Michael Faircloth is known as Dallas’ pre-eminent fashion designer for the likes of Laura Bush, Gene Jones, Lisa Troutt and countless others. But he’s also made himself right at home in the giving department.
When a number of North Texas leading ladies to play the Sophie’s Choice on attending Su-Su Meyer’s birthday party or a Michael’s seated luncheon at Brook Hollow on Wednesday, February 17, it was a challenge.
While Su-Su’s gathering was celebrated with candles, Michael’s was a fabulous display of some of his finest creations plus news. But more about the news later.
Originally, Michael had planned on having a couple of dozen in for lunch, but that number grew to more than 130.
As for the collection, the only thing missing was Princess Diana’s wedding gown. Guests like Nancy Carter, Kim Miller, Olivia Kearney, Lisa Cooley, Robyn Conlon, Debbie Francis, Tricia George, Katherine Coker, Jill Rowlett, Dee Wyly, Carolyn Lupton, Jean Lattimore, Georgina Hartland, Lee Bailey, Martha Copeland, Tiffany Divis, Leigh Anne Haugh, Pam Busbee, Mary Martha Pickens and Barbara Durham were met in the entry by Nicole Dabbert Roper’s breathtaking wedding gown with its flawless beading, the too-delicate-to-imagine lace and the wondrous train.
While strolling around the display of fashion on loan from clients, there was catching up among the guests. Kara Goss just joined the Dallas Zoo board, as well as redoing the family home…Ellen Winspear and husband Don are already making plans for the 2016 Dallas Opera’s First Sight First Night…Annette Simmons’ Valentine’s Day wedding to Jerry Fronterhouse went off without a hitch… Looking at her Faircloth design, Gene Jones recalled wearing it to the Academy Awards… Susan Collins Sanders, who is now working at UNT, was thrilled over the exhibition, the turnout and the news that would soon be announced.
Just as the guests took their places, one organizer appeared a little ruffled. It seemed that one guest had played the naughty game or rearranging the place cards. That would prove to be awkward later.
With WFAA’s Ron Corning serving as emcee, the program was off starting with Dean of UNT College of Visual Arts and Design Prof. Greg Watts described the Design Department’s history and successes
As proof of successes, a video was shown and UNT fashion designer student Elizabeth Leese recalled being raised on a ranch and how she eventually not only became the first member of her family to attend public school but she was now part of Nha Khanh’s team. Elizabeth admitted there were occasion even now that amaze her of the opportunities that have resulted thanks to UNT.
Taking his place at the podium, Michael managed to be proved as talented at the mic as the drawing table. He told of his first attempt at design as a youngster when he sewed two canoe patterns together only to see the “USS Faircloth” sink in the bathtub.
But thanks to following his dreams and answering his inner callings, he went on to work at Neiman Marcus and being tapped by Dallas fundraiser Faye Gould to design a gown for her. That led to Faye’s sending more and more clients his way.
Another client of note was Lisa Troutt, who had not only been his classmate at UNT, but had contributed $500,000 to his newest project — the creation of the Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Endowment Fund.
As Greg explained, the Fund will provide opportunities for UNT’s fashion design students and Michael was leading the charge for raise the $2.5M goal.
In closing, Ron suggested that guests check the gift boxes at their places because it’s “great swag.” Talk about understatement. Michael had arranged for each guest to have a leather bag monogrammed with their initials. So typical of Michael.
Hmm, don’t you just wonder what happened to the guests, who were the victims of the earlier place card switcheroo?