Air kisses flew from serious distance Wednesday night as Houston Ballet Ball patrons dodged the ostrich plumes, leather beaks and dangling beads that adorned masks which were requisite attire for "The Masked Ball."
Most among the black-tie cotillion of 450 either wore or carried masks, some guests more recognizable than others in the dazzling Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center.
Cheers to ball chairs Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson for the clever salute to the ballet's upcoming premiere of Stanton Welch's "Romeo and Juliet" and the remarkable fete of securing well over $1 million.
Guests enthusiastically embracing the mask theme sourced their decorative disguises from as far away as Venice and New Orleans and as close as fashion designer David Peck's workshop where he created custom masks for guests including Lynn Wyatt and Bridgette Lee. He also designed the gowns and matching masks for Erin O'Leary Stewart and Jessica Collado.
Ball honorees — Phoebe and Bobby Tudor — had custom masks befitting their high status. Her's was a red lace confection, matching her Carolina Herrera gown, by custom milliner Cathy Roscoe. His leather Venetian-style mask was by Kate McNee of New Orleans. Bobby's sister, Lisa Tudor, also of New Orleans, had the mask made for the honoree.
Terrie and Mike Turner were among those wearing masks from Venice. Beth Muecke found hers at Southern Imports while Ceron wore a ribbon and lace mask by Dolce & Gabbana. Caterer extraordinaire Jackson Hicks oversaw the gala dinner, wearing his feathered facial covering that he picked up in Montreal. And, as mentioned in the initial Ballet Ball story, Lucinda and Javier Loya wore striking masks created for them by Hermès in New York.