Grovel Alert: Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon

Texas Ballet Theater dancers (File photo)

Not all the nonprofits are going quiet between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Well, of course, there is Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 2. But on Tuesday, November 28, the Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon at the Winspear will have the champagne bubbling and the dancers doing pas de deux, pirouette and grand jeté in the Naeem Khan designs from Stanley Korshak with the guests on stage for a up-close view. 

Co-Chair Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair along with Presenting Sponsor Nancy Carlson have been busy getting guests on board for the Texas Ballet Theater fundraiser.

If you’ve purchased your tickets, congratulations! If you haven’t, you’d better hurry-scurry.

According to Texas Ballet Theater Development Manager Theresa Ireland-Daubs, “We are so close to hitting our goal of 30 tables!”

So, put off the grocery shopping for Thursday’s feasting and make your reservation here.

Texas Ballet Theater’s Sugar Plum Fairies Hit The Catwalk In Naeem Khan Creations At The Winspear For Tutu Chic

Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy

Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy

With a chill in the air, Nutcrackers seem to appear like fur coats. On Thursday, December 5, the Nutcracker was standing guard with a petite ballerina at his side in the Winspear lobby for the annual Tutu Chic fashion show and luncheon.

Benefiting the Texas Ballet Theater, the event has become a loving and beautiful tradition for ladies who lunch and love fashion.

Unlike past years when champagne-filled flutes were everywhere, this year the stemmed glasses were way outnumbered by boots and black opaque stockings.

While the majority of guests (Lee Bailey, Ashley Hunt, Lynn McBee and Jill Tananbaum) partied in the lobby, a small batch of gals (Olivia Kearny, DeeDee Lee, Claire Emanuelson, Shelle Sills, Jill Rowlett, Kris Johnson and Honorary Co-Chairs Dee Wyly and Niven Morgan, to name a few) sipped and charmed in the green room backstage.

Right on cue, both groups of guests were directed to their seats on stage for the fashion show featuring designs from Naeem Khan.

What makes this fashion show remarkable is the cast of models. They’re not your typical statuesque pros. Rather they’re the itty-bitty Texas Ballet Theater ballerinas with their male partners providing support, literally.

Texas Ballet Theater dancers

Texas Ballet Theater dancers

After having flowers delivered via male dancers to key people including the event chairs/sisters (Kathryn Munson Beach, Meg Munson McGonigle and Merry Munson Wyatt), Stanley Korshak main man Crawford Brock praised the dancing models for their healthy looks, but he forgot to give a tip of the hat to the male dancers, who jumped sky high and did the “heavy lifting.” OK, so maybe the ballerinas are light as feathers, but they still wouldn’t be airborne without the gents skillfully lifting and catching them.

Missing left strap

Missing left strap

The presentation of fashions went off without a hitch. Well, there was that strap. What strap? Well, one of the ballerinas wore a multi-colored dress with bare shoulders. At one point in her dance with her partner, the left clear strap seemed to be MIA. Without missing a beat, a lift or move, the dancers completed the performance with hardly anyone in the audience noticing including TBT’s Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, Naeem and Crawford just a foot or two away.

Crawford Brock and the ballerina models

Crawford Brock and the ballerina models

For the finale, a bride surrounded by a gaggle of beautifully dressed model took their bows with faux snowflakes falling from above. It was then that Crawford returned to the stage to put out a call for support for ballet slippers. It seems that a dancer can go through three pairs a week!

Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan

Nancy Rogers

Nancy Rogers

Then the auction of a fashion package for Naeem’s fashion presentation in New York City was underway. Hands around the stage raised. Still the bidding was not achieving Naeem’s plan, so he took the mic and added dinner at his house. But he also let the audience know that he expected the package to raise $10,000. The hands that had previously fluttered in the audience, drooped. Then there was a nod from a blue-eyed blonde seated next to jewelry designer Sue Gragg on the front row. Yes, you guessed it. Nancy Rogers had once again saved the day. Smiles lit up the room.

The group adjourned to the lobby for lunch and memories of Sugar Plum Fairies who had dominated the day’s catwalk.

Veteran And Future Fundraisers Nosh With Nutcracker Types At Sugar Plum Fairy Tea At The Mansion

You sorta know you have a successful event when the cars are creating a lineup 5 minutes after the doors open. That was the scene at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek today as Texas Ballet supporters, both current and future, arrived for the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea.

In its second year, the tea is part of the “warm” up for tomorrow’s Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Winspear. Last year the afternoon tea for mums and daughters was held at Stanley Korshak, but because it grew in size, the decision was made to move it to the Mansion.

While the elegant Mansion may be known as the place for grownups to see and be seen, this afternoon it was abounding with little princesses dancing, hugging and being oh-so adorable. Needless to say, bows and party dresses were the call of the day. Tea Co-chair Kathryn Beach

Elizabeth Slates, Caroline Corrigan and Margo Touchstone

and her daughters Katy and Lilly were all in soft pink. . . . Elizabeth Slates, Caroline Corrigan and Margo Touchstone wore just hints of pink on the tutu bracelets. . .  Donna Arp Weitzman looked like a snow queen all in white with daughter-in-law Trish Arp and granddaughter Meredith Arp. Donna will be at the luncheon with 20+ of her gal pals. Unfortunately four-year-old Meredith won’t be able to attend. She has previous commitments.

Trish Arp, Meredith Arp and Donna Arp Weitzman

In addition to mountains of cookies and sandwiches, there was everything from wine to hot chocolate. Needless to say, there was a line forming for tea and hot chocolate.

Line up for tea and things

For entertainment, there were coloring books about the Sugar Plum Fairy with crayons within arm’s reach.

Katy Beach, Kathryn Beach and Lilly Beach

And what would a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea for the Texas Ballet be without ballerinas? Not to worry. They were all there — Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Mouse King and Nutcracker himself.

The brilliant thing about the tea is that it’s hosted by the next year’s Tutu Chic co-chairs. Translation: today’s tea chairs — Munson sisters Kathryn Beach, Meg McGonigle and Merry Wyatt — will be chairing the fundraiser where “the champagne flows and the Korshak fashions dance on stage.”

BTW, Tutu Chic Co-chair Paige Slates reported that tomorrow’s fundraiser is sold out. However, you know how that goes. Write the right check and a place just might be found. Wink, wink.

November 15 MySweetCharity Round Robin: Billiard Ball And Texas Ballet

It seems like nonprofits were trying to squeeze in as many teasers (Fly Away With The Bridge Preview’s party at the Marquee Grill in Highland Park Village and shop-a-thon at Stella McCartney,  Q Custom Clothiers and Anne Fontaine) and patron parties (Friends of Wednesday’s Child at Place on Perry) as possible last Tuesday with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching. Some of the other activities included:


The Marquee Grill was the place to be definitely. The question was which party was your party. The ever-adorable hostesses at the entrance patiently directed guests — “Billiard Ball party straight ahead up the stairs” and “Bridge Network up the stairs and to your left.”  After a while they probably could spot who was going to which party. Those with ties straight ahead for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas; those tie-less ones turn left at the head of the stairs.

Becky Frey

Among the tied-up set were Becky Frey, Lynn McBee, Paul Stewart and Lydia and Dan Novakov and Bobby Nail, who

Bobby Nail

married Dedman daughter Patty in 2008 and is the newest BGCD board member. Guarding the PA system was Scott Murray, who admitted that his son had set it up and he was simply there to turn on a switch and to make sure no one stepped on the equipment. Wife Carole was home dogsitting their granddog, while their daughter gets settled in NYC. . . Bank of America’s Gillian Breidenbach reported that some of the various companies were joining forces to support local efforts instead of going solo. . . . Susan Stanzel was seated in the back of the room, as

Rachel Trowbridge

her daughter/BB Co-chair Rachel Trowbridge and husband/Co-chair Chris Trowbridge started the program without BB Co-chair JB Hayes, who was running late.

Chris Trowbridge

Chris started off reminding the assembled group that for nine years the Robert H. Dedman Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy has been presented to individuals for “generosity shown to those who cannot provide for themselves.” The list of honorees has included Ruth Altshuler, Linda Pitts Custard, Caren Prothro, Dee and Charles Wyly Jr., Henry S. Miller Jr., Gay and Bill Solomon and Bobby Lyle.

Being added to the list this year will be Barbara and Steve Durham, who stood nearby. Having moved from Omaha to Dallas in 1996, the Durhams have been involved with everything from

Barbara Durham

Thanksgiving Square Foundation, Southwest Regional Board of BGCA, Phoenix House, Dallas Symphony, Human Rights initiatives, the Dallas Zoological Society, and the Dallas Museum of Art to this year’s Ebby Halliday 100th birthday party benefiting the Horatio Alger Association.

Taking place on Saturday, February 18, at the Ritz-Carlton, The Billiard Ball’s theme will be “Twenties-Twelve and Putting on the Ritz” with a seated dinner and music by Hunter Sullivan and his 14-piece big band.

First to sign up for a sponsorship were the Durhams’ good friends Jan Miller and Jeff Rich. Ebby also had already committed to a Break Shot sponsorship and had wanted to attend the announcement party, but she had already attended a luncheon and her doctor was restricting her to one event a day.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers agreed to sponsor a Center Pocket and Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP had committed to a Break Shot.

In other words, before the announcement was even made, JB and the Trowbridges had already sold 23 tables.


Across town at the shoppers’ worship center, NorthPark, the exterior entrance of Tiffany & Co. was open, but not for all. Rather, supporters of the Texas Ballet and the upcoming Tutu Chic fashion show/luncheon/champagne fest were allowed entry. Only prob was no one was quite certain who was in charge. But thanks to champagne, who cared! It was a mix of beautiful women checking the counters of trinkets and men in suits and men not in suits.

Richard Lamberston

Ironically as the late Dennis Hopper‘s dotter Marian Hayward was holding a Hayward bag party at the Mansion at the same hour, Tiffany handbag designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex were

John Truex

actually autographing their precious purses as guests bought them.

While Gina Betts, who had made it to the Boys & Girls Club’s Billiard Ball at the Marquee, was jolly on the scene, husband Ken Betts was walking the mall with their six-year old in tow.

Daffan Nettle and Alicia Wood

Luckily Tutu Chic Co-chairs Daffan Nettle and Alicia Wood appeared at 7:17 p.m. to check out the merchandise and talk up the upcoming December 1 event at the Winspear.

Better get your tickets for Tutu because the champagne, Korshak fashions and ballerinas are going to be in prime condition.