Not in many, many moons has Nordstrom stepped out in the social arena but with the arrival of new store manager Debra Redmond four months ago, things are changing. A Thursday luncheon in the store's couture department was proof positive that there is a willing audience.
Nordstrom invited a number of its best customers to the seated affair featuring Valentino fashions. RSVPs were required. But not necessarily provided. Debra and her team created a beautiful white on white setting to showcase the designer threads for the 30 or so expected guests. But whoa! More than 40 ladies arrived, eager for a midday fashion happening and for the sea bass lunch provided by Jackson & Co.
Far from exasperated, Debra was rather pleased with the turnout. Out came two more tables (albeit smaller) and lunch was provided for most of the ladies, a high-style international mix including Asian, Latin American and Anglos. It was a sophisticated group not regularly seen on the charity social circuit.
Among the lovelies were Andrea Cornwell, Angela Vascellaro, Lea Bodie, Erika Levante, Thelma Bissat, Bethany Buchanan, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Denise Ozene and Kimberly Van Belle.
When all was said and done, Debra was a happy GM and looking forward to a lot more of these intimate fashion happenings at Nordstrom. Look for your invitations in the mail!
Donald Lipski headlines
Amid the constant stream of parties revolving around the premier Houston Fine Art Fair, few could have been more interesting than the bash that Leigh and Reggie Smith threw on Wednesday at their art-filled River Oaks home. After all, with renowned sculptor Donald Lipski as guest of honor, a certain cachet was guaranteed.
The gathering was hosted by the Houston Arts Alliance for a coterie of curators, collectors, dealers and art enthusiasts, all of whom were charmed by the sculptor's savoir faire and his interest in both seducing and challenging those who view his art. And there was much buzz about his meeting Friday with private dealer Stephen Rosenberg of Stephen Rosenberg Fine Art.
Guests included Houston Fine Art Fair producer Rick Friedman and HFAF director Fran Kaufman; HAA board chairman Marshal Lightman; HAA board members including Minnette Boesel, Shannon Buggs, Kaye DeWalt, John Guess Jr., Judy Nyquist, Mark Praigg and David Wuthrich; HAA CEO Jonathon Glus and Alton LaDay; Jo and Jim Furr; Marilyn Oshman; Melanie Lawson; and CAMH curator Valerie Cassel.
Saluting a city councilwoman
Mover than 70 power brokers gathered at the River Oaks home of political kingmaker Ned Holmes earlier this week in support of City Councilwoman Melissa Noriega. She was praised for her advocacy of public safety, revitalized neighborhoods and the further expansion of METRO.
It seemed that no one in the top-notch political wanted to leave even though Ned and wife Kay had a dinner date with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at his table at the Best Cellars event, where he and wife Tricia were major underwriters.
Among those saluting Melissa were Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria, METRO board member Carrin Patman, Hillday's Argentina James, Klotz Associates' Tom Ramsey, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Fulbright & Jaworski senior partner Neil Thomas, PR whiz Cindy Clifford, City Councilman Steve Costello and wife Debbie, Republic Services area president Greg Rutherford and Shirley and Jim Dannenbaum.
That would be Mexico's former first lady Marta Sahagún de Fox (wife of former Mexico president Vicente Fox) and her two young nieces who made the rounds Friday at the Children's Museum of Houston where they were accompanied by museum director Tammie Kahn.
One of the greater points of interest on their museum itinerary was the new Yalálag interactive display, a recreation of a Oaxacan mountain village in Mexico.