PaperCity Magazine

December 2015 - Houston

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De Boulle owner Denis Boulle and his son, Nick Boulle CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Patek Philippe Lepine pocket watch, 44mm in 18K gold with Arabic numbers, $39,000. De Boulle Collection three-flower foldable ring in 18K gold with round brilliant yellow- diamond petals, $13,500. De Boulle Collection large textured rope toggle necklace in 18K gold, $27,000. David Webb gold and platinum elephant bracelet with emerald, rubies and diamonds, $79,000. De Boulle Collection triple-stack rings with bezel-set round brilliant black diamonds, $11,100. D allas–based jeweler de Boulle has opened a stunning boutique in Houston's tony new River Oaks District, with a full Patek Philippe Showroom, the only such treasury in Texas, stocking a full assemblage of these exquisite handmade time pieces. Both de Boulle and Patek Philippe are family owned; Patek Philippe was founded in Geneva in 1839 and remains Geneva's oldest independent watch manufacturer; de Boulle, which opened in Dallas in 1983 by husband and wife Denis and Karen Boulle, continues its legacy via their son, Nick Boulle, who has taken a more active role in the business since the Houston debut. Denis was born on the island of Mauritius and raised in South Africa and England; Karen, whose father was in the English military, lived all over Asia as a child. It's no surprise, then, that when Patek Philippe sought its first Patek Philippe Showroom in Houston, it called upon those well-heeled, well-traveled Boulles. It was kismet, as the family had serendipitously been eyeing Houston for their first foray out of Dallas. "That's what excites us," Denis says. "Houston is such an international city." The result of the Patek Philippe and de Boulle partnership is exquisite. One salon, formally called the Patek Philippe Showroom, is dedicated to a massive array of the inimitable Swiss timepieces. The other is anchored by de Boulle's collection of fine jewelry, including its namesake collection of precious baubles. International design firm Gensler and its Houston–based designer, Lisa Pope-Westerman, did wonders with the interior. Details are as precious as the wares: display cases wrapped in leather, walls of onyx and BY CHRISTINA GEYER. PHOTOGRAPHY MAX BURKHALTER. PRODUCED BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. GOLD boulle's artisan plaster, Baldinger chandeliers and oak floors in classic herringbone pattern. It's what rests inside those leather-clad cases, though, that begs the most attention. "The Patek pieces," Denis says, "truly are works of art as fine as any man can make." In celebration of the watchmaker's 175th anniversary, de Boulle will house one of four special-edition Calatrava timepieces, featuring a marquetry dial inspired by vintage postcards of Lake Geneva and its traditional sailing vessels. The de Boulle Collection, designed by Karen Boulle, is carried en masse in Houston. "Over the years," says Nick, "she has designed small pieces here and there, but she is shy about it. Finally, with pressure from us, she was able to take ownership." The collection allows Karen full creative control, from the stones she employs to the craftsmen sourced to cut them. Each, in turn, has a story. A stunning new pair of earrings is the result of a discovery. "We found a rare block of turquoise from a mine that no longer produces," Denis says. "It was probably the finest turquoise I've ever seen." From that one block came 18 pieces, each one-of-a-kind and cut by German artisans. De Boulle also stocks a remarkable collection of David Webb, unique to its Houston store. "David Webb is probably one of the greatest American designers that has ever lived," Denis says, "and Houston used to be their number one market." The stunning statement pieces, with Webb's signature animal elements — lions, tigers, elephants, et al. — are at once larger-than-life, luxurious and striking. Similar in many ways to that handsome Boulle family, no? T he gents of the Alley Theatre kicked off the Wild Things party with a chic event at Louis Vuitton in the Galleria that showcased the Fall 2015 men's ready-to- wear collection. Ladies, while not invited to the annual black-tie men's evening at The Coronado Club, were invited to partake in a little luxury shopping to benefit the Alley Theatre's education and community engagement programs and artistic initiatives. Bottles of Veuve Clicquot flowed, and chairs Trey Peacock and Steve Morse — who will also serve as chairs of the main event — toasted to the newly renovated Alley and stirred up excitement for Wild Things, which features a wild-game dinner and live auction. It was Joanne King Herring's handbag that stole the spotlight, however. A testament to the longevity and quality of LV products, she was sporting a vintage Louis Vuitton clutch that had survived an actual war. The bag had accompanied Herring on her travels during the Soviet-Afghan war, which lasted from 1979 to 1989; not your average philanthropist, Herring's life inspired the book Charlie Wilson's War. Louis Vuitton's Andy Fullen and Jamie Christensen, both in from Dallas, and Patricia Smith, back at LV after many years at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mingled with Alley exec Dean Gladden and wife Jane, and supporters Bob Cavnar, Andrew Cordes and Brian H. Teichman, Anne Carl, Sheldon and Clayton Erikson, Marsha and John Beeson, Lauren Swenson, Devin Baltazar, Jerome Senegal, Bud Hagner, and Valerie and Will Dittner. For more party coverage, visit GOING WILD AT ANNE LEE PHILLIPS RECAPS A THEATRICAL FÊTE. PHOTOGRAPHY DAVE ROSSMAN. LOUIS VUITTON Andrew Cordes Rhonda Bass Rhoda Saka Andy Fullen Brian H. Teichman Pete Beausoleil Michael Leibbert Tanara Landor Taylor Hudgins Ceron Anne Carl Joanne King Herring Bud Hagner Marsha Beeson Will Dittner Valerie Dittner John Beeson Lauren Swenson Mark Judson Sheldon Erikson Clayton Erikson Nancy Giles Kathryn Straw Dean Gladden Jamie Christensen Chair Steve Morse Chair Trey Peacock Travis Deshotel

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