PaperCity Magazine

December 2015 - Houston

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DECEMBER | PAGE 22 | 2015 A VISION IN BLACK AND WHITE: THE MFAH GRAND GALA L eave it to Lynn Wyatt to know that a black-and-white theme makes for anything but a monochromatic affair. Wyatt, in her first turn as chair of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Gala, conjured up a truly unforgettable evening. Inspired by a legendary party she once threw in the South of France, her own black-and-white- striped River Oaks dining room and her unbridled love of the color combo (Karl Lagerfeld calls her "Black and Wyatt"), Wyatt tapped Richard Flowers of The Events Company to bring her vision to life. Flowers transformed Cullinan Hall with black-and-white-striped linens, thousands upon thousands of white orchids and Art Deco mirrors. Guests strictly adhered to Wyatt's decree for a black-and-white black tie dress code, and woe to those who did not. Wyatt glowed in a stunning white custom Oscar de la Renta gown by Peter Copping, who flew in from New York for the gala. Newcomer River Oaks District made good on its philanthropic promise to the city, coming in as a premier underwriter and providing coveted swag bags with Cartier stationery, iPic gift certificates and a Diptyque Baies candle. The David Caceres Orchestra filled the air with sweet sounds during a seated dinner by City Kitchen, which served seared diver sea scallops and saddle of lamb. The 440 supporters sang a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Miz Wyatt as a three-tier black-and-white-striped coconut cake was rolled out — after all, this was part of her 80th birthday celebration. Dashes of celebrity and royalty sprinkled the evening, with actress Shirley MacLaine in town to support her dear friend Wyatt, along with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, in from Britain. Wyatt's BFF Elton John made a cameo via video screen, explaining he was devastated to miss it due to a performance in Sioux Falls. John contributed by providing an autographed pair of his famous sunglasses for auction — Nancy Kinder acquired them for husband and Museum board chair Rich, tipping the amount raised to a record-smashing $2,010,000 for MFAH's coffers. New York socialite Marjorie Gubelman moonlighted as her DJ persona Mad Marj and had revelers tearing up the black- and-white-striped dance floor until well after midnight. On the scene: MFAH director Gary Tinterow with Christopher Gardner; diplomat Hushang Ansary and wife Shahla; River Oaks District's Dene Oliver and wife Elizabeth and Jim McMillan with wife Kris; and Susan and Fayez Sarofim, Diane Lokey Farb, Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Cherie and Jim Flores, Pat Breen, Linda and Walter McReynolds, Carol and Michael Linn, Brad Wyatt, Steve Wyatt with Joyce Echols, Brit Elders, Jonathan Becker, Laurie and Reed Morian, and Karol Barnhart. ANNE LEE PHILLIPS RECAPS THE BALL OF THE SEASON. PHOTOGRAPHY JENNY ANTILL CLIFTON, WILSON PARISH. Berdon Lawrence David Gerger Joyce Echols Steve Wyatt Heidi Gerger Shirley MacLaine Holly Alvis Austin Alvis Peter Copping Susan Sarofim Fayez Sarofim Chair Lynn Wyatt Sarah Ferguson Brittany Hildebrand Tom Glanville Sima Ladjevardian Shahla Ansary Jim McMillan Kris McMillan Elizabeth Oliver Dene Oliver Laurie Morian Terry Wayne Jones Margaret Williams Liz Glanville DJ Mad Marj (Marjorie Gubelmann) Nidhika Mehta Pershant Mehta Scott McClelland Alyssa Herring Alia Eads Frank Hevrdejs Michelle Hevrdejs Rich Kinder Gary Tinterow Chairman Lynn Wyatt makes a wish. Phoebe Tudor Bobby Tudor Nancy Kinder Kelli Cohen Fein Martin Fein Pat Breen Wally Wilson Jeanie Kilroy Wilson Rolanette Lawrence Lucinda Loya Soraya McClelland Chair Lynn Wyatt

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