Some situations require stretching that extra inch . . . or foot. So, the September 28th Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala was such a situation. Dallas was in a 7-day cycle of weather. It had rained the previous Saturday and it was going to rain on the fundraiser’s Saturday night.
Luckily, it stopped in time for folks to arrive in their best bib-and-tucker. Still there were sizable puddles between the valet parking and the Meyerson’s front door. So, the ladies lifted the skirts of their elegant gowns and puddle-hopped through the itty-bitty ponds.
It was well worth the wade. Inside, production designer Todd Fiscus had fulfilled the goal of Gala Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill — blending art and music. Tables were adorned with deep red and black table clothes and centerpieces of the richest and most colorful fall flowers since Rembrandt picked up a paint brush. Some tables boasted elegant chairs with settings of fine China with crystal; others in the shadow of towering floral arrangements had banquet seating heading up rectangular tables.
But all this fine artistry was overshadowed by the fashions and chit-chat of the hundreds of guests.
Let’s cut to the chase.
Nicole Miller never looked as good as worn by Katherine Coker. . . Jan Rich looked as if she were preparing for an elegant Texas-OU weekend in an oranger-than-orange Tom and Lynda Platt. Husband Jeff Rich admitted that he appreciated the occasions when she wore the outfit because it was easy to spot in a crowd. . . Barbara Daseke blended the designers with a simple black top topped off with a Balenciaga necklace with magenta crystals and a magenta skirt by Armani. Husband Don shunned the black tie look and opted for a purple silk embossed Zegna tie to match Barbara’s killer look. . . Speaking of husband/wife teams, Shirley McIntyre was in a Ralph Rucci grey cape over an Alexander McQueen outfit. Husband Bill shrugged the OMG designer situation and described his tuxedo, “Mine is by JC Penney!” . . . Nicole Kiriaski was wearing a Free People gown. . . Cynthia Timms was in a Monique Lhuillier. . . Jessie and Charles Price were in Japanese designer Issey Miyake. Her gown, his tie. . . Glamorama Pat Smith’s dress started out as a Teri Jon. Then a local “faircloth” designer added some embellishments. Ah, but when you’re working with Pat, are embellishments required?
So, what about the Gala Co-Chairs? Anne and Steve had their ducks in a row for this evening regardless of the weather outside. Flaming red-haired wife Anne was wearing a Rubin Singer design. Dang if those red-haired-crowned gals have to be careful about their outfits. But this one was dramatically grand. If Rubin is new to your vocabulary, he’s a third-generation Russian couturier and has earned a reputation from his creations for Beyonce. Evidently dear Annie made quite an impression. Seems soprano Renée Fleming asked who the designer was backstage. . . Attorney Steve was splendiferous in white-tie-and-tails from Huntsman on Savile Row. Just a couple of days before, the twosome had returned from a whirlwind tour of Europe. Steve’s review? “Istanbul is one of my Top 5 cities. It’s really cool.”
As for the wheelchair brigade, it was top notch and totally surrounded by the likes of Ross Perot. While Texas Attorney General/Honorary Chair Greg Abbott checked in with Jennifer and Coley Clark, Dan Lewis recalled how wife Marilea had campaigned as a district judge with Abbott in the past. . . Across the way, arts doyenne Margaret McDermott was the belle of the ball as usual with everyone courting her.
Then the Meyerson chimes rang and guests headed to their tables for dinner, the DSO concert with Renée and the after-party with Lucy Wrubel at the helm.