The tone was a rich mix of Euro chic and H-Town sophistication when the Menil Collection rolled out the red carpet for System magazine co-founders Alexia Niedzielski and Elizabeth von Guttman at a recent cocktail evening that also saluted Lynn Wyatt for her cultural contributions to the city.
In only the second issue of the biannual publication, Houston takes the lead, presenting a lengthy interview with Wyatt and featuring William Middleton's Q&A with Menil Collection curator Susan Sutton. Middleton and Sutton dish on the relationship between American couturier Charles James and his patron and client Dominique de Menil. The retrospective "Charles James: A Thin Wall of Air" opens at the Menil in May.
It was fitting then that when Niedzielski and von Guttman swept through town, Menil director Josef Helfenstein opened the doors to the Menil House in River Oaks for the cocktail fete. Designed by Philip Johnson for Dominique and John de Menil in 1949, the modernest landmark today is owned by the Menil Collection and is furnished with pieces designed by James.
The buzz was on among those present and eager to meet the co-founders of what the Daily Beast calls "the coolest new fashion magazine" and what the New York Times describes as "a deep-thoughts magazine about the fashion industry." System is based in London and Paris.
Surely impressing the European duo was a stellar mix of Houstonians including Steve Wyatt, Janet and Paul Hobby, Patrick Summers, Franci Crane, Marcy Taub Wessel and Tom Wessel, Harry Pinson, Susanne and William Pritchard, Sara Dodd, Gregory Fourticq, Jerry Jeanmard and Cliff Helmcamp, Mickey Rosmarin, Chris Goins and John and Becca Cason Thrash.