What: Haute Havana Night.
Where: Elizabeth Anthony.
The 411: The American Heart Association got an early start for its big "Hearts in Havana" gala next February with a Cuban-themed party and fashion show hosted by Elizabeth Anthony owner Julie Roberts. Lively steel drummers, Havana-themed cocktails and Cuban cuisine lent a tropical theme to the evening for guests, including members of the Circle of Red, a special group of women who support the Houston chapter's efforts to reduce heart disease.
Liancarlo designer Carlos Ramirez flew in from Miami to present his spring collection of lavishly embroidered evening gowns. The highlight of the evening came when Ali Babineaux, known as the "Bionic Bride" because she was given a revolutionary artificial heart that saved her life months before her wedding, and her physician, Dr. Roberta Bogaev, walked the runway in striking Liancarlo gowns.
Babineaux singled out her husband and told the amazing story of how a virus affected "my once beautiful heart" when she was only 18. Doctors implanted a ground-breaking pump called the Heart Mate II that allowed her to survive until she was able to undergo a heart transplant.
Texas Medical Center executive vice president and chief financial officer Denise Castillo-Rhodes, dressed in a red cocktail dress, led a toast to the Houston Go Red for Women campaign that she chairs. It raises funds to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of women.
Who: Spotted in the crowd were Hallie Vanderhider, Anita Smith, Dr. Aldona Spiegel, Carolyn Farb and Gordon Strobeck, Perla Herrera, Jean Chapmen, Cheryl Byington, Karen Wildenstein, Laura Bellows, 2016 Houston Heart Ball chair Lacey Goosmen, Peter Remington, Beth Wolff, Barbara van Postman and Joe Amberson.