Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the delivery trucks queued up, gobbling up Neiman Marcus Downtown’s valet parking on Wednesday, March 21. Their timing was a bit of a challenge for the valets accepting the vehicles of the Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed announcement guests. At times the head valet looked like a skilled conductor as he directed traffic, trying to protect the couple of spots between the delivery vans and trucks.
But before the announcement took place in the second floor Couture Salon, the 10 BD-ers (Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Lisa Cooley, Jennifer Dix, Tucker Enthoven, Cate Ford, Cara French, Amy Hegi, Kimberly Whitman and Piper Wyatt) and Hall of Famer Robyn Conlon were holed up back in the bridal salon fitting rooms. After all, they couldn’t be out front and let the surprise out of the shopping bag, so to speak. Still, it became apparent who some of those making up the class of 2018 would be, thanks to relatives in attendance.
Bob Schlegel’s ladies were out in full force, including former 10 BD-er/mama Myrna Schlegel with daughters Realtor Kari Kloewer and fashion blogger Krystal Schlegel, who had her cellphone ready when older sister Kimberly Whitman was announced.
Cate Ford’s mom, Carolyn Beach, joined Cara French’s mom, Prissy Gravely, on the second row.
Marybeth Conlon thought she was just there as a new member of CCB. Seems mother-in-law Robyn Conlon hadn’t told anyone including the family that she had been selected for the Hall of Fame.
Honorary Chair Norma Hunt laughed when she was asked about attending the first Super Bowl. She said that she just tells folks that she was 8 years old when she attended the first Super Bowl. Joining her were daughter-in-law Tavia Hunt and Toni Munoz Hunt, who is doing triple duty nowadays. In addition to tending to husband Dan Hunt’s back surgery and raising three-year-old Darlington Hunt, she’s expecting another daughter in June.
According to Delilah Boyd, Oscar de la Renta sales executive Patricia Jefferies had met with the 10 BD-ers the day before and explained that when the late couture designer turned over the reins to Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, he was adamant that their designs should make a woman look beautiful and not look like a box.
Lisa Cooley left her leg brace at home and wore stilettos for her presentation. Then it would be back home to host a fundraising reception and then a 7 a.m. departure for the Turks.
While the four new member of the 10 BD (Jennifer Dix, Cate Ford, Cara French and Kimberly Whitman) were in the lineup, Tucker Enthoven was MIA. She was traveling, but she’ll be at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Friday, September 14, when Oscar de la Renta’s fall collection is on the runway with the class of 2018.
As for the NM staff, they were ready to rock and roll despite the fact that NM Special Events VP Sandy Marple was MIA due to recent back surgery… This was NM Downtown General Manager/VP Tim Adair’s first hosting of a 10 Best Dressed event, but he got the hang of it quickly… Couture Sales Associate/CCB member Elsa Norwood admitted that she looked forward to this day each year because it was like old home week…. Corporate Communications and Public Relations Director Mimi Sterling was introducing Corporate Communications and Public Relations Manager John Walls to the crowd… NM Couture Manager Franco Salluce claimed to have the easiest job of the NM staff coordinating the day’s event. He just had to present each 10 BD-er and Hall of Famer with the gray gift box.
For the 10 BDers, the Hall of Famer and the Honorary Chair, “reserved” cards were placed on front-row chairs. Veterans of the announcement event saved their spots by simply placing their purses on chairs.
And while there are the occasional fashion “oops” even with this crowd, they know how to handle them. Perfect example was 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Claire Emanuelson and 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella. Now, normally if two gals wore the same dress, it might not be all that noticeable in a group gathering. But the dresses that Claire and Pam were wearing were so orange that words like Popsicle, tangerine and Bevo came to mind. How did they handle it? They laughed about it; they were photographed together and, as Claire started her remarks from the podium, she asked Pam if she would like to join her on stage. Claire also advised guests not to try on clothes with Luncheon Chair Heather Esping because “she can wear all those size two samples and still have room.
Immediately after the presentation was completed and the group photos were shot, Tim returned to running the store and Claire, Christie Carter, Piper Wyatt and Angie Kadesky filled their plates with items from the buffet. As one of them said, “It would be a shame to see all this good food got to waste.”
Hall of Famer Lee Ann White and Tiffany Divis scrambled downstairs after the presentation to a waiting car being driven by event producer Tom Addis for a meeting about the upcoming Sweetheart Ball benefiting research at UT Southwestern.
BTW, don’t bother writing those checks out yet. Heather reported that the sponsorship letters won’t appear in mailboxes until the end of April.
For more photos from the announcement, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.