PaperCity Magazine

October 2013 - Houston

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STOP! Louvre Vipin Sareen In the Name of Rebecca Carcelle Steve Summers Caroline Starry LeBlanc The Dolls' Caitlin Moe Gary Petersen Elizabeth Petersen Mark Sullivan Glen Gonzalez Renee Lewis Cary BY CAROLINE STARRY LEBLANC. PHOTOGRAPHY CATCHLIGHT GROUP. When Becca Cason Thrash announces she's planning a certain notorious series of events for a certain French museum for the third time, it's best to get on that invitation list early and cross fingers and toes you'll be one of the lucky few to attend. With a global group of billionaires, movers and shakers, and a serious cache of celebs and royals, this is one of the biggest European events of the summer — Prince George's July arrival notwithstanding. Such was Part Trois of Thrash's impressive Liaisons au Louvre, the much-anticipated follow-up to Parts Un and Deux held in the summers of 2008 and 2011, respectively, all benefiting restoration projects funded by the American and International Friends of the Louvre. A super-glamorous group from Houston gladly committed to the three days, with multiple repeat attendees from years past, including Becca's husband John Thrash, his based-in-NYC daughter Meghan Thrash, Greggory and Pat Burk, Meg Goodman and Mike Bonini, Joyce Echols, Judith Oudt, Elizabeth and Gary Petersen, Diane Lokey Farb, Ceron, Melissa Mithoff, Andrew Echols, and Monsour Taghdisi. An additional gaggle of first-time attendees rounded out the Houston crew: Hallie Vanderhider, Fady Armanious, Renee Lewis Cary, Lindsey Love, Sallymoon Benz and Alan Bentz, Mark Sullivan, Jared LeBlanc, Tami Dias, and Hank Richardson. Diane Lokey Farb Mathew Wolf Ann Wolf Hamish Bowles The Dolls' Mia Moretti Melissa Mithoff John Thrash Joyce Echols Kip Forbes Luxembourg gardens at the Palais du Luxembourg, home of the French Senate Chairman Becca Cason Thrash Day One: T he opening salvo was a dinner at the beautiful American Residence in Paris, hosted by U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin and wife Susan Tolson on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. I wonder if other guests' drivers had the same reaction as ours when we told him where to take us on this lovely summer night: "Quoi?! Really?" We showed him our embossed invitation on official U.S. government stationery to convince him we were not joking, and he would not be hassled by the many guards surrounding the Residence. Becca, in a crisp white blouse and long floral skirt of her own design made by Houston designer David Peck, excitedly ushered guests into the opulent 1842 mansion's marbled foyer. The Residence's back floor-to-ceiling doors were fully open, inviting in the warm night air and granting guests an immediate view of and access to the expansive gardens. Becca requested gentlemen wear white dinner jackets, and the gentlemen did not disappoint, with ladies donning short and long dresses, many in complementary black and white. Janna Bullock Ariane Dandois The seated dinner was arranged around two long tables in one of the Residence's large dining rooms and catered by the currently under-renovation Ritz Paris Hotel, its management more than happy to keep in good form while the property is temporarily closed. Seated next to Paris-based designer Andrew Gn and across from Harper's Bazaar editor at large and best-selling author Derek Blasberg, it was beyond entertaining to hear them gush about how much they both adore hanging out with Houstonians, "especially the guhhhhls. They're just so festive and fun!" exclaimed Gn. It seems they're not the only ones. At the end of the evening, Vogue's international editor at large Hamish Bowles, who has more than once been fêted at the Thrash home, grinned. "That Becca sure does know how to kick things off right, doesn't she?" Of course, we agreed. Other notables that evening were Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez, International Council of the Louvre chairman Kip Forbes, and U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Robert Holmes Tuttle with wife Maria. Diana Ross belts out "Baby Love" Monsour Taghdisi Henry Richardson Pierre Pelegry Thaddaeus Ropac Ondine de Rothschild Day Two: R Milla Jovovich eceiving an invitation from Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture for a private collection viewing inspired visions of a fantastical fashion wonderland, and the real deal was surreal. Models in Gaultier's current couture offerings sashayed in and out while a greatest-hits collection was displayed throughout the space. Seemingly endless amounts of Veuve Clicquot and precious petite macarons rounded out the breezy afternoon. While the ladies were in the 3rd Arrondissement, the gents were busy in the 7th at the historic home of Hubert Guerrand-Hermès, sipping cognac and smoking cigars in Monseur Hermès' private gardens and home, Hôtel de Lannion. Monday night brought Liaisons au Louvre's revelers to the Palais du Luxembourg, home of the French Senate and what might possibly the most gilded building in the history of the world. I'm not sure how some of the walls of the several-hundred-years-old palace remain standing under the weight. But the building befits the importance of the Senate's activities and is quite luscious to dine in in. Which we did, in great style. After a tour and cocktails in the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, Bulgari hosted the second night's dinner in the ornate Salons de Boffrand, which look out onto the gardens. It all started rather quietly elegante but quickly spiraled when, during the first course and seemingly out of nowhere, French pop band The Gypsy Queens burst into "California Dreamin'." After overcoming the initial shock, the crowd enthusiastically embraced the development, singing along to "Runaway" and "Sweet Caroline" — of course, a fave of moi. When the second course debuted, the group, very popular amongst European social circles, sauntered about the party from table to table, gathering a reveling, Pied Piper-style following as they played. Eventually arriving at my table, the clearly smitten male lead singer then serenaded Pat Burk with "All My Lovin'." Pat's wife Greggory was a great sport. Dinner continued, but the dancing had commandeered, many leaving their tables never to return. Among the delighted dancers, were Derek Blasberg, Hamish Bowles, Bulgari's Stephane Gerschel, and New York social Julie Macklowe. continued on page 12

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