Shelby About Town
Houstonians and Lance Armstrong rule at the Louvre, plus Facebook games
It's been two years since Becca Cason Thrash chaired the original Liaisons au Louvre fundraiser — three days of heady, chichi partying in Paris in support of the venerable museum. In the interim, the powerhouse party organizer and philanthropist has been working on the second act of the multi-million dollar fundraiser.
The 12-page invitations went out internationally last week for Liaisons au Louvre II, a mid-November bash that promises to surpass the elegance and social cachet of the 2008 fundraiser.
Consider the international committee, which is in itself enough to make a society swan's head swim: Prince Albert of Monaco, YSL designer Stefano Pilati, Vogue's Hamish Bowles, Gagosian Gallery owner LarryGagosian of Paris and New York, Luziah Hennessy (think Moet Hennessy), Hubert and Xavier Guerrand-Hermès (as in the vaunted French fashion house) and a flock of well-heeled counts, countesses and dukes plus a princess by the name of Napoleon.
In a cultural twist, seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is also included on the committee.
The by-invitation-only series of parties opens doors that mere mortals would never have access to. But then those ponying up $10,000 per person for the privilege (as well as paying the serious tariffs at such recommended hotels as the Plaza Athenee, the George V and the Crillon) have more likely than not passed through some fairly serious portals.
The itinerary to date includes cocktails at the American ambassador's residence followed by dinner in the Petite Palais; an afternoon tour and lavish French country supper at Champ de Bataille, a 17th century baroque castle owned by celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia; a private viewing of the recently-completed Twombly ceiling in the Louvre; and the grand gala evening in the museum proper.
That swell black-tie soirée begins with cocktails in the Napoleon III apartments, continues with dinner in the Cour Marly and then moves on to the I.M. Pei Pyramid for champagne and dessert. For those with stamina for partying until the sun rises, the Louvre's Café Marly hosts wee hours disco action.
Invitations for Houstonians have been limited to 40 individuals, according to Cason Thrash, and those slots have been filled. It helps to be a BBF (Becca Best Friend).
Milton Townsend is stirring up fun from his summer perch in Vermont with a playful Facebook entry today reading "just got a marriage proposal." Despite the fact that he and renowned caterer Jackson Hicks have been partners for years, this news flash is stirring interest among friends. But then again he did not say from whom the proposal came.
Opera star Laura Claycomb offers to share the name of "a great caterer." Interior designer Randy Powers responded simply, "Oh lord." Houston Grand Opera music director Patrick Summers lamented that "you turned me down." And I offered to give a wedding shower.
Social butterfly and potential reality series superstar Cindi Rose is flying high this summer and e-mail updates are regularly arriving on CultureMap computers. From her latest missive: "I have four different people vying for me to sign (for reality shows) with them, and Erica's show has reached 1 million viewers per episode." You might remember that Cindi has been romanced by several producers of reality-based programs and that daughter Erica Rose is splashing across the small screen on VH1's You're Cut Off.
Talk about hobnobbing with the biggies, she continues "I did meet Andy Cohen, and my photo is posted with him on my Facebook, from the Gay Pride where I rode a float."
This week, Erica and Cindi are in LA for the premier of the sci-fi thriller Inception where, Cindi writes, that she will be "on the red carpet next to Leonardo DiCaprio. I am also invited to Paul Wall's alblum release party with Crystal Wall" (the Houston-based rapper's wife who is also said to be a contender for the proposed Real Housewives of Houston).
"Erica and I have new outfits designed by Cesar Galindo and Luca Luca . . . Erica is getting signed up for many hosting jobs and appearance fees, from LA, New Jersey, NY to Vegas. We rented her an apt. in LA for the summer so she can make her 30 minutes of fame, turn into a few years." Go girl!
University of Houston Moores School of Music patron and board member Beth Madison hosting a dinner for Moores School supporters in a private salon at Hotel Granduca. Among the guests in summer party clothes were Tara and David Wuthrich, Margaret Williams and Bob Boudreaux, Nancy and Eric Littlejohn, Gene and Linda Dewhurst, and Sallymoon and Dr. Alan Bentz . . .
Beaumont's Sheila and Walter Umphrey celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at Tony's with best pals Sheridan andJohn Eddie WilliamsandJoe Jamail. Just think of the legal testosterone at play with those heavyweight trial lawyers all at one table . . .
Melinda and Dr. Norman Berkman dining a the Lexington Grill with Diane and John Connally III.