While the valet parkers had expected 50 to show up for the 2023 Mad Hatter’s Reveal party at Anne and Steve Stodghill‘s manse Thursday night, more than 150 showed up eager to hear the plans for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum’s annual fundraiser.
Started 35 years ago, when Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Carole Ann Brown and her compatriots kicked off an afternoon tea to broaden awareness of the Dallas Arboretum and raise some funds, the inaugural event hosted 100 ladies with hat designer Frank Olive and Neiman Marcus on board as a sponsor and informal modeling.
Over the years it has skewed in a 180-degree direction with “over-the-top” looks, a champagne reception in all types of weather, a full-blown fashion show and hundreds of guests hauling in everything from chapeaus with water features to a pony escort.
But 2023 Mad Hatter’s Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Kristina Wrenn and Honorary Chair Kim Hext have bridled the antics back for the 35th anniversary. Standing with Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum Chair Sarah Jo Hardin along the Stodghills’ winding stairway, the trio addressed the jammed audience including Tiffany Divis, Michelle Mew, Venise Stuart, Regina Montoya, Kathy Cothrum, Teffy Jacobs, Patti Flowers and Tracy and Ben Lange in the entry hall to reveal that the fundraiser would be saluting the top drawer image of the British with its logo and theme being “Majestic Mad Hatter’s Luncheon.”
Adding to the changes and adding an upper crust theme was the replacement of the fashion show with a presentation by “international fashion designer Michael Faircloth” on the history and humor of hats.
Still another change announced to the oohs of the crowd was the arrangements.
Instead of the usual champagne reception in the Scott Ginsburg Family Plaza followed by the gathering of guests in Rosine Hall, Anne and Kristina have arranged for the reception to take place in The Tasteful Garden grounds and the luncheon in both Rosine Hall and A Tasteful Place on Thursday, April 20.
As for the hat competition, never fear. It’s still going to take place. But details are yet to be revealed. Knowing Anne and Kristina it’s going to have a bit of a twist. So stay tuned, but do think majestically.
* Graphic credit: Kristina Wrenn