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A wintry Hats in the Park pits sexy spring frocks against practical fur

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Laurie Morian, from left, Cherie Flores and Lynn Wyatt at Hats in the Park March 2014
Laurie Morian, from left, Cherie Flores and Lynn Wyatt. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Karina Barbieri at Hats in the Park March 2014
Karina Barbieri. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
24 Kirby McCool, left, and Estella Cockrell at Hats in the Park March 2014
Kirby McCool, left, and Estella Cockrell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
22 Kelli Blanton, from left, Joan Schnitzer and Diane Lokey Farb at Hats in the Park March 2014
Kelli Blanton, from left, Joan Schnitzer-Levy and Diane Lokey Farb. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
19 Isabel David, left, and Doreen Stoller at Hats in the Park March 2014
Isabel David, left, and Doreen Stoller. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
17 Y. Ping Sun, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Becca Cason Thrash at Hats in the Park March 2014
Y. Ping Sun, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Becca Cason Thrash. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
18 Jana Arnoldy, left, and Phoebe Tudor at Hats in the Park March 2014
Jana Arnoldy, left, and Phoebe Tudor. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Todd Fiscus, left, and Ceron at Hats in the Park March 2014
Todd Fiscus, left, and Cerón. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
20 Karen Bradshaw, left, and Ariel Bradshaw at Hats in the Park March 2014
Karen Bradshaw, left, and Ariel Bradshaw. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
14 Pat Breen, left, and Franci Crane at Hats in the Park March 2014
Pat Breen, left, and Franci Crane. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 Katie Flaherty, from left, Ting Bresnahan, Audrey Cochran and Monica Blaisdell at Hats in the Park March 201
Katie Flaherty, from left, Ting Bresnahan, Audrey Cochran and Monica Blaisdell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 Kristy Bradshaw, left, and Valerie Dieterich at Hats in the Park March 2014
Kristy Bradshaw, left, and Valerie Dieterich. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 Francoise Djerejian, from left, with Sanford and Susie Criner at Hats in the Park March 201
Francoise Djerejian, from left, with Sanford and Susie Criner. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
3 Don Weissman, from left, Alex Blair and Mike McClure at Hats in the Park March 2014
Don Weissman, from left, Alex Blair and Mike McClure. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 Gracie Cavnar, left, and Jessica Rossman at Hats in the Park March 2014
Gracie Cavnar, left, and Jessica Rossman. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
1 Stanton Welch, from left, Allison Thacker and Jim Nelson at Hats in the Park March 2014
Stanton Welch, from left, Allison Thacker and Jim Nelson. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Laurie Morian, from left, Cherie Flores and Lynn Wyatt at Hats in the Park March 2014
Karina Barbieri at Hats in the Park March 2014
24 Kirby McCool, left, and Estella Cockrell at Hats in the Park March 2014
22 Kelli Blanton, from left, Joan Schnitzer and Diane Lokey Farb at Hats in the Park March 2014
19 Isabel David, left, and Doreen Stoller at Hats in the Park March 2014
17 Y. Ping Sun, from left, Mayor Annise Parker and Becca Cason Thrash at Hats in the Park March 2014
18 Jana Arnoldy, left, and Phoebe Tudor at Hats in the Park March 2014
10 Todd Fiscus, left, and Ceron at Hats in the Park March 2014
20 Karen Bradshaw, left, and Ariel Bradshaw at Hats in the Park March 2014
14 Pat Breen, left, and Franci Crane at Hats in the Park March 2014
9 Katie Flaherty, from left, Ting Bresnahan, Audrey Cochran and Monica Blaisdell at Hats in the Park March 201
8 Kristy Bradshaw, left, and Valerie Dieterich at Hats in the Park March 2014
6 Francoise Djerejian, from left, with Sanford and Susie Criner at Hats in the Park March 201
3 Don Weissman, from left, Alex Blair and Mike McClure at Hats in the Park March 2014
2 Gracie Cavnar, left, and Jessica Rossman at Hats in the Park March 2014
1 Stanton Welch, from left, Allison Thacker and Jim Nelson at Hats in the Park March 2014
Historic Clubhouse at Hermann Park
Get Directions - 6201-A Hermann Park Drive Houston

"The weather is always interesting for this event," noted Mayor Annise Parker as she surveyed the Hermann Park Conservancy's "Hats in the Park" luncheon crowd. With temps in the 30s, rain falling and wind blowing, it was hardly the spring-like day that chair Laurie Morian and honorary chair Lynn Wyatt had hoped for.

Despite Mother Nature's fickle mood, the tent was packed with a sellout crowd of 380 — half dressed in spring frocks and billowing chapeaux, others wrapped in fur and sporting everything from ski caps to Pucci felt fedoras. This whacky juxtaposition of seasonal looks made for a mind-boggling, yet very entertaining, tableau.

As Hermann Park Conservancy president Ann Kennedy quipped,"Does everybody have her dress picked out for next year's luncheon? Yes, it's in the closet."

The luncheon marked the first in a series of events celebrating the park's centennial and honored Cherie Flores. You might remember that it was her husband, Jim Flores, whose birthday gift last year was $5 million for the Centennial Gardens Pavilion. The honoree was so supportive of the luncheon that she purchased enough seats to make up one long table for two dozen best friends. Among them were Patricia Griffith, Vesta Frommer, Jana Arnoldy, Renee Lewis, Aliyya Stude, Robin Wombell, Sara Dodd and Mary Tere Perusquia.

The tent, erected next to the historic clubhouse in Hermann Park, was dressed in floral splendor as party designer Todd Fiscus launched his Todd Events Houston office by decorating for the luncheon. Swaths of fabric floating overhead, chandeliers, topiaries, beautiful flowers and his signature floral wall (fabulous oversized-paper flowers) serving as backdrop for the podium.

Conservancy executive director Doreen Stoller reports, "The event was a record breaker with $289,861 raised specifically for the luncheon along with a portion of $731,750 in special centennial underwriter packages which included a luncheon table."

The lunch bunch included Phoebe Tudor, Susie and Sanford Criner, Ceron, Laura McWilliams, Celina Brener, Alice Burguieres, Stanton Welch, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Isabel David, Valerie Dieterich, C.C. Conner and Estela Cockrell, who will chair the 2015 "Hats in the Park" luncheon with Denise Monteleone.

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