Could it be that a fresh fashion sensation was launched Saturday night at the House of Blues? Or that a new dance craze was born? Houston Young Professionals for the Arts shook up party clothes and dance traditions with its "I Dream of Maharani" bash in the Bronze Peacock Room.
The suggested attire was sari or cocktail and scores of young women obliged, stepping out in dazzling beaded swaths of silks and organzas crafted in sari motif. Faux rubies, diamonds and even turquoise dotted their foreheads. More than a few of the fellows sported their interpretation of maharaja chic, none more fanciful than Edward Sanchez and Christopher Hancock. Nehru jackets reigned as the sporting men's attire. Anyone inspired on the spot, could pick up bangles, saris and swaths of embellished fabrics at a bazaar area sponsored by Dallas-based Prashe Fusion.
The supersonic energy of this night was delivered by DJ Yogi G whose Bollywood dance videos and music kept the crowd moving until well past 1 in the morning. Think Slumdog Millionaire dance scene ramped up by a quotient of 10. Gorgeous Bollywood stars — both men and women — romped across the mega-sized screen to irresistible beats inspiring the HYPA night crawlers to dance.
Congrats to chairs Elizabeth Abraham, Heather Pray, Joshua Espinedo, Liz Cleveland, Heather Oglesby and Melissa Fitzgerald. The "maharani" (princess) theme of the party was a nod to Houston Ballet's upcoming production of La Bayadere which is set in royal India. Several dancers from the company joined the party — including Kelly Myernick, Peter Franc, Jessica Collado and Chris Gray — plus Houston Ballet staffers Andrew Edmonson and Sarah Meals.
In the party mix were Ilyas Colombowala, Kristy Junco and Chris Bradshaw, Andrew Huang, Amy and Steve Popp, Nic Phillips, Beth and Nick Zdeblick, Kim Padgett and Lauren Pray with Jack McWilliams.
This royal Indian theme is proving so popular that Elizabeth Abraham is planning on holding "Saris and Samosas" nights once a month or so at her Montrose watering hole/eatery SoVino. Abraham hosted the HYPA kick-off party there and it was a huge hit with close to 300 turning out for the Bollywood music and theme dressing.