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.

JUST IN: Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron Has Retired

Jeff Byron (File photo)

Gee, whiz! Talk about starting the week with more boo-hoo news. It seems that Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron’s last day was Thursday.

After being in the luxury retailing industry for nearly 40 years, the mustachioed baby boomer decided to retire. Despite reach-outs for confirmation that he’s burned his Brioni suits and Zegna ties and headed to some Caribbean island, he is staying put in  North Texas.

During his four years at the downtown store, he “enjoyed the privilege of working with so many great people both at Neiman’s and within the community,” and admitted that he “will miss interacting with all on a regular basis.”

Regarding his involvement with the area’s non-profits, Jeff revealed that his three-year term on the Equest board had ended, but he still plans to continue volunteering for various North Texas charities…that is, when he’s not enjoying the landscape at his lake house.

Hopefully, Jeff’s replacement will be on hand for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon hoop-la with cutie pie Zac Posen’s fashion brightening up the runway on Friday, September 15, at the flagship store.

Surrounded By French Fashions, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Committee Learned About Wylie Sale And Style Show’s Honorary Chair

With French designer Roland Mouret holding court in the Glass House of Neiman Marcus Downtown, the Equest Women’s Auxiliary committee members like Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, Elsa Norwood, Linda Secrest, Di Johnston and Stacey Walker, were being hosted by NM Downtown VP Jeff Byron for lunch on Thursday, May 18.

Roland Mouret fashion

Roland Mouret fashion

As models floated around the tables, Roland didn’t mind taking a purse from a couple of models and setting them aside until he spotted another walking mannequin whose look was ramped up with the addition of one of the errant purses.

Roland Mouret

Andy Steingasser

The big news of the day was Equest CEO Lili Kellogg’s reporting that the original Equest home base in Wylie had been sold thanks to Equest Board Chair Andy Steingasser, who also negotiated the cash deal and donated his commission to Equest.

According to Lili, the Equest program would be based at Texas Horse Park, where they could focus all their energies on established programs and expand to include partnerships with Paul Quinn College, the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Independent School District.

Lili Kellogg, Beth Thoele, Jeff Byron and Angie Kadesky

In the meantime, she reported that the staff was busy making the move out of Wylie with a deadline of Thursday, June 1.

Regarding the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show on Tuesday, October 3, at Brook Hollow, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele revealed that Robyn Conlon would be serving at the honorary chair.  

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.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball’s 2017 Ten Best Dressed Announcement

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

Traditionally, the big news at the Crystal Charity Ball’s announcement of the “Ten Best Dressed” is the just who the 10 plus the Hall of Fame honoree and featured designer are. But this year’s reveal on Wednesday, April 12, also provided news about the decamping of the tented parking lot adjacent to Neiman Marcus’ flagship store.

Christi Urschel, Jeff Byron and Pam Perella

The post is being completed, but in the meantime there are photos of the 10 BD and HoF-er at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Tickets Are Now Available For 2017 Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show Luncheon With Designer Zac Posen At Neiman Marcus Downtown

If you had your heart set on attending the Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show featuring Zac Posen and his collection on Friday, September 15, at Neiman Marcus Downtown, better check with your cardiologist. The tickets are going fast and furious. But take heart. CCB Chair Pam Perella and Luncheon Chair Christi Urschel have just made table sales available.

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

This year’s event will return to the NM flagship with returning 10 BD-ers Anita Arnold, Janie Condon, Katherine Coker, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Piper Wyatt and newbies Delilah Boyd, Lisa Cooley and Amy Hegi plus Hall of Fame Honoree Charlotte Jones Anderson. Thanks to the move indoors, there are more seats available.

But better hustle and get your pals together for a nice table. The luncheon is usually a done deal before folks check out for the summer.  

PS  — Did you notice Zac on the Met Gala‘s red carpet Monday night with  Katie Holmes and Amy Schumer

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.

JUST IN: Zac Posen To Present His Collection At The Crystal Charity Ball 2017 Ten Best Dressed Women Of Dallas Fashion Show and Luncheon

One of Dallas’ favorite designers will have his collection on the runway for  The Crystal Charity Ball’s 2017 Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas Fashion Show and Luncheon on Friday, September 15. It will none other than that cutie pie Zac Posen!

Zac Posen*

Christi Urschel (File photo)

According to Fashion Show Chair Christi Urschel, “Everyone is thrilled to have Zac Posen’s collection featured at this year’s event. We are honored that he will be joining us for this very special day.”

And what a special day it will be. Instead of pitching the mega-tent in the adjacent parking lot, Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron is going to have the CCB fundraiser back in the NM flagship. The Fashion Show will take place on the second floor followed by a seated luncheon on the store’s fourth floor.

Jeff Byron (File photo)

Pam Perella (File photo)

2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella commented, “The generous support of Neiman Marcus allows all proceeds from the event to support children served by the 2017 beneficiaries. We are most grateful to Neiman Marcus for planning such an exciting fashion show and luncheon.”

In addition to the Fashion Show, the annual presentation of the Ten Best Dressed and Hall of Fame honoree will take place. And just who will make up the 10 BD and the Hall of Famer? That reveal will be made at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 12, “at a reception and preview of the Zac Posen Resort 2017 Collection at the downtown store.”

Before you start writing that check or calling to reserve your spot, stop! Tickets and sponsorships won’t be available until late April.

However, it would be wise to save your coins now for a sweet sponsorship, since there are some delicious perks that go with ‘em. For instance, Comerica will host a seated dinner at the Dallas County Club on Tuesday, September 5, for Platinum Level Patrons. And for Fashion Show Patrons, there will be a cocktail buffet sponsored by JP Morgan the night before the Fashion Show at Shirley and Bill McIntyre’s fabulous Bluffview estate with Zac in attendance.

Thanks to the Fashion Show and The 2017 Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 2, at the Hilton Anatole, the following children’s nonprofits will benefit: Autism Treatment Center Inc., Big Brothers and Big Sisters Lone Star, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days and Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy.

* Photo provided by The Crystal Charity Ball

Change Of Plans For Stiletto Strut Slated To Benefit Community Partners Of Dallas

Remember back  in April 2014 when Community Partners of Dallas’ Paige McDaniel pulled out a couple of gorgeous stilettos from a gift box at the annual Chick Lit Luncheon? The reason was the announcement that CPD would be the recipient of the 2015 Stiletto Strut at NM Downtown. The response to the announcement was cheers. And, of course, everyone want those heels.

Jennifer Morris and Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Jennifer Morris and Paige McDaniel (File photo)

However, the 2015 Strut had to be put off due to construction on the street and other issues. Now, with CPD in the middle of its big push to complete funding for the new facilities, there just ain’t time to wedge in the Strut.

And besides the downtown traffic is so bumper-to-bumper, the days of stiletto strutting may have marched into the sunset.

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.

Oops Alert!: Local Monthly Publication Suffers Awkward Boo-Boo In Publishing 2016 Crystal Charity Ball “Ten Best Dressed”

Some of the best things end up on the cutting room floor. For instance, Kevin Costner’s speaking role as Alex Marshall in the flashback scenes in “The Big Chill” didn’t make it to the big screen. Johnny Depp’s performance in “Platoon,” Charlie Chaplin in the “Keystone Cops,” and John Lithgow’s super-agent Harry Zell in “L.A. Story” all suffered the same fate.

Whatever the reason, directors lived to regret the elimination of such talented types.

So, folks at a local newspaper are wringing their hands about their recent publishing of Crystal Charity Ball‘s “Ten Best Dressed.” It seems that in their September issue, in which they printed Q&As with the 2016 crop, they had an “oopsie.” They left out one of the 10 and ironically it was the one who dutifully followed instructions, filled out the questionnaire and promptly returned it.

While her absence from the article was in all probability not intentional, it was awkward and unfortunate at best.

Pat Harloe (File photo)

Pat Harloe (File photo)

Oh, you’re wondering: Which one was MIA? None other than one of everybody’s favs, the adorably diminutive Pat Harloe.

Unbeknownst to Pat, the MySweetCharity crew managed to get a copy of her questionnaire and present it here for your consideration:

  • Tell us about your family — “I am married to John (an investment manager), and we have five adult children — ages 30 to 37 — with careers running the gamut:  law, medicine, design, marketing and sales — and all living east coast to west coast and in between –“
  • List three community/charitable/civic activities in which you are currently involved or you currently support (with a sentence or two about the cause) — “(a)  TexProtects — past event chair and current supporter; TexProtects’ mission is to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect through research, education and advocacy. (b)  One Heart Project — current supporter; One Heart Project’s mission is to mentor incarcerated and at-risk youth, ages 13 to 17, in six Texas counties so that they have a positive re-entry into their community (c)  And, of course — my heart — Crystal Charity Ball — active member and life supporter.”
  • What is your current support/involvement in the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball? — “I am working hard in three areas:  Underwriting, Children’s Book, and Silent Auction/Special Gifts (my favorite — love bringing in top hotels and resorts).”
  • What is your educational background? — “Greenbrier College for Women and Southern Methodist University.”
  • What is your current/previous career or work history? — “Always sales and marketing:  up until five years ago, residential and high rise real estate; prior to that, high-end 19th and 20th century art.”
  • Please complete this sentence: My favorite thing about the Crystal Charity Ball is … — “Hands down, the impact we have with at-risk children’s lives.  Sitting through long days of Charity Selection, there are times when there is not a dry eye in the room, and we wish we could fund every candidate put before us.  In the end, it is all about giving every child a shot at a better life …”
  • My favorite fashion icon is — “Coco Chanel — who could not resist a woman who embodied humor, grand gestures and drama all at the same time?”
Carolina Herrera (File photo)

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

And, don’t go worrying about the Friday, September 16th presentation at Neiman Marcus Downtown. Pat will be there along with the other nine BD-ers (Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Julie Hawes and Piper Wyatt), Hall of Famer Betsy Sowell and legendary designer Carolina Herrera, who will receive the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award.

If you already have your ticket to the ultra-sold-out fundraiser, we’ll see you there. If not, we’ll see you here following the fashion fest!

Annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Committee Luncheon Enjoyed The Fashion And Foodie Perks Of Neiman Marcus Downtown

Unlike the Crystal Charity Ball newbie luncheon in the Neiman Marcus Downtown’s Zodiac Room on Wednesday, May 11, the Equest Women’s Auxiliary committee on Wednesday, May 11, was a tale of a different story.  A model made the rounds in furs and even a crocodile coat ($1,500+). And then there were the popovers, plus the chick broth opener. Well, gee whiz, can life get any better?

After a personal greeting from NM DT GM Jeff Byron, who got hooked on Equest when he took over the flagship store three years ago, and a welcome by Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Di Johnston and Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg, it was time to sip the broth and dine.

Di Johnston

Di Johnston

Nancy Carter and Michaela Dyer

Nancy Carter and Michaela Dyer

Kim Miller and Angie Kadesky

Kim Miller and Angie Kadesky

So, what was the table talk? At one end of the rectangular table was Nancy Carter, incoming Equest Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Tiffany Divis and Melissa Macatee commiserating over the past season. Nancy was talking about the progress of her company’s latest hotel projects in North Texas, Austin and Houston… Angie was wearing a vintage Emilio Puccini dress… Tiffany was glowing about daughter Monet Ball’s returning to Dallas with husband George Ball and the arrival of their baby in August.

And, yes, there was talk about the Auxiliary’s fall fundraiser that will take place on Tuesday, October 4, at Brook Hollow Golf Club. Event Chair Kara Axley has not only arranged for Highland Park Village to provide the fashions on the runway, but to have Lezlie and Bill Noble as the honorary co-chairs and for the 2016 Equest Award for Community Service award to be presented to Lindalyn Adams.

Neiman Marcus Downtown’s Crawl Tubes Have Found A New Home-Sweet-Home With Spark!

Believe it or not, North Texas is heading warp speed from this week’s wet and humid conditions to next week’s dry and summer heat. To better survive this transition, how about a thought of cooler times? For instance, remember back in 2013 when Neiman Marcus Downtown’s windows were a holiday showcase with crawl tubes for munchkins to explore, while people on the sidewalk watched the fun?

Spark!*

Spark!*

Say, what happened to the tubes? Did they end up in a dump? Heavens, no! That’s not the NM way of handling such marvels. Checked with NM Director of Charitable Giving Kevin Hurst about the tubes’ whereabouts. And, of course, he immediately had the answer: “When the tubes ‘retired’ in 2013 they went to a great home. I am happy to say they have been completely transformed and re-purposed and are bringing joy to a whole new set of kiddos at Spark! They literally used everything that was donated, but completely re-purposed and added to it. The tubes now extend 30 feet into the air. They built cool stairs and slides (even has a dragon head). It is quite the experience for both little kids and big kids (that act like little kids).”

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

So, what is Spark? A new theme park? No! Spark! is a year-old non-profit that “provides children from second grade to high school with a fully immersive creative environment and hands-on learning that develops their self-definition as creative individuals. Strategically located in the sub-basement of the historic South Side on Lamar building near a large population of low-income families, Spark! provides a fully immersive learning environment, layering a myriad of creative disciplines to spark the imagination, expand the mind, and engage the body. Through an endless roster of workshops and pop-up activities, students exercise their creativity and learn from creative experts, innovators, and artists.”

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

According to Spark! President/CEO Bev Davis, “In 2015 [we] engaged with 13 different schools and have already worked with more than 40 institutions to date. To celebrate serving 1,775 children in the first seven months of operation, Spark! announced that the facility would be open to the public every Saturday starting in June. In 2016, Spark! will aim to serve more than 5,000 students. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 in advance.”

In addition to pop-up activities like Giant Light Bright, Recycled Art, Chalk Art, Poetry Magnets and percussion, June’s Spark! Saturdays provide a 6,000-foot Climb, Crawl, Slide Sculpture that looks suspiciously like some NM crawl tubes.

* Graphic and photo courtesy of Spark!

Sold-Out Alert!: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show And Luncheon

It’s official. The Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon is sold out. Actually, it was practically a done deal a couple days after tickets went on sale. To make the cut, some gals hand-delivered their checks to the CCB offices.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball's Ten Best Dressed and Hall of Fame (File photo)

2016 Crystal Charity Ball’s Ten Best Dressed and Hall of Fame (File photo)

But CCB Chair Christie Carter and Luncheon Chair Pam Perella wanted to make sure that all the contracts were signed before making the announcement.

The Friday, September 16, fundraiser in the glamourama tent adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown is gonna be a lovefest for Carolina Hererra fans with the petite Venezuelan on hand. While in town, she’ll also be presented the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Frosh Class Of Members Were Honored At Luncheon In The Zodiac Room

Unlike freshmen, the Crystal Charity Ball newbies don’t have to go through all types of tests and teases. Instead they’re treated a bit like Princess Charlotte as they learn the organization’s fine art of fundraising. One of the perks is a lunch, where they get to meet and break bread with the upperclass(wo)men. This year, unlike others, it was held at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Monday, April 18.

Surprise! For the early arrival types, they checked their cars at the parking area adjacent to the flagship store. Alas, pity those who were tardy. After waiting a minute or two or three or five, they were waved off being told the lot was full.

After word was passed on by the rejected ones, NM Downtown VP Jeff Byron corrected that situation. According to insiders, the problem was due to NM staffers now officing in the store who parked their wheels in the lot.

Katherine Coker, Cheryl Joyner and Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

Katherine Coker, Cheryl Joyner and Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

(Shades of yesteryear, when there was a hyphen between Neiman and Marcus and the parking lot had been verboten for any but customers. Oh, well, those were the days when there were actual signs of the zodiac on the walls of the restaurant, gents had to wear jackets to dine and models visited tables showing new items for purchase.)

Muffin Lemak

Muffin Lemak

Layne Pitzer and Louise Griffeth

Layne Pitzer and Louise Griffeth

But back to the day’s events. As the ladies gathered, unofficial news filled the room. Amy Hegi and newbie Libby Hegi were still receiving kudos on their co-chairing the Interfaith Auxiliary Luncheon… Newbie Lisa Cooley was just days away from co-chairing the Children’s Cancer Fund’s first night-time gala…Muffin Lemak was looking great despite a battle with shingles in her eye, even though she’d had the shingles vaccination…Tiffany Divis was being asked about the past weekend party at the Bush Center hosted by Laura and George W. for their past staffers…Paige Slates and other moms were comparing notes about kids’ summer camps and trunks being personalized by Camille’s Creations….Sporting a new haircut, Louise Griffeth was back in town after spending months in Houston with husband Guy Griffeth.

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley

Debbie Oates and Alison Malone

Debbie Oates and Alison Malone

Soon, the gals took their seats and Jeff introduced CCB Chair Christie Carter, who asked “den mothers” Heather Esping and Kim Miller to introduce the newest CCB members (Lisa Cooley, Michaela Dyer, Libby Hegi, Stacey McCord, Alison Malone and Layne Pitzer).

Marie Dean, Daffan Nettle and April Abney-Lambert

Marie Dean, Daffan Nettle and April Abney-Lambert

Then it was time to chow down. While some were a little surprised that there were no models showing off CCB Fashion Show designer Carolina Herrera’s designs, others were hungry for the legendary NM mouthwatering popovers. Despite requests, only one or two tables got the goodies. Oh, well, guess breaking bread just wasn’t on the agenda.

2016 Celebrating Women Plans Revealed Including Rita Wilson And Diane And Joel Allison Plus Sponsorship Opportunities

The couture salon of Neiman Marcus Downtown looked like a high-price trunk show collection on the morning of Tuesday, April 5, with loads of the fashionable fundraising types checking out the clothes. Actually, they were there for the announcement of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon.

Outside the flagship store, Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Jen Huntsberry waited. It was such a beautiful day compared to a year ago when it was damp and rainy. But Jen wasn’t just taking in the rays. She was waiting for Baylor Scott And White Health COO John McWhorter. This was his first time to attend the annual reveal.

Robin Robinson, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt and John McWhorter

Robin Robinson, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt and John McWhorter

No sooner had John appeared on NM’s second floor than he was being photographed with 2016 Celebrating Women Chair Aileen Pratt, Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson.

Barbara Stuart, Lindalyn Adams, Robin Robinson, Christie Carter, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin, Pam Perella, Carol Seay and Susan McSherry

Barbara Stuart, Lindalyn Adams, Robin Robinson, Christie Carter, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin, Pam Perella, Carol Seay and Susan McSherry

And then he watched as various photo setups took place including all the past luncheon chairs like Nancy Carter, Christie Carter, Barbara Stuart, Susan McSherry, Margo Goodwin, Carol Seay and Pam Perella and Celebrating Women Luncheon Queen Mother Lindalyn Adams.

Rita Wilson*

Rita Wilson*

As deviled eggs made the rounds, the gals and fellas found themselves herded into the Glass House to hear that Tom Hanks’ sweetheart, Rita Wilson, would be the featured speaker on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

As for the honorary co-chairs, this year is gonna be a couple that has been part of the Baylor effort to treat and research breast cancer — Diane and Baylor Scott And White Health President/CEO Joel Allison, who is making his victory lap to his stepping down on February 1, 2017.

Tickets are on sale now, plus all types of sponsorship opportunities. The following sponsorships have already been snapped up: Presenting Sponsor — Tom Thumb, Patron Party — Comerica Bank, VIP Reception — PlainsCapital Bank, Luncheon Invitation — Sidley Austin LLP and Luncheon Program — Allie Beth Allman.

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.

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.

JUST IN: World-Renowned Designer Carolina Herrera’s Bringing Her Collection To 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show And Luncheon

Hot off the FedEx truck, news comes about the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon’s featured designer, whose resort collection will be on the runway at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Friday, September 16.

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

It’s going to be the divine Carolina Herrera and, yes, the diminutive designer will be here in person.

According to 2016 CCB Fashion Show Chair Pam Perella, “We are thrilled that Carolina Herrera will attend the fashion show and luncheon. Her collection is admired and worn by stylish women all over the world.”

Oh, really, Pam! Herrera is the go-to designer for flourish, femininity and fantastic daytime dresses, vacation attire and glamorama gowns.

The elegant 77-year-young Venezuelan attributes her couture creativity to her grandmother, who “took her to Paris to see the Cristobal Balenciaga haute couture show. As she elegantly puts it: “My eye was accustomed to see beautiful things.” Don’t you just wish every little gal had such a granny?

As for the ladies who will make up the Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas, 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter reported that they will be announced on Wednesday, March 30.

This year’s event will be the 42nd fashion fundraiser that “recognizes women with a sense of style who are also deeply committed to community service.”

Want a ticket to the show? Darn it! They won’t be available until mid-May! Start gathering your pals to buy a table for this one. It’s gonna be a memory maker.

Round Robin November 19: Mad Hatter’s Reveal, Art Of Film Patron Party And Vine And Dine

With Thanksgiving just one week away, the evening of Thursday, November 19, seemed like a Republican debate with all types of fundraising activities vying for attention. And, boy, did they get it!

The Lee Park Junior Conservancy was doing a very happy hour for the young professional crowd at Texas Ale Project on N. Riverfront. A percentage of sales was going to the group’s support for “the care and conservation of Lee Park and Arlington Hall.”

Mad Hatter’s Tea Reveal

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

And speaking of care and conservation, the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum was filling Tootsie’s to sip champagne and more importantly to learn 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White’s plans for the Thursday, April 21st fundraiser.

Connie Carreker hat

Connie Carreker hat

First off, the honorary chair should have been nobody’s surprise — Connie Carreker. And already living up to honorary responsibilities, Connie was wearing a hat that promoted the event reading, “Wish You Were Here” on the white sunhat brim.

With typical sparkling personality, Jocie revealed the theme for the event at the Arboretum would be “Steel Magnolias” with fashions on the runway in Rosine Hall from Tootsie’s and produced by Jan Strimple. Well, duh!

Tootsies fashions

Tootsies fashions

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

But she wasn’t finished. Unveiling the logo by Houston illustrator Rongrong Devoe for the heady affair, she announced that Linda Spina would be in charge of the judges, who would include Gary Riggs; “floral engineer” Shane Walker would be creating the luncheon centerpieces and Patricia Armstrong would be chairing underwriting.

With the announcement of the theme, smoke was seen arising from the heads of Women’s Council President Reneé Farren, Mary Lee Cox and Nancy Labadie on how their chapeaus would vie for prizes in the hat competition. The clock is ticking. Get those designs going.

The Art Of Film Patron Party

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy Jr.’s love of the late artist Andy Warhol was obvious to all as they entered the Levy home. In the entry of their Highland Park residence were the Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao.

Was this interest new? No, according to Lester, who’s also a photographer, he started collecting art when he was in his 20s.

And exactly what was the connection between the Levys’ Warhols and their hosting The Art of Film patron party the night before the Dallas Film Society’s fundraiser? Simple. The dinner and conversation with featured actress Isabella Rossellini would be taking place at The Space, where an incredible collection of Warhol drawings and photos would serve as a backdrop for the film lovers.

Seems so right, since Isabella was one of the late artist’s muses and friends.

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

In the crowd was Honorary Co-Chair Stan Levenson telling Art of Film Co-Chair Stacy Girard and Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert that wife/Co-Chair Barbara Levenson was under the weather, but she would definitely be showing up the next night fit as a fiddle.

Vine and Dine

At the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas, meantime, about 145 guests gathered for the eighth annual Vine and Dine event benefiting Ability Connection Texas, which provides a range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

The fundraiser, co-chaired this year by Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford, provided the nonprofit group with money to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.”

Now that Margaret has “retired” from her duties at PaperCity, she’s turned her sights to supporting various efforts like Ability Connection Texas in addition to watching son/Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford playing football on Sundays.

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Among those enjoying the festive evening were new Uptown residents DeeDee and Jim Lee (they sold their big old home and decided to downsize and revitalize in the Uptown neighborhood), Debbie and Chuck Wilson, Lynn McBee, Meredith and Jack Woodworth, Kayla Roughton, Inette Brown, Kristin and Quintan Cockerell and Vin Perella with wife Pam Perella, who was receiving congrats on being announced just a couple of days before as the chair for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball.

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Following a cocktail reception on the store’s ground level, the guests moved up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a wonderful dinner prepared by NM Chef Kevin Garvin, complete with wines. Then there was a live auction.

* Graphic provided by the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum 
** Photo credit: Andy Keye + Whitney Photography

Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fundraiser Was A Feast With Oscar De La Renta On The Runway And Beautiful Peeps Ringside

For a second year, the Neiman Marcus Downtown parking lot was transformed into a lavish tented ballroom for the Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Luncheon on Friday, September 18. The annual fundraiser had sold out within two days of tickets going on sale in May. A handful went for $500 and the rest went for $1,000 and $2,000 a head.

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon tent

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon tent

But before the 476 guests took their places in the decked-out digs, a reception was held in the store’s ground level, and none of the 10 best dressed (Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Heather Esping, Julie Hawes, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Margaret Hancock, Pat Harloe, Patty Leyendecker, Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Christi Urschel), Honorary Chair Ruth Altshuler nor Hall of Fame Honoree Sarah Perot were in sight. Where were they? Upstairs being once-overed by NM staffers, and then they took an express elevator to the sixth floor for Nancy Rogers’ champagne toast to the honorees and friends in the Michael Flores Salon.

Pat Harloe

Pat Harloe

Annika Cail

Annika Cail

Tucker Enthoven

Tucker Enthoven

Serving up champagne

Serving up champagne

Once again the Salon’s entry was a season upstager. While last year the entrance was a voluptuous cascade of flowers, this year it was an even grander bouquet, but with a splash of giggles. As guests approached the salon, they were astounded by the towering walls of multi-color hydrangeas and orchids on either side of the entrance. As their heads shook from side to side at the floral masterpiece, the guests stopped dead in their stilettoed tracks and pointed in delight at hands poking out of the walls with flutes of champagne. Talk about the photo backdrop of the year for gals like Patsy Donosky, Nancy Ross, Tucker Enthoven, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyatt, Tanya Foster, Caren Kline, Nancy Carter, Shelle Sills, Mary Black and Annika Cail. Even Lady Rogers couldn’t resist cellphotoing buds Olivia Kearny and Leisa Street accepting their morning wake-me-up beverage. Dwight Emanuelson rushed into the salon so fast he hardly noticed the hands beckoning with flutes. And, no, these weren’t mechanical hands. A couple of servers stood tirelessly on the other side of the wall serving up the bubbly.

Nancy Rogers, Leisa Street and Olivia Kearney

Nancy Rogers, Leisa Street and Olivia Kearney

Nancy Rogers cellphotoing Olivia Kearney and Leisa Street

Nancy Rogers cellphotoing Olivia Kearney and Leisa Street

Ruth graciously posed against the bouquet bonanza but took a pass on the champagne and opted for a glass of orange juice. The 91-year-young admitted that it had been ages since she had strolled the catwalk and thought the OJ would be a better choice.

On the side a member of the Gro Floral & Event Design was asked what would happen to the walls after the reception was over. She replied that the frames of flowers would be disassembled and taken back to their workshop. BTW, Gro is also designing the look of the Thursday, November 12th ReuNight that Nancy is co-chairing with Robert Weatherly at Oak for The Family Place. Hmm, can’t wait to see what they come up with on that night!

Promptly at 11, the sixth-floor festivities were minus the 10 Best Dressed, Ruth and Luncheon Chair Mary Clare Finney, who headed to the second floor Couture Salon to join Sarah for a “class picture” with Oscar de la Renta designer Peter Copping. While waiting for the entire group to gather, grandmum Marilyn Augur, mum Margaret Hancock and daughter Mary Margaret Hancock posed for a three-generation photo. The Augur clan wasn’t the only mum-daughter present. NM Exec Wanda Gierhart arrived on the scene with her 12-year-old daughter Celese.

Wanda Gierhart and Celese Gierhart

Wanda Gierhart and Celese Gierhart

Mary Margaret Hancock, Margaret Hancock and Marilyn Augur

Mary Margaret Hancock, Margaret Hancock and Marilyn Augur

After a couple or three head counts all were present except for CCB Chair Michal Powell. With a schedule to keep, the decision was made to go ahead with the photo and head to the tent’s backstage, while the rest of the guests took their assigned places in the mammoth tent with blue and white patterns moving on the side walls and the front of the room in pure white except for the Oscar logo displayed, not too big, not too small, just right on both sides of the stage.

From the left: (Front row) Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Pat Harloe, Sarah Perot, Ruth Altshuler, Janie Condon and Heather Esping; (Back row) Margaret Hancock, Francie Moody Halhberg, Peter Copping, Patty Leyendecker, Julies Hawes, Katherine Coker and Mary Clare Finney

From the left: (Front row) Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Pat Harloe, Sarah Perot, Ruth Altshuler, Janie Condon and Heather Esping; (Back row) Margaret Hancock, Francie Moody Halhberg, Peter Copping, Patty Leyendecker, Julies Hawes, Katherine Coker and Mary Clare Finney

As for the crowd filling every seat, it was pretty darn knock-out itself. NM CEO Karen Katz chatted with the late Oscar de la Renta’s stepdaughter Eliza Bolen and her husband Alex Bolen, who is CEO of Oscar de la Renta…Realtors Erin Mathews, daughter-in-law Brittany Mathews and Ellen Terry; just back from Africa trekking D’Andra Simmons; Barbara Daseke, who is chairing TACA Custom Gala Auction, the “Creep” dinner and Art In Bloom; 10 Bestie husbands Ross Perot Jr., Kevin Dalhberg and David Donosky, who admitted that he thought wife Janie “looked hot” in her red Oscar outfit; Fort Worth’s Mercedes Bass was with banker Elaine Agather; NM’s Jim Gold discussed business with Peter Copping.

Arriving with her Secret Service entourage, former First Lady Laura Bush joined her gal pals at a front row table on the “50-yard line” of the runway that included Lee Ann White, Nancy Dedman, Kelli Ford, Joan Schnitzer Levy and a glowing Annette Simmons. On the other side of the runway were Nancy’s tablemates including Gina Betts, Michael Flores and the other beautiful peeps.

Kelli Ford

Kelli Ford

Annette Simmons

Annette Simmons

Laura Bush and Debbie Francis

Laura Bush and Debbie Francis

Once the lights dimmed, NM Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron welcomed the hundreds and introduced Karen Katz, Michal Powell and Mary Clare Finney. Then Jeff returned to the podium announcing the 10 Besties along with their contributions to the community. Of course, they were all in Oscar designs and escorted by gorgeous male models. Following the 10, Sarah was presented and she was followed by Ruth, who was greeted by a standing ovation. In typical Ruth fashion, she waved the crowd down and they didn’t obey continuing to stand applauding.

Ruth Altshuler

Ruth Altshuler

As outside traffic could be heard, the parade of Oscar resort collection was on the runway followed by lunch.

As one guest smiled over lunch, “I bet you’ll see a lot of Oscar at the ball.”

For more photos including the Ten Best Dressed and Oscar de la Renta fashions, go to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2015 TACA Custom Auction Package #10 — Laugh, Lunch And Shop The Legendary

With the 2015 TACA Custom Auction Gala just days away, it’s time for the countdown of the TACA Custom Auction Packages. This year’s collection of 10 includes all types of trips, amazing activities and dreamy delights benefiting TACA on Friday, September 25, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

To lead off the roll call is one that will thrill the person who loves being the leader of the fashionable pack and wants to compare notes with the world’s finest authority on what’s going to hot and what’s not.

Laugh, Lunch And Shop The Legendary* (Value: Priceless)

Ken Downing***

Ken Downing***

There is a rumor afloat that Neiman Marcus’ VP and Fashion Director Ken Downing has a crystal ball or tea leaves to predict fashions-to-come. Perhaps. The fact is that he doesn’t just stay way far ahead of tomorrow’s trends, he sets the pace for the international fashionistas to chase. That’s why Neiman’s has continued its legendary position as the fashion arbiter throughout the world.

Just imagine picking Ken’s brain for what is on the lifestyle horizon. What colors are going to be picks-of-the-litter? Which ones need to be tossed? Are skirts in or out? Where should hem lengths be? Who is the under-the-radar designer that is going to set Fashion Week fans spinning?

But the winner of this package won’t have to imagine at all. S/he and three friends will have a one-on-one champagne lunch** at the Neiman Marcus Downtown store’s Zodiac with Mr. Downing. Afterward, instead of taking a nap, the four of you will “get the Star Treatment,” complete with a beauty makeover giving you the model look he loves most from the runways of the world.”

* Package courtesy of Neiman Marcus Downtown 
** Date to be mutually agreed upon. 
*** Photo provided by TACA

Piper And Mike Wyatt Left Rays Behind To Set Their Sights On Vine And Dine Fundraiser For Ability Connection Texas

Mike and Piper Wyatt (File photo)

Mike and Piper Wyatt (File photo)

Piper and Mike Wyatt just returned from Hawaii before the storms hit, and they’re all full of tales about nighttime snorkeling on the Big Island checking out the giant Manta Rays. Leave it to Piper to describe the underwater flappers as “gorgeous and graceful creatures… it was like watching an underwater ballet.”

But now the Wyatts are turning from Rays to fundraising for Ability Connection Texas. Yup, they’re co-chairing the Vine and Dine at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Thursday, November 19. The fundraiser will provide Ability Connection Texas with funds to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.

You remember November. It’s that month when there’s enough of a chill to party without “unwanted glistening” and the holidays are kicking into full gear.

Kevin Garvin (File photo)

Kevin Garvin (File photo)

Back to Vine and Dine. After the cocktail reception at 6 p.m. on the store’s ground level, guests will move up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a feast prepared by NM Chef Extraordinaire Kevin Garvin complete with wines. Then the action begins with the live auction of “a limited number of coveted items.”

Piper also reports, “There is also the opportunity to sponsor an Ability Connection client by donating funds to purchase a communication device and give a person with a disability the chance to speak, perhaps for the very first time.”

BTW, the next time you stroll through Klyde Warren Park’s My Best Friend’s Park with your fav pooch, check out the fire hydrant that is very dog-friendly. Piper and Mike Wyatt sponsored it along with John Zogg and his daughter Ellie, Georgia and Gwyneth. It had its dedication last November with the help of a Papillion that just couldn’t wait.

JUST IN: 2015 Stiletto Strut Is Postponed

If you had the Stiletto Strut marked down on your calendar, get out the white out.  Just received word that Neiman Marcus Downtown and Community Partners of Dallas have decided to postpone it until fall 2016. Here’s the word just received from CPD:

Stiletto Strut (File photo)

Stiletto Strut (File photo)

Hold your heels! Due to multiple circumstances, the 2015 Stiletto Strut, scheduled for October 15, has been postponed. We are so grateful to our chairs, honorary chairs, host committee members and sponsors for their continued support, and we look forward to sharing more information as soon as it is available.

Neiman Marcus and CPD are committed to making the event the best in 2016 so keep your stilettos polished and be ready to strut to support the abused and neglected children of Dallas County!

One can’t help but suspect that you’ll be able to find something to do Thursday, October 15. Besides the new date means you’ll have a new excuse to buy a new pair of heels.