It was Vivian Wise, with an innovative Heart of Fashion presentation, who closed the book on the same old, same old. A hybrid between upscale fashion show and an old-fashion who-done-it, the mysterious evening was irreverent and fun, which is what Wise envisioned when planning the "May Mystery Show."
A series of clues sprinkled throughout social media set the stage for the unexpected. The location — the historic Julia Ideson Reading Room at the Houston Public Library— wasn’t revealed until the day before the show and only ticket-holders were privy to the top-secret location.
Wise and her team set the scene in the downtown library, adding extra atmosphere with the soft glow of candles and a massive floral arrangement in the entry of the show space. Chairs lined the reading room in a traditional fashion show setup while rustic wooden tables were situated in the middle of the room.
The arrangement made for a stunning display when models in Carolina Herrera from Tootsies and jewelry from de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry made the rounds throughout the room. Not one to stick to the status quo, Wise amped up the presentation with a Clue-inspired performance by actors from the Catastrophic Theatre.
“I wanted to do something different,” Wise said. “Fashion is art and it’s so much more than all of us. We are part of the global community.”
Wise reinforced her belief in that community, raising funds for the Texas Legacy Foundation, which donated a portion of the evening’s ticket sales to the Lupus Foundation of America, Gulf Coast Chapter. Wise’s sister Mary Elizabeth Sand suffers from Lupus.
“We all have to wear clothes; you can’t walk around naked, so why not make it meaningful and make it fun?” Wise said.