We can't tell you exactly how many ladies visited their bank vaults Tuesday afternoon in preparation for the Bulgari dinner party at the home of John and Becca Cason Thrash. But we can tell you that more than a few fashion mavens dazzled in pieces from the venerable Italian jeweler.
Yet, no matter how brilliant they were, the fashionistas' jewels were clearly out-blinged by the cache of fabulous pieces brought in by Bulgari for this evening commemorating the company's 130th anniversary — 62 selections, valued at $10 million.
It was no ordinary vitrine display of jewels that greeted guests. The rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces were presented beneath glass domes that were scattered the length of the two dinner tables, resting on floral fields of roses, hydrangeas and greenery. Yes, two long dinner tables, each accommodating 44 guests and bejeweled centerpieces to die for. Applause, applause to Richard Flowers and The Events Co. for such a splendid creation.
"It's peridot, sapphires and — diamonds are a girl's best friend," Becca cooed.
Veronica Bulgari and Alberto Festa, Bulgari North America president, flew in from New York for the private dinner party. For certain, they and Karen Turner-Smith, director of Bulgari in the Galleria, were pleased to see the number of women wearing Bulgari. Diane Lokey Farb truly dazzled in a white gold and diamond suite that had been worn by Catherine Zetta Jones at the Academy Awards a few years back. Joanne King Herring wore a black gown to show off her stunning vintage diamond and yellow gold necklace while Melissa Mithoff wore armloads of Bulgari bracelets. Windi Grimes' Bulgari necklace was a tasteful nod to the house.
Straight from the Bulgari boutique in the Galleria was Lucinda Loya, who had dashed over to the store to pick up a watch to wear with her Bulgari earrings. JoLynn Falgout was drenched in Bulgari. But none could top the earrings and collar necklace worn by the hostess. "It's peridot, sapphires and — diamonds are a girl's best friend," Becca cooed when asked about her lavish ensemble.
"There is a great link between Bulgari and Houston," Festa told the gathering. "We just remodeled the store and it will open in 10 days. We invite you all to come and take a look."
The exhibition will feature 150 sizable pieces of jewelry from Bulgariʼs Heritage Collection.
City Kitchen honchos —Gary Mercer and Jim Ewing — were on hand to insure that the four-course dinner was perfection. And it was.
The beautiful evening was not only a celebration of Bulgari but was also the 18th wedding anniversary for the Thrashes. Applause all around.
Among those feasting on the dinner and savoring the magnificent jewels were Courtney and Bo Hopson, Ann and Mathew Wolf, Allie and Jay Fields, Randy Powers and Bill Caudell, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Terri and John Havens, Valerie Sarofim, Lora and Dr. John Clemmons, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Cliffe Reckling, Annie Amante, Tiffany and Rick Smith and Greggory and Pat Burk. Los Angeles-based party planner extraordinaire Ben Bourgeois, official party guru for Bulgari, flew in just for the dinner.
Bulgari will continue its anniversary celebration in Houston with a special exhibition, Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces, opening at the Museum of Natural Science May 2 and continuing through Oct. 5. The exhibition will feature 150 sizable pieces of jewelry from Bulgariʼs Heritage Collection, including masterpieces from the archives at the company headquarters in Rome and pieces on loan from private collections. Joanne King Herring's necklace is one of the pieces that will be on display.