Becca Cason Thrash is putting finishing touches on plans for next month's Liaisons au Louvre Trois gala in Paris with the announcement that superstar singer Diana Ross will be the featured entertainment.
Ross, whose iconic career has included a multitude of chart-topping songs as a solo artist and lead singer of the Supremes and movies (she was nominated for an Oscar for portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues), will perform underneath the fabled I.M. Pei pyramid before an intimate audience at "La Grand Nuit," a black-tie affair in the fable Louvre on June 18.
"I wanted an iconic performer with songs that people knew the lyrics to. Then I wanted fashion and glamour. Who embodies that more than Diana Ross?" Cason Thrash emailed from Europe, where she is in the midst of preparations.
"I wanted an iconic performer with songs that people knew the lyrics to. Then I wanted fashion and glamour. Who embodies that more than Diana Ross?"
The evening, which also includes cocktails in the Venus de Milo gallery and a seated dinner in the Galerie Daru, in view of the Victoire de Samothrace, will cap three days of social events to raise funds for the American and International Friends of the Louvre, of which Cason Thrash is vice chair, and the vaunted museum.
Other activities include a dinner at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin and his wife, Susan Tolson, a private tour of the Louvre, a visit to couture designer Jean-Paul Gaultier's atelier and an exclusive dinner at the Palais du Luxembourg, the home of the French Senate, where such an event is rarely allowed.
On the day after the "La Grande Nuit" gala, designer Andrew Gn, a favorite of Houston's social set, is hosting a "hangover" brunch for the Houston women attending the festivities. A large contingent of Houstonians, totaling nearly 50, is crossing the pond to take part in the festivities.
It is the third time that Cason Thrash has set her sights on raising significant funds for the Louvre in Paris. In June 2008, the Houston dynamo impressed European charity circles with the inaugural Liaisons au Louvre that raised $2.7 million and stood as a first for the museum in terms of private fundraising on such a scale. Duran Duran performed at the inaugural event.
In June, 2011, she raised more than $3.8 million for the museum at Liaisons au Louvre II, which featured featured a full-blown show by Janet Jackson.
Among the guests rumored to attend Liasons au Louvre Trois are actresses Milla Jovovich, Diane Kruger and Salma Hayek, with her husband Francois Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of French luxury firm PPR, designers Gaultier, Christian Louboutin and Alber Elbaz, author Danielle Steele and Charlotte Casiraghi, the granddaughter of Princess Grace of Monaco.
Also on hand will be three Duran Duran members, Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, and their significant others, all of whom are close friends with Cason Thrash and her husband, John Thrash. Taylor and wife Gela Nash-Taylor have donated a stay at their English country home, South Wraxall Manor, as a live auction item.
Other live auction items include a work by Anselm Kiefer, donated by art dealer Thaddaeus Ropac, a five-night Nile cruise for eight guests on Louboutin’s private boat and a weekend at the Forbes mansion in Normandy, France.
The attire for "La Grand Nuit" is "extremely formal;" Cason Thrash plans to wear a Gaultier haute couture gown.