Leave it to Vivian Wise to start the New Year off with a bang.
Like a lot of people, the Heart of Fashion founder found 2016 to be a less than stellar year. So she decided to turn the page with her first "Back in Black" Masquerade Ball and picked the date of 1/7/17 to say goodbye to the past. "What better than to celebrate the New Year than in the New Year?" she said.
Several hundred guests filled the second floor of Rich's in masks of all shapes and sizes as the Moet flowed and the eye candy was impressive. Spotted in the masked crowd were Page Parkes, Bubba McNeely and Michael Johnson, Amir Taghi, Shannon Hall and Marcus Sloan, Christian Miranda, Maya and Hank Fastoff, Fady Armanious, Delise Ward and Craig Lidji, and John Evatz.
Also joining in the fun were Pam and Paul Brown, Tamara Klosz Bonar and James Bonar, Nicole Lassiter, JJ Smith, Todd Ramos, Milton Townsend, Becky Hollands, Jeremy and Jaquel Andrews, Chris and Abby Vanegas, Joubaier Joubert, Myrtle Jones, and Beth Muecke.
Just around midnight, on the downstairs dance floor, a Lady Gaga impersonator performed "Born This Way," and afterwards Wise appeared above the stage surrounded by scanticly-clad models of both sexes in a tableau that looked like a scene out of Eyes Wide Shut. Several of the female models showcased designer clothes from Wise's closet, including the Nina Ricci dress she wore when she canceled her wedding, along with some of the looks from the Marchesa fall collection.
"Everybody is (like) everybody else. We're all the same, every single last one of us," said Wise, who donated the proceeds from the evening to the Human Rights Campaign. "Take away the masks, take away the clothes, take away all of it, we're all still human. And that's what it's about."
Wise also revealed to CultureMap that she plans another big fashion bash in May, featuring Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, who will make a personal appearance in Houston. We can't wait.