PaperCity Magazine

December 2015 - Houston

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TOM FORD FEVER THE PAIRING OF FINE FASHION AND HIGH ART MAKES FOR ONE LEGENDARY SOIRÉE. ANNE LEE PHILLIPS AND CATHERINE D. ANSPON TRAVERSE THE SCENE. PHOTOGRAPHY JAY TOVAR. DECEMBER | PAGE 12 | 2015 SECOND ACT: THE DINNER PARTY Ever the perfect hostess, Thrash quietly stepped out a half hour before the boutique bash wrapped, racing to the Menil, where she checked every detail of the long, long dining table set by Richard Flowers (The Events Company), and found it to be flawless. Rearranging a place card here or there, she watched as columns of candles were lit and then adjourned to the front of the museum where she and husband John Thrash, Josef Helfenstein, joined by wife Dorethee, and Domenico De Sole and wife Eleanor greeted guests, who exclaimed over the beauty of the room in the understated, Renzo Piano-designed masterpiece. Surrounding the dinner party and the longest table we've ever seen, which sat 130 guests, was a cache of the Menil's fabled African art collection — the first time it has been installed at the front of the museum; some of the world's most powerful African sculpture and ritualistic objects lent a frisson of energy to this already dramatic evening. Paired with the world-class art were perfect wine and culinary dishes — appetizers by Pax Americana, the main course from Helen Greek Food and Wine, concluded with a flourish by dessert from Bistro Menil. Living up to the sublime setting: Carmina Zamorano and Rafael Chavez; in from Paris, Lucas Somoza in a bespoke Tom Ford suit worn for his wedding; Tatiana Massey chatting with Duyen Huynh in a mirrored show-stopping Tom Ford; Dallas jewelers de Boulle's Karen and Denis Boulle, whose new Houston boutique is next door to Tom Ford; art cognoscenti Janis Gardner Cecil, director of Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, in from Manhattan, gallerist Barbara Davis, and artist Christy Karll; social sirens Diane Lokey Farb, Melissa Mithoff, and Phoebe Tudor; Tenenbaum Jewelers' Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black; as well as George Lancaster, Greg Fourticq Jr., Sara Dodd, museum board president Janet Hobby, Laura and Evan Greenberg, Elizabeth and William Galtney, Courtney and Bo Hopson, Bevin and Dan Dubrowski, Lucinda and Javier Loya, Barbara and Michael Gamson, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Jana and Richard Fant, Leslie and Russ Robinson, and John Thrash's daughter, Meghan Thrash, with the Menil, who assisted with this ultimate night at the museum, whose end note yielded $125,000 for its splendid coffers. FIRST ACT: THE OPENING A visit to a Tom Ford boutique is like a journey into the brand's ethos — or Mr. Ford's living room. Designed by Ford's longtime friend and interior designer Bill Sofield, the space features cool marble, sleek chrome fittings and heavily lacquered wood in rich tones, all enveloped by plush gray carpeting and drapery. Works from Mr. Ford's personal art collection include a Calder mobile installed in the women's lounge area. De Sole proudly toured the boutique with wife Eleanor, softly murmuring to her, "We really got this one right." Miz Thrash, in a stunning black gown selected for her by Mr. Ford, held court at the entrance to greet excited guests, many of who were catching their first glimpse of not only the store but also River Oaks District. Tom Ford's New York crew Cori Galpern, Cliff Fleiser, Jared Reichert, Nora Bedrossian, and Angelo DeVito joined regional director/store manager Alan May; River Oaks District mastermind Dene Oliver of OliverMcMillan, with wife Elizabeth, and River Oaks District's Colin Moussa and Charlotte Johnson. Top brass mingled with the beyond-stylish set, many already dressed in TF (the store maintained a list of which socials were wearing what to avoid duplication). Alan May Dorothee Helfenstein Chair Josef Helfenstein Dene Oliver Lucinda Loya Steve Summers Glen Gonzalez Courtney Hopson Bo Hopson Meghan Thrash John Thrash Tony Bradfield Kevin Black Javier Loya Karen Boulle Marc Nguyen Denis Boulle Duyen Huynh Chair Domenico De Sole Diane Lokey Farb Gina Bhatia Mise en scène Phoebe Tudor Cliffe Reckling Lauren Taft Libby Cagle Mark Monroe Adriana Banks Charlotte Johnson Colin Moussa Anne Amante Chair Becca Cason Thrash Leslie Robinson Paula Paine Janet Hobby Tana Wood N o ordinary retail party would do for Tom Ford's big reveal — one of the exclamation points of this fall's extraordinary social scene, of which this was among the most anticipated. Tom Ford, unable to preside in person due to film duties for his latest movie in London, tapped Becca Cason Thrash as the evening's chair, joined by Tom Ford International chairman Domenico De Sole (who also reigns as chairman of the board of Sotheby's). Joining this inimitable duo as third chair, assiduously allying the brand with the world's most storied private museum, was the man at the top of The Menil Collection, director Josef Helfenstein. Even at $1,000 each, tickets sold out quickly for the coveted night. An epic soirée unfolded in two acts, beginning with the first chance to shop the stunning boutique and culminating in the ultimate curated dinner party in the galleries of The Menil Collection. KIRSTEN GILLIAM

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