her latest project. It was one that she created exclusively for Forty Five Ten with the team from Atelier Swarovki.  Kelly’s partnering up with Atelier Swarovski was the result of Brian’s matchmaking. He recognized that Kelly and the crystal  designers might make beautiful creations together. Once again he was right.

Another Kelly goody was her coffeetable book, “Rhapsody,” that was quickly becoming a collector’s item.

What slowed up the elbow-to-elbow set from arriving were a couple of RV-sized trucks blocking the valet parking in the back and the filled to capacity parking spots out front.

Oodles of noodles

Oodles of noodles

But once inside it was music by DJ Lucy Wrubel, a photo booth coordinated by Lucy’s favorite elf photographer Santa Steve Wrubel, food provided by The Joule and a big old sign reading “Happiness is Expensive.”

With a portion of sales benefiting this spring’s 50th Art Ball, the crowd included the Mathews Nichols Group (Erin Mathews with dotter-in-law Brittany Mathews and MN partner David Nichols sporting still another new Hermes tie), Neiman’s Wanda Gierhart, Kimberly and Tyson Chandler,  Michael Sam, Chandra North, Vanessa Swarovski and Charlotte Jones.

Brittany Mathews, David Nichols and Erin Mathews

Brittany Mathews, David Nichols and Erin Mathews

Cattle Baron’s Christmas Party

Cammie Heflin and Joanna Clark

Cammie Heflin and Joanna Clark

Over in Preston Hollow, Jennifer and Richard Dix’s home was all decked out to party with a beautiful Christmas tree at the base of the winding staircase in the entry hall and a sumptuous buffet complete with dazzling honeycomb in the dining room. Wolfgang Puck’s Alan Hernandez was handing out samples of the Bee-Pour Honey, suggesting that guests might want try rubbing it on crackers.

Mary Martha Pickens and Tanya Foster

Mary Martha Pickens and Tanya Foster

Jeff and Olivia Kearney

Jeff and Olivia Kearney

Party Co-Chairs Joanna Clark and Cammie Heflin greeted the 200 guests in the front of the home, while 2015 CBB Co-Chairs Mary Martha Pickens and Tia Wynne made the rounds checking in with Kris Johnson, Nancy Gopez, Carol Seay, new mom Natalie Fogiel MoonKatherine LaLonde, Lisa and Bill Ogle, Cara French, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Olivia and Jeff Kearney. And what a house it was. The family room adjacent to the killer gourmet kitchen was filled to the max. Ah, but the evening weather was perfect for the outdoor fireplace, so guests spilled out into the covered outdoor terrace.

Lisa Ogle and Cindy Stager

Lisa Ogle and Cindy Stager

Foodie Pete Foster eyed the kitchen admiring the countertops as the Wolfgang Puck team cooked up yummies.

Speaking of tasties, 2014 CBB Co-Chair Cindy Stager revealed that the good folks at El Fenix on Northwest Highway learned that she had spent her birthday at their establishment on the eve of CBB. So they surprised her with “a case of hot sauce and chips.”

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Host Committee Kick-Off Party

Tony Dorsett and Ann Hobson

Tony Dorsett and Ann Hobson

Back down Preston Road, Ann and Lee Hobson also found the evening’s weather helped with the turnout for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Host Committee party for 200. The estate’s grounds with marvelous water features was outstanding and luckily speakers were placed for those who couldn’t wedge into the fabulous living room for the announcements and entertainment by Sister Hazel’s Ken Block and Drew Copeland.

Sister Hazel

Sister Hazel’s Drew Copeland and Ken Block

Richard and Kathy Holt, Holly Reed and Daryl Johnston

Richard and Kathy Holt, Holly Reed and Daryl Johnston

Former Dallas Cowboys Tony Dorsett and Daryl Johnston with gorgeous wife Diane were in the atrium talking with Kathy and Richard Holt and Holly Reed, while Caroline Rose Hunt was nearby on a couch talking with friends like Lynn McBee, Regen and Dr. Jeff Fearon, Barbara and Steve Durham, Lyda Hill, Annika and Dennis Cail, Millie and Dr. Ken Cooper, Kim and Greg Miller, Diane and Hal Brierley, Barbara Babb and Kit and Kemp Sawers.

Diane Johnston

Diane Johnston

Greg and Kim Miller

Greg and Kim Miller

In other parts of the house, it appeared to look like an eyebrow-raising CEO conclave with Frito-Lay’s Tom Greco, Fluor’s David Seaton and Comerica’s Ralph Babb.

David recalled that when Fluor moved from California to North Texas, he was impressed with how Dallas corporate leadership, like ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, AT&T’s Randall Stephenson and Kimberly-Clark’s Tom Falk, was committed to philanthropy — “All companies that have DNA of philanthropy.”

Jennifer Sampson

Jennifer Sampson

At 7:50 United Way of Metropolitan Dallas CEO/President Jennifer Sampson was like a thrilled schoolgirl who had just gotten a pony for Christmas as she reviewed the history and amazing support for the upcoming 90th anniversary gala on Friday, February 6, at AT&T Stadium — “This is an emotional night for me and the team. This is one of the last events leading up to the gala.” She recalled asking Tom Greco two-and-a-half years ago about chairing the campaign. He said, “Yes.” Then she asked Randall, Tom Falk and TI’s Rich Templeton to chair the gala. They said, “Yes.” Next she asked Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach to get involved. They said, “Yes.”

Manny Fernandez

Manny Fernandez

Jennifer was on a roll and no one was slowing her down. Even the kick-off party was being sponsored by KPMG, whose COO/United Way Board Member Manny Fernandez hinted, “There are still some packages and sponsorships available” for the gala.

Tom G. told the group that Frito-Lay had been involved with United Way since 2006 and was focusing especially on the Healthy Zone Schools Recognition Program — “We want to be part of the solution. We want to make the difference.” The program that involves the Cooper Clinic had 30K Dallas/Fort Worth kids going through daily PE with 30% showing improvement in cardio capacity and reduced body fat.

Brian Bolke And Faisal Halum Celebrate The Past, The Present And The Future With Family, Friends And “Beautiful”

The towering, white geodesic dome outside the Rachofsky House, that appears annually, has become synonymous with the Two by Two fundraiser for the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR. But this year it continued to stand in place for days after the big moneymaker.

There was a good reason. It was the scene for still another fundraiser, so to speak. In celebration of their meeting 10 years ago to the day, Dallas retailing impresario of good taste Brian Bolke and residential Realtor of luxurious properties Faisal Halum had more than 250 of their family and friends in for an evening for a couple of very personal reasons. The twosome were also “announcing” their August 18th marriage in Provincetown, Massachusetts. As if any announcement were needed, since everyone knew of the duo’s nuptials.

And because luxury experts Brian and Faisal were certainly in no need of kitchen appliances or linens, they requested that “in lieu of gifts, we ask that you consider a donation to Two by Two for AIDs and art.”

Don Bolke, Brian Bolke and Nancy Bolke

Don Bolke, Brian Bolke and Nancy Bolke

But don’t go thinking that it was simple cocktail affair. It was memory maker of a black-tie, seated dinner that had guests coming from as far away as Chicago, California, Singapore and Abu Dabhi. And it was strictly a family and close friends’ gathering. The Bolke clan included Brian’s father Don Bolke, uncle Ed Bolke, brother Darryl Bolke (a former Los Angeles policeman who now trains the military in the use of firearms and was at one time a security guard for Will Smith), niece Ashlynn Bolke and stepmom Nancy Bolke, who said, “You know that old saying, ‘If you work hard you can live the American dream.’? Well, Brian’s living the American dream.”

Sahar Halum

Sahar Halum

Faisal’s family also was well-represented with his sister Amna Halum and niece Nadia Halum in from New Orleans and cousin Sahar Halum in from California plus his niece Munda from Abu Dhabi. Nephew Fuad Shatara and his wife Lorena, whose fabulous wedding in Spain Brian and Faisal attended, were on hand to return the favor.

Despite the tent having been the scene of the previous Two by Two and Todd Fiscus’ way-over-the-top 10-year celebration of his company just days before, event producer Todd managed to create still another wonderland extravaganza with hundreds and hundreds of lights and white orchids. The front of the tent was for the cocktail hour, with DJ Lucy Wrubel in an OMG multi-colored, sequined blouse (“Brian picked it out!”) reading “We Will Win” holding court on half of a circular stage. Against the back wall of the tent, mammoth “windows” were projected making the scene appear to be a palace courtyard.

Lucy Wrubel on stage

Lucy Wrubel on stage

As guests entered the dome, they discovered their table assignments on a side table, couch seatings, oversized bars, a longer-than-forever table with flutes of champagne and a non-stop array of yummies reflecting Brian’s and Faisal’s travels (Greece — goat cheese and leek spanakopita “cigars” with dried currants; Dallas — BBQ smoked beef tenderloin, honey-glazed cornbread and celery root slaw; New Orleans — fried Gulf oyster on the half shell). The martini glasses were so chilled that Niven Morgan apologized for spilling his.

Erin Mathews

Erin Mathews

Ceron and Elaine Agather

Ceron and Elaine Agather

Missy Rogers

Missy Rogers

Jacqueline and Max Anderson and Jan Showers

Jacqueline and Max Anderson and Jan Showers

Speaking of a chill, many of the gals decided to keep their furs near and dear (Brooke Hortenstine, Elaine Agather, Missy Rogers, Jacqueline Anderson, Capera Ryan and Erin Mathews). Others took it all in stride showing bare shoulders, arms, backs and even midriffs (Vinita Schroeder, Jennifer Eagle, Shelle Sills, Piper Wyatt, Tracy Madans, Jan Showers and Nancy Rogers, who was dazzling in red and ice — diamond and ruby earrings and necklace). A couple, like Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Tina Craig, flirted with black lace insets. There was even a contingent that opted for short sparkly cocktail dresses (Muffin Lemak and Heidi Wehring). Still others came prepared for a nip in the air and were covered shoulders to stilettos, like Chicago first lady of retailing Ikram Goldman, Sue Gragg and Susan Kaminski.

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Ikram and Josh Goldman

Ikram and Josh Goldman

Muffin Lemak, Shelle Sills Vinita Schroeder and Claire Emanuelson

Muffin Lemak, Shelle Sills Vinita Schroeder and Claire Emanuelson

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Faisal Halum, Suzanne Droese and Tina Craig

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Faisal Halum, Suzanne Droese and Tina Craig

The fellows, on the other hand, stayed tried and true to black tie. Brian in Tom Ford and Faisal in black sequined Saint Laurent. Okay, so a couple of the gents dressed down their formal look with sneakers, and Howard Rachofsky sported an electric blue jacket. But, hey, it’s a guy thing.

This crowd was so gorgeous that instead of selfies being snapped, it was “swell-fies”.

Group swellfie

Group swellfie

At 8:30 the reception area was filled to the brim with the beautiful people and the signal was given that it was dinner time. Then guests made their way to the other side of the tent, with its tables covered in silver clothes, towering glass cylinder vases filled with white orchids, and personalized books containing the menu, photos of Brian and Faisal, and thank yous for those who had been part of the evening’s behind-the-scenes efforts. On the wall, a video of clips from “Dynasty” was shown on the wall. Once seated, the glamorous guests looked even more dazzling thanks to the overhead lighting, candles on the table and crystal.

Dinner

Dinner

At this point the Dallas String Quartet performed on the stage facing the diners.

Faisal Halum

Faisal Halum

A few minutes later Faisal took the stage. Despite being a bit nervous, he told the guests that the evening was indeed to celebrate their marriage and to express their gratitude — “You have shaped our success as a couple.” Among those he thanked were Ray Hom and Kent Grogin, who had flown in from Singapore, and “persuaded me to fly to New Orleans” 10 years ago. It was in New Orleans to celebrate Halloween where he and Brian met. Regarding their recent marriage, he said, “It really taught us that marriage is for everyone. Same-sex marriage is now legal and recognized in 32 states and, maybe someday, Texas will be one of those states.” At that moment, a slide was shown on the dome’s wall reading, “Vote Wendy Davis for Governor.” Faisal added, “We’re not trying to tell you who to vote for.” Laughter rippled through the group. It was followed by a video of the Bolke-Halum wedding ending with Shannon Johnson saying, “I now pronounce you, husband and husband.”

Matching the beautiful surroundings, the dinner’s courses were perfection thanks to catering czarina Cassandra. Keeping with Brian’s and Faisal travel theme, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky arranged to start off the supper with small mountains of American sturgeon caviar along with crème fraiche, quail eggs, chives and butter brioche a la New York and Napa Valley wine and champagne.

This was followed by the first course, Southern California — baby Romaine Caesar salad “box” with picked red onions, oven dried tomatoes and crisp Parmesan lid. Next was the second course, Provincetown, of lobster ravioli, roasted butternut squash truffle cream, chive oil and lobster cracker. The main entrée of the Middle East was black mission fig and goat cheese, crusted lamb chops with baby squash, zucchini, marble potatoes and carrots with pomegranate demi. Sweet trays a la Turkey were gold macaroons, dried dates and baklava. The desserts finished the world tour of cuisine with Paris (salted caramel and pots de crème), Italy (tiramisu) and Mexico (tres leches cake).

Brian Bolke

Brian Bolke

Just past 10:30, Brian stood on stage as Faisal stood tableside surrounded by his relatives. In Arabic Brian welcomed the Halum family. He thanked the numerous people, who had been involved with their relationship and the celebration. One especially poignant moment came when he addressed Meredith Musselman and her fiancée and recalled that it was three and a half years ago that her mother/his Forty Five Ten partner, Shelly Musselman, had died. He then told the group that “Faisal’s and my mother were born on the same day…1939.”

Brian Bolke, Gabby Porter and Faisal Halum

Brian Bolke, Gabby Porter and Faisal Halum

Turning his eyes to Faisal, Brian said, “Faisal, I have a gift for you; not a Rolex, it’s our song.” It was the song — “Beautiful” — that 10 years ago, Brian and Faisal heard in New Orleans sung before 3,000 people by a 16-year-old girl, Gabrielle “Gabby” Porter. A shocked Faisal watched as Brian left the stage and was replaced by Gabby, who sang their song.

It was indeed a beautiful night that was 10 years in the making and shared with those who appreciated and applauded their happiness.

Many more pictures of the evening can be found on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum Celebration

Group selfie

Group selfie

So, the black tie seated dinner for a mere 250+ proved to exceed the expectations of those, both near and far, who had flown in from Abu Dhabi, New Orleans, Chicago, California and Singapore.

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Suzanne Droese, Faisal Halum and Tina Craig

Piper Wyatt, Brooke Hortenstine, Suzanne Droese, Faisal Halum and Tina Craig

Oh, the gorgeous crowd, the OMG food and the splendor “WOW!” factor came together for a legendary event — to celebrate the meeting of Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum that evolved into their August nuptials. Instead of gifts, they requested donations for the art and Two by Two for AIDs. But it was the marvelous touches of the couple that reminded many of their own splendiferous meeting resulting in a lifelong relationship.

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke

Nancy Rogers and Brian Bolke

The words are being crafted. Be patient. But the photos are available at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Be forewarned. It’s a two-pager.