One would have thought it was a meet-and-greet for Beyonce and Jay Z on Thursday, September 13. Rather it was the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show Cocktail reception. The lineup of Rolls-Royces, Maseratis and luxury SUVs on Walnut Hill just west of the Dallas North Tollway had North Texas well-heeled and uber-well-dressed types momentarily cooling their wheels.
The occasion was enough to draw the tony crowd, but 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Claire Emanuelson and CCB Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show Chair Heather Esping had arranged for the destination to be the 21st century-refreshed, 30,000-square-foot Crespi mansion previously owned by Tom Hicks, Andy Beal and Howard Hughes (that final name was a joke).
Thank heaven, the grounds had managed to dry after days of wispy drizzle and torrential showers for the luxury vehicles to park on the south acreage. For one vintage event type, the rows of vehicles parked on the hill harkened back to the Cattle Baron’s Ball years of pasture parking.
After drivers maneuvered down the winding lane past the tennis and bocce ball courts, they found themselves negotiating through the narrow front gate to the auto courtyard. At this point a Gold Crown valet played traffic cop, waving some arriving cars in and others out for the parking grounds.
Once arriving at the base of the grand mansion now owned by Mehrdad Moayedi and on the market for $38.5M, it was a brief walk to the steps leading to the front door. One or two of the gals had to take a brief break before climbing the steps. Seems the itty-bitty gray gravel in the driveway had found its way into their delicate stiletto sandals.
As they made their way inside, they were greeted by a peppy music soundtrack (it had been crafted for an AIDS fundraiser by Lucy Wrubel) and JP Morgan’s Elaine Agather. Then word was passed: “Check out the bunker.”
They were talking about the mammoth mansion’s underground compound, which is bigger than some homes and a sight to behold with its media room, a series of locked rooms, a wine cellar with tasting room and much more. Real estate doyenne Allie Beth Allman said she was offering the Crespi manse for the third or fourth time, adding, “I think it’s the prettiest house in Texas.”
And Matching the Wow! factor of the mansion was the list of 265 guests, including the 2018 class of Ten Best Dressed — Anita Arnold with husband Truman Arnold, Delilah Boyd with husband Sam Boyd, Lisa Cooley with husband Clay Cooley and son Chase Cooley with his wife Bela Cooley, Jennifer Dix with her husband Richard Dix, Tucker Enthoven with mom Julie Ford and sis-in-law Martha Enthoven, Cate Ford with husband Jeremy Ford and papa-in-law Jerry Ford and his wife Kelli Ford, Cara French with husband Jim French and mom Prissy Gravely, Amy Hegi with husband Peter Hegi, Kimberly Whitman with husband Justin Whitman and parents Myrna and Bob Schlegel and Piper Wyatt with husband Mike Wyatt, 2018 Hall of Fame honoree Robyn Conlon with husband Don Conlon, 2018 Honorary Chair Norma Hunt with her sons — Clark Hunt with wife Tavia Hunt and Dan Hunt with wife Toni Munoz Hunt.
Neiman Marcus President Geoffrey van Raemdonck arrived with NM PR gal Mimi Sterling. According to Geoffroy, his husband Alvise Orsini was at work decorating their East Dallas home formerly owned by Stephanie and Hunter Hunt. But the sky-high-tall Belgian laughed when someone teased him that he wouldn’t get a chance to enjoy the new home due to his hectic travels to NM stores. As for Alvise, he was MIA due to a commitment in NYC.
And speaking of the Big Apple, the Oscar de la Renta team including the late designer’s stepdaughter Eliza Bolen with her husband Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen and designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia arrived in time for the party before showcasing their 2018-2019 Resort Collection the next day.
Lee Bailey was just back from visiting with the president of Rolls Royce and was on her way to settling her sister into new digs in Ohio. … Homebuilders Richard Dix and Phillip Huffines reported that their businesses were going great guns … Jill Rowlett recalled how, as a high school student, her friends used to try to sneak into the Crespi estate to check out its “Grape” statue, located near the entrance. Not Jill, though; she’s the one who warned them, “You’re gonna get in trouble!”
For loads of more photos of the night, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.