PaperCity Magazine

September 2017 - Dallas

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Page 39 of 163

38 B ecca Cason T h r a s h pulled it off once again! And this time, the pow- e r h o u s e Houston patron saint — an infectiously witty, tireless, and formidable fund-raiser — man- aged to outdo her three previous charitable events for American and International Friends of the Louvre. For this iteration, Liaisons au Louvre IV, she added Venice and the Venetian Heritage to the mix (she sits on the board of both venerable institutions) and tacked three days onto the itinerary. A full six days of once-in-a-lifetime galas, luncheons, dinners and private tours ensued for lucky guests from ports of call around the world, as well as Houston and Dallas. Paris was first on the schedule, and setting the tone for the weeklong extravaganza was a welcoming cocktail party hosted by the Ritz Paris in its expansive gardens. The next day, guests were given a private tour of the Musée Picasso, led by Olivier Picasso, scion of the master painter. That afternoon, a ter- ror attack on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées — 200 yards from the Petit Palais (the venue for that evening's dinner) — left one terrorist shot dead, causing mandatory evacuations of both the Petit and Grand Palais for three hours, and also shutting down streets in the area. Setup had begun earlier for the glo- rious seated dinner hosted by Van Cleef & Arpels. Neither the flower delivery nor catering trucks could get to the venue in time. Cason Thrash, who was orchestrating every detail at the historic palace, quickly composed an email that was sent to all guests saying due to the record heat that day (96 de- grees!), dinner would begin an hour later than scheduled, thus squashing any sense of alarm. The show, indeed, went on and the miles-long tablescapes of apricot, coral, and marigold fleurs and fruits left the 140 guests breathless as they purred up to the Beaux-Arts-style pal- ais. The next day, the crack of noon brought an eye-popping private tour of the newly refur- bished 18th-century decorative arts galleries in the Louvre, fresh from a nine-year renovation overseen by French designer Jacques Garcia, with proceeds from Liaisons au Louvre I and II going toward funding of this enormous project. The finale in Paris was the gala, La Grande Nuit, at Musée du Louvre — with a seated din- ner, art auction, and private performance by Duran Duran in the I.M. Pei-designed Pyramid, and a rollicking after-party at the adjacent Café Marly. Cason Thrash brilliantly held the din- ner in the cool confines of the Louvre's underground medieval moats, discovered in the mid- 1980s, whcih reveal the ruins of a castle. The queen of the night chat- ted with guests under the watch- ful eye of the Venus de Milo, and guests congregated in bouquets at the feet of the Winged Victory and the Great Sphinx of Tanis; Cason Thrash in a vintage Dior Haute couture gown and jacket encrusted with rhinestone bead- ing by Lesage. To prepare and design the elaborate evening, Cason Thrash and Houston's Richard Flowers meticulously plotted and planned months earlier in Houston, with the pair filming and photograph- ing mock-ups of tabletops for Chair Becca Cason Thrash Naeem Khan, Julie Macklowe Thierry Wasser, Greg Fourticq Jr. Lucas Somoza Tracey Amon, Brian Bolke Richard Flowers Chair Becca Cason Thrash Kip Forbes, Sana Sabbagh John Thrash, Rebecca Carcelle Vipin Sareen Marc & Duyen Nguyen Laura Greenberg, Glen Gonzalez, Evan Greenberg Judith Oudt Steve & Linda Ivy (continued on page 40) (continued from page 36)

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