Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show And Neiman Marcus Scored A Home Run Bringing The Fundraiser Back To “The Store” With Posen And Pearls

Thomas Wolfe once declared, “You can never go home again.” Leave it to Neiman Marcus and Crystal Charity Ball to prove that old adage is so off base. On Friday, September 15, the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon was a love fest bringing the more-than-popular children’s fundraiser back home to the Neiman Marcus Downtown flagship.

Unlike the past couple or three years when the CCB Fashion Show took place in the store and an OMG tented venue in the adjoining parking lot, it was decided to move the whole package into the building’s various floors.

Sixth floor

Entrance to Michael Flores Salon

While regular shoppers and visiting tourists were surprised at the hundreds of top-tier fashionables filling the first floor for the official reception, one gent was gently turned away from dining in the sixth floor Zodiac. It wasn’t due to his natty Bermuda shorts. Rather, the restaurant was closed for the day due to the CCB, as well as Nancy C. Roger’s reception in the Michael Flores Salon celebrating the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt) and Hall of Famer Charlotte Jones Anderson.  Before the elegant 11 arrived for the Cristal doings after their run through of the show on the second floor, NM Downtown PR Marjon Henderson admonished them that they were to be back on the second floor no later than 11:15 a.m.

For first timers, it was a shock-and-awe moment when they saw how Fancy Nancy, Michael F. and her go-to-Gro designer Nathan Johnson had turned the entry into a whimsical tunnel of greenery, white flowers and rose petals strewn along the way and highlighted by chandeliers. Nathan admitted that he and his crew had worked around the clock to create and install the masterpiece that would be history by noon.

Michael Flores and Nancy Rogers

Pam Perella, Robyn Conlon and Claire Emanuelson

And, of course, the flutes on the silver trays screamed Cristal. You were expecting Kool-Aid? BTW, the “C” in Nancy C. Rogers does not stand for Cristal.

Just past 10:30 a.m., the hostess arrived to greet guests like 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson, 2014 CCB Chair Robyn Conlon, Dallas Snadon, Gina Betts, Vicky Lattner, Di Johnston, Nancy Carter, Angie Kadesky, Mike Wyatt, Vin Perella with daughter Lauren Perella, Ryan Wilson, Debbie Breard, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Joan Eleazer, Bela Cooley, Sue Gragg, Becky Bowen, Dixey Thornton, Ginger Auer, Tanya Foster, Alicia Wood, Leisa Street, Lynn McBee, Nancy Carlson, Capera Ryan, Sam Boyd, Beth Layton, Muffin Lemak, Ann Dyer, Shelle Sills and DeeDee Lee.

Vin Perella, Lauren Perella and Ryan Wilson

Vicky Lattner, Di Johnston, Nancy Carter and Angie Kadesky

Second floor

In the meantime, the rest of the store was buzzing. As NM special events mastermind Sandy Marple was finishing up with the dress rehearsal, fashion show featured designer Zac Posen arrived with Celine Mariton on the second floor that had been turned into a red carpeted showroom cloaked in black and as narrow as an arrow’s shaft.

Sandy Marple, Zac Posen and Celine Mariton

On three sides were tiers of gold chairs with comfy red, purple and taupe cushions. Down the middle of the room was a back-to-back row of the chairs. At one end of the room was Zac Posen spelled out in gold on both sides of the runway entrance. Zac was blown away by the reconfiguration of the couture salon that he knew so well. Whipping out his cellphone he took a shot of the room.

Fourth floor

Luncheon table

Just two floors up,tables were in the final stages of being set up for the seated luncheon. Table hosts’ assistants were making sure that place cards were in the right spots. Even fashion show featured designer Zac Posen’s team had provided mementos for the guests. Some were gifted with Zac-designed scarves and others received Zac sunglasses.

Back to the second floor

Then the bewitching minute arrived with the 10 Best Dressed and Charlotte scurrying down to the second floor for the presentation. Eventually the guests from both the first-floor reception and Nancy’s party made their way to the second floor with elevators and escalators moving nonstop.

As the sold-out crowd of more than 500 started filling the gold chairs, CCB Reservations Co-Chair Paige Slates looked over the setup and smiled. She and Tiffany Divis had been in charge of reservations and admitted that until all the derrières were in place, they weren’t going to be satisfied.

Laura Bush and Lee Ann White

Nancy Dedman and Joan Schnitzer

Sarah and Ross Perot and Lisa Troutt

Kelli Ford

Mary Clare Finney

As guests finally settled down, a voice announced NM Fashion guru Ken Downing, who arrived from backstage to the podium set up midway across the aisle from Annette Simmons, Nancy Dedman, Joan Schnitzer Levy, Lee Ann White, former first lady Laura Bush, Sarah and Ross Perot and Lisa Troutt. Like a fashion version of a Texas A&M yell leader, Ken extolled his love and support of Zac — “My mother has pictures of Zac all over the house. There’s not a picture of me anywhere.” According to Ken, one of Zac’s first ventures outside NYC was Neiman’s in Dallas and he fell in love with “his girls.” Upon learning that he would be the featured designer for the CCB event, Zac texted Ken and asked him to put the show together for “our girls.” Ken continued saying the show wasn’t “just a fashion show. The show is a gift from my heart and from Zac’s heart to all of you.”

Karen Katz

He then introduced NM President/CEO Karen Katz who welcomed the group and said it was only right to bring the fashion show back to “our house” for the company’s 110th anniversary year. Karen was followed by 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and Fashion Show Chair Christi Urschel, who thanked all for supporting the organization providing millions of dollars for Dallas children’s charities.

Julie Hawes

Charlotte Jones Anderson

With that Ken returned to the podium to present the 10 Best Dressed and Hall of Famer. It came off without a hitch. Ken provided the commentary with touches of ad libbing. Blonde Julie Hawes dropped her red fur jacket midway and dragging it the last lap.

Zac Posen fashion

Zac Posen fashion

Zac Posen gown

Zac Posen gown

Then Ken stepped aside, the podium was removed and the models took their turn in Zac fashions — adorable frocks for cocktail parties, black short shorts and billowing ball gowns. One or two appeared to channel Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress.

Margot McKinney

Margot McKinney jewelry with Zac Posen gown

Highlighting the outfits were necklaces, earrings, bracelets and all sorts of exquisite bling provided by fourth-generation Australian jeweler Margot McKinney, who made headlines when she bought a harvest of 85,000 baroque pearls.

Zac Posen

For the finale, it was a standing ovation with Zac doing a victory lap.

Back to the fourth floor

As the fashionable guests made their way to the fourth floor for lunch, the 10 Besties and Charlotte took their places for group photos with Zac, Margot, Ken, Pam and Christi.

From the left: (standing) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Pat Harloe, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven and Julie Hawes; (seated) Janie Condon, Christi Urschel, Pam Perella, Amy Hegi and Piper Wyatt

From the left: (standing) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Pat Harloe, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven and Julie Hawes; (seated) Janie Condon, Margot McKinney, Ken Downing, Zac Posen, Amy Hegi and Piper Wyatt

Then they joined the others for the meal “inspired by” Zac’s new cook book, “Cooking With Zac” due out in October. Guests donned their new found sunglasses for photos. Fancy Nancy sent bottles of Cristal to the10 BD tables. Ken and Zac shouldered it up. Karen joined up with three generations of Jones girls (Gene, Charlotte and Haley Anderson)…Christi celebrated with her mom Linda Carter, husband Hal Urschel and BFF Sarah Perot.

Haley Anderson, Charlote Jones Anderson, Karen Katz and Gene Jones

Linda Carter

Elsa Norwood, Susan Palma, Patty Leyendecker and Tiffany Divis

As the guests dined on the fourth floor, a truck parked along South Ervay was being loaded with the gold chairs, the black showroom was being disassembled and the couture salon was back in business.

For more than 85 pictures, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Dinner Kicked Off The 2017 Fall/Winter Fundraising Season With Friends, Food And A Flourish Of Photos

Well, yahoo! The fall fundraising season of 2017 kicked off with a surprise refresh for an annual event! Once again the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Platinum Dinner took place at the Dallas Country Club. But it had all types of adjustments and they were rewarded with a manicured thumbs-up.

Sure, the evening of Tuesday, September 5, had a hint of a cool front. But it also was the day after Labor Day weekend, which is considered a tricky situation for most event planners since folks are just settling back into their post-summer routines.

Ralph and Barbara Babb and Shelly Slater and Clay Huffstutter

But as the crowd gathered in the reception lobby, it became apparent that the fears were unwarranted. While the 10 Best Dressed proved their stuff, the rest of the 270 guests held their own fashionably, too. One of the first on the scene was Dallas Cowboy head man Jerry Jones, who was immediately surrounded by Comerica’s first couple Barbara and Ralph Babb and emcee Shelley Slater and husband Clay Huffstutter. About 15 minutes later Gene Jones arrived, all in black, and asked someone if she was the first Jones on the scene. When she learned Jerry was already in the ballroom, she registered surprise: “I told him to be here at 7:15, and he listened to me.”

Gene And Jerry Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson

Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse

Daffan Nettle and Pam Perella

Lee Bailey told Mike Wyatt and Niven Morgan that after waiting months—or was it years?—she had a brand new steering wheel for her Rolls… Shelby Wagner was back from the family country place with Niven and Claire and Dwight Emanuelson. Claire claimed it was a great getaway, thanks to the property’s six dogs that kept things lively… Ola Fojtasek came with her mom Jacqueline Fojtasek and jeweler Ross Ameringer… Also returning back to north Texas were Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse. According to Jerry, “We were getting cabin fever in Carmel.” When asked if they were still in newlywed status, Jerry didn’t hesitate, “No longer. We’ve been married 16 months,”… Others who had just returned to North Texas were Ann and Matt Schooler, from Utah, and Lee Ann and Alan White, from Aspen. Said Alan of the Colorado town: “When I hang it up, we might go there to live.”

Gary and Cindy Turner and Ann and Matt Schooler

Jacqueline Fojtasek

Christi Urschel

From the left: (back row) Vicky Lattner, Michaela Dyer, Ann Dyer, Emilynn Wilson, Di Johnston and Susan Roberds; (front row) Beth Layton, Linda Secrest, Nancy Carter and Angie Kadesky

Chatting it up, this crowd would have been happy as ducks in Exall Lake with just the cocktail party, but the chimes called them to the ballroom, which had never looked better. CCB Chair Pam Perella, Event Chair Christi Urschel and event planner Tom Addis had set up the floor plan with the entire wall at the far end of the room draped in sheer white curtains, along with bigger-than-life individual photos of the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt) and Hall of Famer Charlotte JA.

One 10 Best Dressed husband, upon spying the photos, chuckled that the photos of the husbands should be on the opposite wall.

When it came to sitting down, that exercise went into slo-mo until Shelly went on the PA advising all to settle down. Originally, WFAA’s Ron Corning had been slated to emcee the dinner. But just weeks before he had fallen in Santa Fe, resulting in a broken knee cap, surgery, cast/brace, crutches and rehab for weeks to come.

But Shelly’s call to chairs worked, and the show got underway, with Pam welcoming all and Ralph showing his and Comerica’s appreciation for the work of CCB.

Then Shelly introduced the 10 Best Dressed. As each woman stood, she was presented with a token of appreciation.

Shelly Slater

When it came time for the announcement of the Hall of Famer, Shelly first introduced past HoFers (Annette Simmons, Lee Ann White and Gene Jones). First announced was Lee Ann, who looked a bit startled upon hearing her name. She thought she was being called out, due to her talking with Gene during the introduction.

In a break from the program, Shelly told how she’d first met Charlotte. Looking at the Jones’ table on the front row, she then revealed that Jerry would be introducing his daughter.

Taking the podium, the Jones patriarch recalled having watched Charlotte caring tenderly for her babies year before, adding that, in order to gain the same empathetic feeling, “Every husband should have to be a father first.” 

Jerry Jones

Next Jerry looked at Charlotte and said, “You’ve been a part of the Dallas Cowboys since I fired Tom Landry!” (Then he murmured, jokingly, “I still can’t get a joke out of that.”) With that, though, he turned serious, remembering Charlotte’s important role in persuading NBC to televise the halftime, “Red Kettle” Salvation Army show during the Cowboys’ traditional Thanksgiving Day game broadcast. “That was probably the most important thing we’ve done as the Cowboys,” he added, “and we wouldn’t have gotten it done if not for you, Charlotte.” (Ever the businessman, he said that the TV time was probably worth $2 billion over the years.) Tearing up, Jerry said, looking at Charlotte: “We’re here tonight to honor you.”

With that, Charlotte, with husband Shy Anderson next to her, smiled and hugged her dad and received a standing ovation.

After that, the crowd settled down to a dinner of baby greens, shoestring cucumber, baby tomatoes, red onion, shaved Romano cheese and lemon thyme vinaigrette; grilled filet and herbed sea bass, roasted fingerling potatoes, cauliflower puree and heirloom carrots and wild mushroom ragout; and a dessert of chocolate caramel hazelnut gateaux.

For more photos of the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Even A Fed Ex Delivery Truck Couldn’t Slow Down The Crystal Charity Ball’s Ten Best Dressed Luncheon Reveal At Neiman Marcus Downtown

The reveal of the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed and Hall of Famer on Wednesday, April 12, at Neiman Marcus Downtown was more of an early Mother’s Day celebration. Patsy Donosky couldn’t resist taking photos of her daughter Janie Condon on her being a 10 BD-er for the third time. SMU coed Ciara Cooley snuck in to surprise her mom — first-time BD-er Lisa Cooley — and sat between 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter and 2012 Hall of Famer Gene Jones.

Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

Lisa Cooley and Ciara Cooley

Patsy Donosky and Janie Condon

Gene looked proud as a mama swan when her daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson was announced as the 2017 HoF Honoree.

Unlike years past, the reveal of 10 BD (Anita Arnold, Janie Condon, Katherine Coker, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Piper Wyatt, and first timers Delilah Boyd, Lisa Cooley and Amy Hegi) went right on schedule thanks to Charlotte’s having a speaking engagement at the Anatole at noon.

Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt, Julie Hawes, Pat Harloe, Janie Condon, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Tucker Enthoven, Katherine Coker, Delilah Holmes, Anita Arnold and Lisa Cooley

Christi Urschel, Jeff Byron and Pam Perella

Amelia Gibson

On hand for the announcement were CCB Chair Pam Perella, Luncheon Chair Christi Urschel, Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron,  Zac Posen Director of Global Sales Amelia Gibson, Neiman Marcus Communications/PR VP Mimi Sterling, NM Special Events VP Sandy Marple and loads of Crystals.

There was a slight hiccup that could have messed up the tight timeline. It seems just as guests were to arrive at the Commerce Street valet, a filled-to-the-brim Fed Ex truck pulled up and parked. When the valet notified the driver that they needed the space, the driver responded, “I’ve got deliveries to make.”  Peace was made and the valets handled the parking dilemma, so the guests made it upstairs in time for adult orange juice, deviled eggs and mini-waffles topped with fried chicken.   

As the 10 BD crowd took to their cars via text delivery, it proved to be a little bit of a wait, with one poor soul waiting 40 minutes for their car. But not to worry. The powers-that-be will no doubt re-arrange the Fed Ex delivery time for the Ten Best Dressed Luncheon on Friday, September 15, featuring Zac Posen’s collection inside the NM flagship.

For additional photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Crystal Charity Ball’s 2017 Ten Best Dressed, Hall Of Fame Honoree And A Change Of Fashion Show/Luncheon Location Revealed

This morning the Crystal Charity Ball’s 2017 Ten Best Dressed were announced at Neiman Marcus Downtown. Fashionable drum roll, please.

This year’s collection of clothes-loving and community-supporting ladies include: Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Amy Hegi and Piper Wyatt.

Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt, Julie Hawes, Pat Harloe, Janie Condon, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Tucker Enthoven, Katherine Coker, Delilah Boyd, Anita Arnold and Lisa Cooley

Also making the runway on Friday, September 15, for the annual Fashion Show and Luncheon, will be Hall of Fame Honoree Charlotte Jones Anderson, daughter of 2012 Hall of Fame Honoree Gene Jones. It was the first time in the TBD history that a mother and daughter were in the TBD Hall of Fame.

Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

And speaking of the catwalk, it won’t be in a tent. Nope! After three years of camping out in the adjacent parking lot, the Neiman Marcus crew is bringing it back inside the NM Downtown mother ship complete with designer Zac Posen and his collection.

CCB Chair Pam Perella and Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Christi Urschel reported that tickets to the fundraiser will go on sale later this month. Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted on when they’ll be available.

But you’d better be swift turning those checks in, because this one usually sells out within minutes. And remember — the bigger the check, the bigger the perks. The Platinum Circle donors will be treated to a seated dinner sponsored by Comerica Bank on Tuesday, September 5, and Platinum Patrons will be invited to a cocktail buffet sponsored by J.P. Morgan the night before the fashion show and luncheon.

This year’s plan calls for $5.8M to be raised and provided for seven beneficiaries — Autism Treatment Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance, Hunger Busters, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days and Santa Clare of Assisi Catholic Academy.

Like Featured Designer Carolina Herrera, 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show Was Elegant Perfection At Neiman Marcus Downtown

Like a fabulous aria, this year’s Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon seemed to have elegance, class and just a whiff of history. But more about that later.

Unlike years past, this year’s fabulous fashion show opted out on the usual Thursday showing for Friday, September 16. Didn’t matter one iota. The tent-arama was locked down in parking lot adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown. And just in case rain was on the agenda, the NM folks had had an awning installed along the sidewalk leading from the store to the tent. But Mother Nature behaved herself and rain was not part of the day. Still the shading was still a blessing to curtail the glowering sunshine. Hmm, perhaps a permanent shade might be a perfect addition?

While the beautiful coifed and dazzling guests chatted and compared sideway looks on the NM ground floors, the upper levels of NM were bustling.

On the sixth floor, Nancy Rogers hosted her annual reception in the Michael Flores Salon. Instead of past Nancy pre-CCB Fashion Show receptions with backdrops of floral display, Nancy’s welcome entry was an archway of hundreds of Calla Lilies.

Entrance to Michael Flores Salon

Entrance to Michael Flores Salon

Time and time again guests exclaimed upon seeing the floral delight, “These are my favorite flowers!”

Nancy Rogers

Nancy Rogers

DeeDee Lee and Ginny Bailey

DeeDee Lee and Ginny Bailey

Pat McEvoy

Pat McEvoy

Shelby Wagner, Claire Emanuelson and Niven Morgan

Shelby Wagner, Claire Emanuelson and Niven Morgan

Pat McEvoy, DeeDee Lee, Ginny Bailey, Anne Reeder, Ann Dyer, Claire Emanuelson, Shelby Wagner, Niven Morgan, Shelle Sills, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Alicia Wood, Tanya Foster and the Perella clan (Laurena Perella, Vin Perella and Carolyn Curl) came, saw, were photographed and entered the salon for flutes of champagne. Topic making the rounds was Nancy’s downsizing her nonprofit activities. Well, gee, who can blame a girl? After years of supporting and chairing major fundraisers, doesn’t she deserve some time off for great behavior?

Another supposedly deciding to take a fundraising break was attorney Gina Betts, who had co-chaired this past year’s St. Valentine’s Day and Genesis luncheons. She’s gonna focus on her family and work.

At 11 the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Piper Wyatt) plus Hall of Famer Honoree Betsy Sowell, CCB Chair Christie Carter and Fashion Show Chair Pam Perella gathered in the Glass House on the second floor for the formal get together. And what do these fashionable types do while waiting for their presentation? They compare fashion notes. Winner of the day was Mary Clare’s heels.

Another was Piper’s preparations. The first timer 10 BD-er was a very smart cookie. It seems that the day before the outfit that she had picked out just didn’t work, so the NM staff and Piper put together a dramatic black Herrera ensemble with leather pencil pants and wool cape. However, Piper realized that it was also going to be a toasty look. So, she snuck an ice pack under the wool top at her waist to cool the situation, Just before going on stage, she removed the chilly accessory. When did the cool idea hit her? Was it online? Nope. Piper just woke up in the middle of the night with this idea and it worked!

Unlike years past where the designer du jour posed with the CCB chair, fashion show chair, 10 BD-er and HofF-er, the show’s featured designer Carolina Herrera begged off. She was backstage making final checks on preparations.

From the left: (front row) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Christie Carter, Betsy Sowell, Pam Perella, Pat Harloe and Heather Esping; (back row) Julie Hawes, Janie Condon, Piper Wyatt, Margaret Hancock, Mary Clare Finney and Tucker Enthoven

From the left: (front row) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Christie Carter, Betsy Sowell, Pam Perella, Pat Harloe and Heather Esping; (back row) Julie Hawes, Janie Condon, Piper Wyatt, Margaret Hancock, Mary Clare Finney and Tucker Enthoven

 

After the official photos were taken, the 10 BD-ers, Betsy, Christie and Pam were led through NM’s back halls taking the freight elevators to the first floor and strolling to the tent’s hustling and bustling backstage. Upon arrival, the male model escorts, who had been seated, sprung to their feet offering the ladies their seats, while the female models were going through the final stages of preparation under the skillful eyes of Carolina and NM Fashion Director Ken Downing.

Ken Downing and Carolina Herrera

Ken Downing and Carolina Herrera

Editor’s note: One can always spot the NM fashion show peeps-in-charge like Sandy Marple. In the old days, it was a clip board in hand. Nowadays, it’s headsets.

Meanwhile the front of the house was filling with guests, as they made their way from the reception in NM Downtown’s ground level to the magnificent tent that thanks to a mega structure looked more like a permanent store front. Inside the color of the day was white with white runway, white tablecloths, white plates, white roses in centerpieces and white walls highlighted by projections of Herrera models strutting in packs. The only non-white items were the black boxes of Herrera perfume on each tablesetting.

Nancy Rogers, Cami Goff, Gene Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Olivia Kearney and Melody Rogers

Nancy Rogers, Cami Goff, Gene Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Olivia Kearney and Melody Rogers

Julie Ford and Rich Enthoven

Julie Ford and Rich Enthoven

Joan Schnitzer Levy and Nancy Dedman

Joan Schnitzer Levy and Nancy Dedman

Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber

Tiffany Divis, Amy Hegi and Robyn Conlon

Tiffany Divis, Amy Hegi and Robyn Conlon

Snapshots around the room included: world-renowned bearded photographer Bruce Weber wearing his signature bandana headscarf… Not present in person but present in spirit was Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who was headed to London for its Fashion Week… Loads of lunching mothers/daughters filled the room (Pam Perella with her mom Carolyn Curl and daughter Lauren Perella; Robyn Conlon with daughters-in-law Lizzie Conlon, Marybeth Conlon and Meagan Conlon; Piper’s sister Ginger Sanders Auer and their mom Dixey Thornton; Gene Jones with daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson; Lisa Cooley with daughter Ciara Cooley and daughter-in-law-to-be Bela Pietrovic; Vicki Chapman and daughter Lauren Chapman; Vicki Howland with daughter Elisa Summers; Gail Fischer with daughter Elizabeth Fischer; Lydia Novakov and daughter Isabell Novakov; Marilyn Augur with daughters Margaret Hancock and Anne Hardaway; Elaine Agather with daughter Bradley Means and Tucean Webb with Susanne Webb, Julie Webb and Erin Webb)…   Herrera’s daughter Carolina Herrera Baez and Patricia Herrera Lansing, who was celebrating her birthday… Erin Mathews with daughter-in-law Brittany Mathews looking forward to Sundays christening of Erin’s first granddaughter/Brittany Mathews’ first daughter Sutton Mathews.

Christie Carter

Christie Carter

Pam Perella

Pam Perella

Starting the show on the road were the speakers including, Ken, Christie, Pam and NM Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron.

Another editor’s note: Ken’s comments emphasizing that he and Carolina had created the show surprised some. Perhaps it would have been better for such acknowledgment to have been made by Karen.

Jeff then introduced each of the 10 BDs and Betsy.

Anita Arnold

Anita Arnold

Katherine Coker

Katherine Coker

Janie Condon

Janie Condon

Tucker Enthoven

Tucker Enthoven

Heather Esping

Heather Esping

Mary Clare Finney

Mary Clare Finney

Margaret Hancock

Margaret Hancock

Pat Harloe

Pat Harloe

Julie Hawes

Julie Hawes

Piper Wyatt

Piper Wyatt

Betsy Sowell

Betsy Sowell

Unlike years past when the ladies were escorted up and down the runway only to disappear backstage, this year the ladies and their escorts walked to the end of the runway and stepped down to the floor and stood in a line in front of the photographers and NM staffers standing against the back wall.

Following Betsy’s walk and as the ladies were escorted to their tables, NM President/CEO Karen Katz welcomed the guests and suggested they snap photos on their cellphones of items on the runway that could be shown to the NM staff for immediate consideration. She also encouraged guests to post their votes on their favorite outfits and that she would be checking for which ones got the top votes.

Karen reported that earlier in the week NM had turned 109 and despite with stores throughout the country and shipping to more than 100 countries, “our heritage, our home and our heart is [sic] right here at the corner of Main and Ervay. We’ve seen a lot come and go in downtown Dallas over the years, but we are here to stay.”

Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

She then presented the NM Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion for 2016 to Carolina. The 500 guests presented the designer with a standing ovation. Her acceptance remarks were eloquent but brief recalling how the late Stanley Marcus “was a fabulous man” and “how he believed in me from the beginning.” She then tipped her hat to Karen, Ken and NM Chief Merchandising Officer Jim Gold for carrying on the NM tradition. Carolina also thanked CCB for including her in the event that does so much for children.

Ken Downing, Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

Ken Downing, Carolina Herrera and Karen Katz

Taking the award, she disappeared with Ken and Karen backstage.

Carolina Herrera 2016 Resort Collection

Carolina Herrera 2016 Resort Collection

Carolina Herrera bridal gown

Carolina Herrera bridal gown

Quickly the podium was removed for the presentation of nearly 90 pieces from the Carolina Herrera Resort 2016 collection including faux butterflies floating from the ceiling over the stage and a bridal gown with a cut-out back bodice for the finale. And cellphones sprouted throughout the room snapping away.

There are a heck of a lot of other photos (more than 70) at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery, if you’re interested.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: CIS Soiree For Students

According to the “CIS Soiree for Students” Honorary Co-Chairs Katherine and Key Coker,

Key and Katherine Coker with CISDR students*

Key and Katherine Coker with CISDR students*

“When our friend asked us to be the honorary co-chairs of the ‘CIS Soiree for Students,’ we were thrilled to support Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) because it helps at-risk students reach their full potential. Key is a big advocate of CISDR having supported the organization through his work as the Dallas CEO at BBVA Compass.

“Thousands of Dallas-area students attend school with the goal to learn, develop and thrive, but unfortunately, 74 percent of these children are struggling with those simple things. Since 1985, CISDR has led an integral intervention on select school campuses, with trained CISDR staff accessible to students every day. This service is provided at no cost to parents with programs that offer individualized tutoring, counseling, truancy diversion, parenting education, socialization and college/career preparation. At the close of the 2014-15 school year, 9,182 children had received support on their campuses, with 90 percent improving in academics and 91 percent of eligible seniors graduating.

“As our kids are getting ready to go back to school this August, the ‘CIS Soiree for Students’ will be there to improve educational equality for all children in our community. This year’s event is on Saturday, August 27, and it will include an elegant dinner and live and silent auctions with exciting musical entertainment—all in the magical setting of Dallas’ own Texas Discovery Gardens and the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House.

“The ‘Soiree’ is made possible in part by Presenting Sponsor Alon USA, Malachite Sponsors DFW NCDA and Lewis Public Relations, Chrysalis Sponsors Serena Simmons Connelly and Turner Construction and Benefactors Cherrise and Fredrik Cederqvist and the Clampitt Foundation. Media Sponsors include PaperCity and Park Cities News and the Waters Family. The chair is Maggie Cooke Kipp and the auction co-chairs are Sara and Bill Woodall. We are grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, and we welcome additional sponsors and partners.

“Please join us and other members of the community in making a difference in the lives of Dallas-area students. Individual tickets are available at $175 each, with ‘Premier Pairs’ of benefactor tickets available for $450 and sponsorships starting at $2,500. With your help, we can ensure a successful new school year for thousands of at-risk kids in our community.”

* Photo provided by Communities in Schools of Dallas Region

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

Despite A Premature Release Of The Crystal Charity Ball’s 10 Best Dressed And Hall Of Famer, The Reveal Presentation Went On

Things weren’t looking all that cheery on Wednesday, March 30. Clouds and sprinkles were ruining the car washing of the past weekend, but still the Crystal Charity Ball members found their way to Neiman Marcus Downtown for the official announcement of the CCB 10 Best Dressed and the Hall of Fame honoree.

But in addition to the dreary wet stuff, this year there was a slight hiccup in the announcement. Always before there had been an embargo on the release of the names until right after the official presentation on the second floor of the legendary flagship story. But this year an eager beaver in the NM PR department cut a deal the Friday before to have it printed in the local daily paper the morning of the event. With that development, the embargo was busted and all bets were off.

Still, that premature reveal didn’t stop the gathering of CCB-ers. The 10 BD-ers plus HoF Honoree (except for three) arrived at 9:30 a.m. for a dress rehearsal and to chill in the back rooms of the bridal salon. While some had their makeup refreshed by Lenore, others had stopped by their personal makeup artists for touch ups.

Starting around 10 a.m., the rest of the guests pulled into the NM parking lot, where the mega fashion tent would be erected for the Friday, September 16, fashion show and luncheon, and made their way to the salon, where a nifty white Valentino lace-bib blouse can be snapped up for just a smidge under $2,500. The top stop was the display of Carolina Herrera fashions in the “Glass House.” And what a display it was! From fragile organza skirts to 3D jasmine embroidered evening gowns, there was a Herrera creation for every occasion and client.

Pam Perella, Caren Kline and Christie Carter

Pam Perella, Caren Kline and Christie Carter

And this crowd truly appreciated the items on the racks. They were pretty much dressed to the nines themselves. From the Louboutins on their pedicured feet to the spring colored dresses like CCB Chair Christie Carter’s turquoise-blue Herrera dress, they were a fashion show themselves.

Speaking of CCB chair, the most relaxed within the group of guests were the past CCB chairs (Robyn Conlon, Caren Kline and Michal Powell). Robyn was wearing makeup for the first time in a while. The reason? Allergies that made the very idea of eye makeup a runny one. Caren was in a white leather dress that her fashion-loving sister Dale Pinto had picked out for her. Michal was all smiles reporting that she was preparing for the presentation of checks from her December CCB fundraiser.

Robyn Conlon and Clare Emanuelson

Robyn Conlon and Clare Emanuelson

As time neared for the presentation on a two-tier stage located at the opposite end of the floor, chairs were already set up with the front row of seats neatly reserved for the BD-ers and HoF thanks to nearly printed placecards. Just before 11 a female voice asked the guests to take their seats. No need for a reminder announcement. This crowd is totally housebroken and took their places.

Opening the program was NM Executive VP Neva Hall, who told that not only would the September fashion show’s featured designer Carolina Herrera attend the event, but members of her family would also be on hand. The reason for the extra oomph was the fact that Carolina would also be presented the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award that was established by the late Stanley Marcus and his aunt, the late Carrie Marcus Neiman back in 1938. One gal whispered, “I would have thought Herrera had received it ages ago.”

Neva Hall, Jeff Byron and Marjon Henderson

Neva Hall, Jeff Byron and Marjon Henderson

History note: Stanley always attributed the success of Neiman’s early fashion leadership to his aunt, who was one of the store’s founders and believed that NM “would contribute to the growth, welfare and culture of Dallas.”

Then Neva introduced Christie, who was followed by CCB Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Pam Perella. Both thanked NM for their ongoing support of the organization.

It was now time for NM Downtown GM/VP to take over and introduce the ladies of the day including first timers Anita Arnold, Tucker Enthoven and Piper Wyatt plus BD returnees Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe and Hall of Famer Betsy Sowell. Only one missing was Julie Hawes, who was out of town.

Jane Condon, Piper Wyatt, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Tucker Enthoven, Betsy Sowell, Anita Arnold, Heather Esping, Pat Harloe and Katherine Coker

Jane Condon, Piper Wyatt, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Tucker Enthoven, Betsy Sowell, Anita Arnold, Heather Esping, Pat Harloe and Katherine Coker

Julie Hawes (File photo)

Julie Hawes (File photo)

Immediately after Betsy took her seat on the front row, the presentation transitioned into the staging of various group photos and the presentation of large NM gift boxes to the BD-er, Betsy, Christie and Pam. What was inside? The coffee table book, “Carolina Herrera: Portrait of a Fashion Icon” by Alexandra Kotur with a personal note from the future NM Fashion Awardee.

Tickets for the event that will feature Herrera’s resort collection will be made available in mid-April and will probably be GWTW within days.

For more photos from the event, please check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed And Hall Of Fame Announcement Reception

The Crystal Charity Ball’s 2016 Ten Best Dressed were revealed plus the Hall of Famer at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Wednesday, March 30. Despite the drippy weather outside, everything was bright and shiny inside.

Jane Condon, Piper Wyatt, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Tucker Enthoven, Betsy Sowell, Anita Arnold, Heather Esping, Pat Harloe and Katherine Coker

Jane Condon, Piper Wyatt, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Tucker Enthoven, Betsy Sowell, Anita Arnold, Heather Esping, Pat Harloe and Katherine Coker

Pam Perella, Caren Kline and Christie Carter

Pam Perella, Caren Kline and Christie Carter

But before the presentation, there was a whole lot of checking out of clothes, especially Carolina Herrera items in preparation of the designer’s resort collection slated to be on the runway on Friday, September 16, in the big old tent adjacent to NM’s flagship store.

While the post is being prepped, check out the 10 BD’s and HoF at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Sneak Peak: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Plus Hall Of Fame Honoree To Be Announced

Later this morning the announcement of the Crystal Charity Ball’s 10 best dressed will be made. Why wait? Here’s the rollout of the 2016 class of BD-ers: Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes and Piper Wyatt.

Anita Arnold (File photo)

Anita Arnold (File photo)

Katherine Coke (File photo)

Katherine Coker (File photo)

Janie Condon (File photo)

Janie Condon (File photo)

Tucker Enthoven (File photo)

Tucker Enthoven (File photo)

Heather Esping (File photo)

Heather Esping (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Margaret Hancock (File photo)

Margaret Hancock (File photo)

Pat Harloe (FIle photo)

Pat Harloe (FIle photo)

Julie Hawes (File photo)

Julie Hawes (File photo)

Piper Wyatt (File photo)

Piper Wyatt (File photo)

The 2016 Hall of Fame Honoree will be Betsy Sowell.

Betsy Sowell (File photo)

Betsy Sowell (File photo)

Pam Perella (File photo)

Pam Perella (File photo)

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

The ladies will be presented in the Brigadoon-like tent adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown on Friday, September 16. Tickets won’t be available until mid-April, but, according to Luncheon Chair Pam Perella, sponsorships are already in high gear. And why not? After all, the featured designer will be petite Carolina Hererra, with the lady in attendance. And then there are the added perks including such things as a seated dinner sponsored by Comerica Bank for the Platinum Circle donors, plus a Fashion Show Platinum Patrons cocktail buffet sponsored by J.P. Morgan on the eve of the show.