The elegance of all cultures Asian was on display in beautiful form Friday night as Asia Society Texas Center celebrated the first anniversary of its stunning Yoshio Taniguchi home in the Museum District. More than 500 strong, celebrants helped raise $625,000 for the cultural center while showcasing Houston's richly diverse population.
Dr. Devinder Bhatia, who parents are Sikhs and of Indian origin, and Gina Bhatia, all-American blonde, chaired the gala that celebrated the meshing of cultures from China to Iran to Pakistan. Consider the honorary chairs in this melting pot of ethnicities — Muffet Blake, Sheida and Dr. Mohammad Etminan and Sheela and Ashok Rao.
Guests from numerous nationalities, many in national dress, arrived via red carpet to spend the cocktail hour in an open-sided pavilion tent on the festival lawn of the sleek center.
Divya Brown in Indian attire, Y. Ping Sun in a stunning gown from China, Jo Furr in all-American black-tie gown and University of Houston president Renu Kahtor in dazzling Indian sari from her homeland were just a few setting the international fashion pace. Asia Society benefactor Nancy Allen and daughter-in-law Chinhui Juhn both wore traditional Korean formal dress while Asia Society acting director John Bradshaw Jr. dressed in an authentic, lightly beaded silk sherwani.
The show-stopper of the night was Duyen Huynh in black slim-cut evening gown and Piers Atkinson gargantuan cherries. All eyes were on the towering beauty from the moment of her arrival.
On this beautiful night, the center proved its mettle as a stellar entertaining space with colorfully-decorated dinner tables spread out across all venues in the contemporary space, from the stage of the theater to water garden terrace to the intimate north gallery. In the various venues Asian musicians provided dinner music while the Jackson and Co. team served a divine five-course meal.
The guest list was a who's who of the city's international community including Anne and Albert Chao, Lilly and Hamid Kooros, Nananko and Dale Tingleaf, Neda and Mosoud Ladjevardian, Dorothee Sauter Helfenstein and Josef Helfenstein, Sultana Mangalji, Kalyani Giri, Rathana Kumar, Miya Shay and Gene Wu and Eduardo and Pilar de la Garza.
The stellar turnout included Charles Foster, Tony and Isaac Arnold, Isla and Tommy Reckling, Bill King, Jennifer Roosth and Dominic Cellitti, C.C Conner and David Groover, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Tatiana and Craig Massey and Andrea and Bill White.