The invitation to Becca Cason Thrash's hip dinner soirée feting Vogue European editor-at-large Hamish Bowles troubled no one more than it did the guest of honor — at least for a moment.
"I was a bit alarmed when I got the injunction to wear jeans," he said Friday night, taking a break from signing copies of his latest coffee table tome The World in Vogue: People, Parties, Places. For the book signing cum Western bash at the Thrash home, he wore the only pair of jeans that he owns. But, dandy that he is, Bowles dressed them up with an Etro shirt and purple velvet jacket, Charvet pocket square and custom-made boots designed for him by Christian Louboutin. A gift from the hostess and her husband, John Thrash.
(Becca had been seated next to Louboutin at a dinner party in Paris two weeks prior and they talked about the Texas-themed do she was planning for Bowles back in Houston. When she mentioned that the British writer needed authentic cowboy boots for the party, Louboutin, close friends with Bowles, turned over the menu card and sketched them, complete with colors and skins. As soon as she returned home, Becca took the sketch to Jimmy Morado at Morado Boots and had them stitched together in time for the party.)
The fetching footwear was done in lavender with shiny platinum accents. "My favorite color is lilac," Bowles explained.
With the gents comfortable in jeans, boots and jackets and the ladies in high style (many in cocktail), the party rollicked on with margaritas and tequilla shots flowing.
Books practically flew out of the door with Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Renea Abbott and Greg Manteris, Jackson Hicks and Elizabeth and Gary Petersen among the many having personal inscriptions made. "The book captures the iconic moments of the women that Vogue loves and has loved for a century," Bowles said, "their parties, their style, their weddings, their engagements."
We are certain that Vogue would have loved this night as well -- perhaps for a new book? The 120 guests sat down at two long, crystal candelabra-laden tables on either side of the Thrashes' indoor pool, the famed Andy Warhol Marilyn's looking on.
Adding to the glamorous tableau were special out-of-town guests who came in not only for the Bowles party but also for the Houston Ballet Ball the following night, which honored the Thrashes. Uber party designer Ben Bourgeois and Juicy Couture co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor came in from Los Angeles. John Thrash's business associate from Spain Joaquin Fernandez de Cordova y Hohenlohe, enjoying more titles than amazon.com, added a noble touch.
In keeping with the western theme, Becca tapped Austin's Ranch 616 to provide the vittles — a hefty three-course meal centered around enchiladas and a mesquite-smoked ribeye big enough for a rodeo cowboy. Chefs Kevin Williamson and Antonio Vidal were on hand to oversee the dinner topped off with pecan pie. Yum.
It was the right sustenance for the guest of honor, who needed a certain amount of protein-fueled verve for his second act of the night. After signing scores of books, Bowles changed hats to that of salon entertainer, performing four Noel Coward numbers with an accompanist at the Thrashes' grand piano. Becca reported that Bowles arrived from the airport at 1 p.m. that afternoon and rehearsed for three hours straight. Applause, applause from a pleased audience.
Who were the lucky ones scoring invitations to the glamorous party? Greggory and Pat Burk, Joyce and Andrew Echols, Laura and John Spalding, Liz Decker, Sarah and Ron Simon, Susan and Mike Plank, Milton Townsend, Dan and Bevin Dubrowski, Diane Lokey Farb and Bill Caudell and Randy Powers.