A swellegant soirée with the season’s hottest clothes


It was the party — the fête, the soirée, the cocktail, the kickoff, the launch, the opening, the closing — that I’d been to a thousand times. Little square napkins. Champagne on trays. Air kisses for dayyys. The chatter! The clatter! Somewhere, a Cole Porter tune played. But — but — wait — something was amiss. Upside down. Flop-flipped. This party? It had run amok. Roles were reversed. Madness mixed with mayhem mixed with more madness. Something. Not. Quite. Right. And then — I awoke. I looked around. Silence. Absolutely nothing. Was it all just a dream? Did it really happen? It must have, because you were there … and you were there … and you and you and you.

produced by: ROB BRINKLEY with CHRISTINA GEYER and JAMIE HUCKABY styling by STEPHANIE QUADRI/Sisterbrother Mgmt. photographs by THOM JACKSON/The Photo Division

models: ADRIAN HILLIARD/Kim Dawson Agency MAX HIRSH/Kim Dawson Agency BECCA SHUGART/Wallflower Management ALLISON SMYSER/Kim Dawson Agency JEFF THOMAS/Kim Dawson Agency

special guests:  (in order of appearance)

JIMMY and SUE GRAGG: Sue: owner/designer, Sue Gragg Precious Jewels. She’s bawdy, glorious and outspoken — and always wearing jet-black. Jimmy is doting and adorable, with a molasses-thick Southern accent and a gracious air — the perfect gentleman. They are each other’s Bogie and Bacall — clever and chatty, with a combined energy that ups the wattage at every affair.

JAN STRIMPLE: Model, creative mastermind, business tycoon. (Her Jan Strimple Productions puts on over-the-top — and, hence, unforgettable — runway shows and fashion events.) She is the consummate conversationalist, a catwalking encyclopedia of fashion knowledge and, by simply entering the room, a divine scene-stealer.

DANA DRIENSKY: Omnipresent, affable event photographer. Likely knows more about Dallas society than anyone extant. He is the first to arrive and the last to leave — a gentle giant who photographs every guest at a party, no matter their station. He is kind and professional; no gossip, no fuss.

DAVID MARTIN and GREGG ASHER Martin: client coordinator, Todd Events. Asher: hair stylist and fashion blogger. Dallas’ most fashionable yin and yang. Gregg is outrageous, David is demure — but their shared love of fashion (or, dressing as performance art) and their complementary senses of extra-dry humor unite them in a distinctive, high-heeled lockstep.

LUCY WRUBEL: Deejay, fashion deity, devoted wife and mom. Lucy likes it loud: her music, her style, her life. Her clever tracks can swing a room from relaxed to rip-roaring — and all the while, she herself stays as chilled as the Champagne.

BROOKE HORTENSTINE: Longtime editor at society-centric PaperCity; new vice president of marketing and branding for Consilient Restaurant Group. The polished, poised Brooke knows everybody and everything: family trees, city scoop, charity facts. She’s got a big Rolodex, indeed, and an even bigger heart.

NIVEN MORGAN and SHELBY WAGNER Morgan: principal, Niven Morgan fragrance, lotions, soaps, creams and candles. The boisterous Louisiana transplant has offbeat preppy style, travel stories for days, eternally high hair and an equally eternal twang. Wagner: principal, Shelby Wagner Design. Immaculate and impeccable, he has traded his IBM days for interior design — and is the rock to Morgan’s roll.

GARY FERRARO: Operational vice president, Jack Boles Parking. The most powerful man in Dallas. In the valet ranks, he’s the commander-in-chief. He is wildly trustworthy, and works only the best events. The sight of his trademark, snow-white walrus mustache means the evening will go smoothly. Ferraro takes care of his squad — and the town’s A-list — with respect and aplomb.

hair and makeup: MATEO SIFUENTES/Kim Dawson Agency ASHLEY ROBINSON/Kim Dawson Agency LISA WILLIAMS/Independent Artists Agency stylist’s assistants MERRITT BECK DANA STALEWSKI/Sisterbrother Mgmt. photographer’s assistants MOLLY DICKSON, DINAH JEAN, MARLEY WHISTLER

WHAT A WONDERFUL SWIRL. BECCA SHUGART with Wallflower Management wears an Azzedine Alaïa dress from Neiman Marcus Downtown, a David Yurman necklace from Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center, Wolford tights from Wolford NorthPark Center, Chanel booties from the Chanel boutique at Highland Park Village.

special thanks... to Josh Madans and Mary Gall for the rental furniture throughout the story, from SUITE 206 …… to Jan Flatt for the Barcelona Chair and Saarinen Round Dining Table on pages 68 and 69, from KNOLL …… to Donald Fowler for the Wise Chimpanzee and Le Sirene Sexy candelabra by Seletti, from NEST DALLAS …… to MOËT HENNESSY USA for the Dom Pérignon Champagne bottles …… to TODD EVENTS for the champagne-tower coupe glasses ……. to JOHN EAGLE ASTON MARTIN for the Aston Martin Rapide sedan ……. to TART BAKERY for the custom-baked pale macaroons, especially for FD Luxe …….



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