PaperCity Magazine

February 2020- Dallas

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24 CHINOISERIE CHIC BY LISA COLLINS SHADDOCK. PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE WRUBEL. E xhilarating, sensational, and over far too soon: Michelle Nussbaumer and Brooke Davenport's dinner party celebrating Asprey was much like the British luxury brand's all- too-brief pop-up boutique in Highland Park Village. But one would expect nothing less from these fiery hostesses, who embrace the art of the formal fête and live to throw a dash of the unexpected into our daily existence. Asprey was an early importer of Chinese silks, and this snippet of history was translated into the theme of the evening — an intoxicating swirl of red lanterns, flickering candles, and a roaring lion dance. This was the first dinner held at Nussbaumer's Design District space. Last year, of course, the kitchen she designed here won the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year award. Now the completion of the former warehouse is her latest work in progress. Guests entered through a stark white foyer, mostly empty save for dozens of flickering votives and scented candles. (What was that delicious scent? Nest Cedar Leaf & Lavender, Michelle tells me.) Davenport, a longtime ambassador for Asprey, looked radiant in a red Galvan jumpsuit with a slinky red duster and a mesmerizing necklace of lozenge-size amethysts by Asprey (naturally). She and Nussbaumer, looking fabulous as ever in a red silk robe and fur stole, greeted guests at the top the sinuous staircase. Everyone paused for a cocktail and a mingle, but no one could stop talking about the mural behind the bar. The mise en scene — a nude man sauntering with bear, panther, and serpent — was inspired by The Jungle Book, Nussbaumer explains, and she turned the image into the striking wallpaper mural. The fashionable group of 40 included Asprey chairman John Rigas, Ann and Lee Hobson, Capera Ryan, Olya Sinitsyna and Andy Beal, Janis and Jim Brous, Geoffroy van Raemdonck and Alvise Orsini, Lisa Fortson, Susan O'Brien, Heidi Dillon, and Nancy Dedman, dressed in canary-yellow silk and oxblood-red fur. At one point, Brad Kelly stood up to give a toast: "Thank you immensely, Michelle and Brooke, for what has been an evening of transport. This is not the Dallas, Texas, where we all grew up." MICHELLE NUSSBAUMER AND BROOKE DAVENPORT CONJURE DRAGONS AND LION DANCERS FOR ASPREY. Lisa Fortson, David Drake Christophe Hasenboehler Bernard Nussbaumer Capera Ryan, Susan O'Brien Michelle Nussbaumer, Brooke Davenport setting the scene Michelle Nussbaumer, Brooke Davenport Drama and drinks A little surprise from Asprey Nancy Dedman, Janis Brous

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