PaperCity Magazine

February 2016 - Dallas

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Mary Grimes Don Grimes Coley Clark Jennifer Clark BY CHRISTINA GEYER. PHOTOGRAPHY OWEN KOLASINSKI/BFA. FEBRUARY | PAGE 14 | 2016 50 FABULOUS AT NEIMAN MARCUS AND NORTHPARK CENTER HOST A MOST SWELLEGANT FÊTE. S ince the first Fortnight in 1957 honoring France, hosted by the inimitable Stanley Marcus and attended by Coco Chanel, Neiman Marcus parties have become lavish legends. So when invitations arrived for a black-tie gala hosted by Neiman Marcus and NorthPark Center and benefitting the Nasher Sculpture Center's youth arts education programs, there was no doubt that this, too, would be a memorable night. You see, NorthPark Center and Neiman Marcus share a rich history. In 1965, NM was one of the first four retailers to open at NorthPark Center, relocating its second store from Preston Road to the newly constructed shopping center conceived by late developer and art collector Raymond Nasher. Indeed, NorthPark Center's 50th Anniversary, which boasted dozens of celebratory events in the fall, was also an important milestone for Neiman Marcus. As the event drew near, questions swirled: Who was invited? What fashion frenzy would Neiman Marcus fashion director and senior VP Ken Downing concoct? Who was the secret entertainer? Where would NM execs (Mimi Sterling, Chuck Steelman, Sandy Marple, et al.) stage a seated dinner for hundreds inside the palatial store? The answers came at half after six on a balmy October evening. NorthPark proprietors Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and Neiman Marcus president and CEO Karen Katz and husband Alan Katz welcomed guests to a mod reception in the shoe salon. It became quite clear that the guest list was highly edited, limited to the city's most lustrous: philanthropic types such as Michal Powell, Caren and Pete Kline, and Ellen and Don Winspear; art leaders including Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick, with wife Wendy Strick, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's VP of development Michelle Miller Burns, and art collectors Robyn and Michael Siegel; fashion elite, including the fanciest Nancy Rogers, Bagsnob's Tina Craig, and Kim Dawson Agency owner Lisa Dawson, with husband and author Tom Maurstad. Downing, however, was absent from the reception, as he was busily styling 50 models in 50 looks for a pre-dinner fashion show, with help from L.A. jewelry designer Devon Leigh, who created hundreds of one-of-a-kind baubles for the occasion. Also to be revealed was Steve Tyrell, the crooner who sings standards at the iconic Carlyle hotel in New York City. Rumor has it Tyrell's romance-packed performance was Nancy Nasher's only special request for the gala, as the party fell on the same date as her wedding anniversary. Finally, the big reveal: Dinner was served on the third floor, where Katherine Mathes Bullock and her team at Mathes and Co. Events set a landscape of dining tables in shades of white and gold with a cerulean carpet snaking maze-like around the tables, which would later serve as a runway. Karen Katz recalled her favorite NorthPark memories — from shopping at Neiman Marcus with her mother when it opened in 1965 to buying candy at Woolworths to being named general manager of the NorthPark Neiman Marcus in 1991. "I got to see everyone in Dallas walk through those doors," she said. "Ray Nasher would visit during the holidays and walk the store to see what was popular." David Haemisegger followed suit: "Neiman Marcus and NorthPark have been synonymous for the last 50 years," he said. "It is the heart and soul of NorthPark." He then raised a glass to E.G. Hamilton, the architect and chief designer of the shopping center, who sat at the head table with the Nasher-Haemiseggers and Katzes. Ken Downing's crowning moment sealed the deal that this would be a much-talked-about affair. His fashion show lasted nearly 45 minutes, as it took each of the 50 models almost a full minute to walk the dining-room runway. His styling was an extraordinary homage to the rule that more is more and less is a bore, with models layered up in a most exquisite mix of precious gems and fur, gowns and tuxedos, lush knits and eye-catching accessories. In many ways, the runway show — like the gala itself — was the perfect mix of past, present and a very glamorous future. "THIS SHOPPING CENTER CHANGED MY SATURDAYS." —KAREN KATZ, NEIMAN MARCUS PRESIDENT AND CEO Ann Wood Jeff Wylie Nancy Rogers Tina Craig Neva Hall Mimi Sterling Leon Banowetz Molly Banowetz Lucy Wrubel Ken Downing David Haemisegger Dean Fearing Douglas Carney Robyn Siegel Michael Siegel Wendy Strick Jeremy Strick Pete Kline Caren Kline Jim Gold Lynne Sheldon Roy Sheldon Michael Flores Fifty looks for 50 years Wanda Gierhart Michel Smith Boyd Sam Saladino Nancy Nasher Karen Katz Alan Katz Barbara Womble

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