As VIP guests arrived for the first-ever Partners Card Preview Event at Eataly’s upstairs Terra restaurant just past 10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 29, they were greeted with their table number and a glass of Gradis’ciutta Sauvignon. It was the perfect way to kick off the annual Family Place fundraiser that would continue through Monday, November 8.
Not since Kitty Hawk landed at the corner of Lovers Lane and Greenville back in the 1970s have so many hanging baskets of ferns swayed in the wind.
After finding their tables, the ladies headed to the bar. Not for more wine but to fill up their plates with the Italian cheeses, fruits and slices of meat on platters that lined the bar top. Across the aisle were an army of empty glasses ready to be filled with Bastianich Refosco wine to accompany the entrée (squash and ricotta filled pasta, beppino ocelli butter and walnuts; Rosewood Wagyu flatiron, seared Brussel sprouts and pancetta; and smoked green circle chicken breast, braised cannellini beans and rosemary) to come.
The gathering could have been mistaken for a mother-daughter event with Daniella Giglio with her mom, Valerie Giglio, and sister, Nicole Stickane; The Family Place advisor Paige Flink with her mother Blue Harris; The Family Place Executive Director Mimi Sterling with her mom Michele Crume and Debbie Snell, who was serving as honorary chair for Partners Card Co-Chair/daughter Caroline Snell Wagner.
It was a touch of irony that one of the first fundraising events for former Neiman Marcus executive Mimi, who had just been on the job seven weeks, was a fashion show luncheon. But it also made perfect sense since The Family Place’s major fundraising program had provided more than $2M in the past 29 years with discount shopping at local retailers.
And, of course, the luncheon was taking place at NorthPark, since 75 of its merchants are Partner’s Card participants.
Within an hour guests were asked to take their places for the program and luncheon to get underway.
Before the servers arrived on the scene with plates of antipasti (Charred fennel, orange, Castelvetrano olive, walnuts and pecorino flore sardo; lamb leg skewers, grilled rustic bread, lemon and hatch chili; and housemade mozzarella, smoked kabocha squash, delicate squash and Texas pecans), Partners Auxiliary President Leigh Danley, Mimi and Preview Event Co-Chairs Heather McNamara and Kirsten Swanson welcomed the sold-out gathering.
The roll-out of the first course seemed to get off in slo-mo. At one point tables in one area of the restaurant were being cleared to receive the main course as others were just being served the first course.
The delayed serving in turn delayed the round-the-world fashion presentation of clothes from Billy Reid, Camilla, Isabel Marant, Maje, Sandro and Ted Baker London.
After serving wound up, the walk-about fashion presentation with commentary by NorthPark Fashion and Lifestyle Ambassador Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and “Dallas Style Icon” Jan Strimple provided a close-up look at the detailing in the clothes.
The strolling models reminded one of the old NM days when models would stroll through the Zodiac Room during luncheon tempting guests. While used to unobstructed runways, these models who had been cooling their heels in the back did a great job of winding through the obstacle course of tables and servers. At one point a guest got up to use the powder room. In returning, some others thought she was one of the models. No surprise. After all, this crowd of luncheoners was dressed to the nines, with nary a split end in sight.
For more looks of the fashions and tasties, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.