The rain did little to dampen that lovin' feeling at Tootsies for the "Love’s in Fashion" cocktail party and runway show featuring 18 couples, including CultureMap’s own Shelby Hodge and her dashing hubby Shafik Rifaat. The party benefited the 25th anniversary of Houston’s Art Car Parade, a program sponsored by The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.
The Valentine’s eve party drew couples, best friends and art and fashion fans dressed in sultry reds, sweet pinks and deep purples in celebration of the lovers holiday. Bites from the much-anticipated Katsuya proved that the way to a man’s (and frankly a woman’s) heart is through the stomach.
With Barry White blasting, a bit of a runway logjam formed, turning the catwalk into a spontaneous dance floor.
Five Katsuya chefs flew in from Los Angeles to prepare the preview noshes and just as soon as the trays of delicacies streamed out of the kitchen, they were gobbled up. Hopefully it was enough to tide over the masses who have to wait until the Houston Katsuya opens March 2 in West Ave.
The real stars of the evening though were the famous faces who walked hand-in-hand down the runway for the casual fashion show. Smiles replaced stiff model expressions as local famous faces such as Page Parkes-Eveleth even gave a little skip as she and her husband Bob Eveleth made their way down the marble strip.
Showing their love on the runway were Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu, Mimi and Robert Del Grande, Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Carla and Alex Martinez, Miya Shay and Gene Wu, Debra and Mark Grierson, Isabel and Danny David, Shannon Hall and Marcus Sloan, Lucy and Hayden Rieveschl, Neal Hamil and Jonathan Luke, Laurann Claridge and William Zeitz, Joyce and Hugh Echols, Lauren Serice and Kalon Joseph Reid McMahon, Megan and Chris Reed, John and Becca Cason Thrash.
Celebrity models were dressed for a romantic night out in looks from Tootsies, while the men mixed tailored sports coats with denim from Rye 51. Neal Hamil and Page Parkes models provided professional interludes on the runway, showing cocktail, playful lingerie and glam evening gowns.
Perhaps the most fun of the evening was at the end of the fashion show when the final walk morphed into a conga line. With Barry White blasting, a bit of a runway logjam formed, turning the catwalk into a spontaneous dance floor. It typified the spirit of the evening. And that was just the way Tootsies owner Mickey Rosmarin had imagined this lively fashion fete.
Art and fashion make beautiful partnerships and between the limited edition Art Car poster created by Dan Allison and the confection paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz, there was plenty to go around.
Allison married his love of toy cars and the whimsy of the Art Cars for his poster, which sells for $150. Proceeds from the poster benefit the Orange Show. At the other end of the spectrum, Mondini-Ruiz’s paintings titled "Couture on Canvas," were colorful bites of fashion, romance, humor and art.