White Linen Night has long been a New Orleans tradition on the first Saturday of every August. But when so many folks from the Big Easy settled in Houston after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana city, someone got the bright idea to create a White Linen Night — Houston style in 2006. It quickly became a popular August event we can call our own.
The Fifth Annual White Linen Night drew large, jovial crowds to the heart of the Heights Saturday night. Sure it was a scorcher, but once the sun settled down, a breeze picked up and it seemed downright balmy. And everyone was out to have fun.
High above the festivities on 19th Street before the sun went down, Gale McCorkle, Lindsey Bunge and Joby Blackburn listen to the tunes of local band Dune, TX while people-watching.
Jake Bashford rides the waves in a special skim pool set up on 19th street, just east of Yale. Bashford is part of a Cypress group called Skim2Live - Boarding against Breast Cancer. CultureMap photographer Michelle Watson reports that the group is run by high schoolers who are passionate about their cause. "Each time I asked a boarder's name, they told me about the organization and why they were out there. I was very impressed, especially because these were kids. They didn't have some adult out there talking to the people - it was all them!" Watson said.
Hang Ten, Jake!
A runway was set up at the intersection of Rutland and 19th streets, featuring a stellar fashion show of looks from nine Heights stores, including Hello Lucky, Urban Western, Beatniks, Casa Ramirez, Langford Market, Jubilee, Buffalo Exchange, Wind Water Gallery and Coronation Vintage.
A model sports a casual look. Sarah Nezamazadeh, a Houston native who now lives in California, flew in to style the show. A team of hairstylists from Justin M Studio and Team Styles and makeup artists from Modern Makeup Society proved it's possible to maintain a stylish look even in the Houston heat.
I had a great time emceeing the fashion show. And you can tell, I got the memo to wear white linen. DJ Jessica Lozano, in the background, provided the runway music.
Emily Skidmore looks summer cool in a stylish sundress. We also love her CultureMap eco-bag.
Lots of lovelies were out for the evening, including, from left Miss Conroe Victoria Hightower, Miss Texas Kelli Ansley, Miss Houston (2011) Melissa Delgadillo, Miss Teen Houston Helen Li, Miss Teen Galveston County Amber Eastham and Miss South Texas Ronica Jackson.
The guys were stylishly casual, too. From left, Ryne Diaz, Ryan Cotter, Jay Brollier, Rory Pearce.
White Linen Nights was a pet friendly event, so Sarah Wicks brought her rescue rat terrier Casey to the festivities.
Many Heights stores stayed open late to welcome the large crowds.
Mayra Arroyo and Sheila Martinez traveled in style with Petty Cab driver Jahrel Pickeus.
White-clad Carrie Jones and Jessica Moreau biked around the event.
On White Oak Drive, revelers were encouraged to create beautiful images with oversized bubble wands.
For the first time White Linen Night also had a pink theme, as a section of White Oak Drive between Oxford and Columbia streets was dedicated to breast cancer awareness and survivor groups. Representatives from the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center were out in full force on "Pink Street."
Zak Kent played a game of Bra Pong to raise money for American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign.
Lines were long as all establishments serving sno cones, including Mom's Ice House.
Poor Pilate was among the bands that performed.
BB's Cafe was among a sizable number of Heights establishments that featured music in the parking lot, ensuring the White Linen Night lasted into the night.