As the moon leisurely gazed through the clouds over NorthPark Tuesday night, the Dallas version of Bonfire of the Vanities air-kissed and embraced at Valentino. Ah, come on. Don’t begrudge them. They worked hard for their money, their perfecto faces and their flawless outfits.
It was for the Dallas Symphony darling Elan Circle’s Savor the Symphony‘s debut of the unstrung violins that had been “refreshed” by area boldfacers like Heidi Somes, Nicole LeBlanc, Phil Romano, JD Miller, Rob House, Natasha Hallam, Anna Membrino, Jadz Pate, Lynn Rushton and Susan McWilliams. Alas, the violin of daughter of Dallas Symphony Orchestra wunderkind Jaap van Zweden, Anna-Sophia van Zweden, was still in the “shop” for a spectacular paint job. No Maaco for this fiddle.
The rest of the instruments ranged from splashy, elegant to a touch bizarre. After all how often is a doll strapped to the neck of a violin?
These one-of-a-kind instruments will be auctioned off at the March 24 gala at the Adolphus that includes a five-course wine dinner and silent and live auctions.
With Valentino handiwork hanging, displayed and draped around the walls and on the cases, the setting was ideal for the whimsical violins that will never play a tune but will raise funds for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
For the fashionable set, Valentino designers Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri proved their stretch of color spectrum from moorish grays and pinks, valentine red to dramatic black-and-white.
At one point, a gentleman found himself standing with arms crossed on a rug. Oops! It turned out to be a $1,750 pashmina of whisper-thin cashmere with Calais lace. Quickly, he replaced it on the rod, where the naughty shawl had fallen.
Proving the beautiful people don’t have to gussy up for an occasion with their mom’s hand-me-down pearls and St. John knits, Shannon Durst (we promised we’d spell your name correctly!) and Judy Snyder were in edgy but oh-so comfy black boots, thigh-clutching black slacks, white tops and delicious, “I’m at home in any situation” smiles.
Violin artist Heidi Somes checked her piece of artistry with husband Dean Somes and mom-in-law Lucy Somes. . . Janie Condon arrived halfway through and reported the reason for her departure from Modern Luxury was she “simply had too many things on” her plate with kids, public relations and pointing to her leg, referring to her run-in last year with a hit-and-run driver.
As the crowd grew, so did the challenge of navigating hors d’oeuvres and beverages through the crowd. The guests knew the rules. They’re well schooled in the art of cocktail receptions — take up room but not too much; no wild arm gestures; and sudden moves are totally verboden. Alas, one poor server with a full tray of champagne-filled flutes went one way and his tray went in another with the stemware heading south to white marble. Luckily, the Valentino floors seemed to welcome the splash of champagne like an Opi top coat on polished nails.
Quickly the staff came from all directions with brooms, towels and dustpans to do away with any remnants of the misguided drinks. The truly trained guests were only momentarily silenced by the sound of glass nose-diving to the floor. Not good manners to make a spectacle of an accident. A little like applying makeup at the table. It happens, but one doesn’t acknowledge it.
In the glow of the Valentino display lights, the shards of glass mixed with the bubbly added a special dazzle to the surroundings, as the kneeling staff extended their arms to herd the errant pieces and liquid away.
Despite the best efforts, the guests still avoided the area as if it was divorce court. Alas, some late arrivals unaware of the scene of the crime walked through the area looking a little mystified by the sound of crunching glass under their stilettos.