Party at the Louvre

Diana Ross headlines $3 million Louvre benefit gala hosted by Houston socialite

Diana Ross headlines lavish Louvre benefit hosted by Houston socialite

Diana Ross at Liasions au Louvre gala in Paris June 2013
Diana Ross stops in the name of love. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Charlotte Casiraghi and friend at Louvre party June 2013
Charlotte Casiraghi, princess of Monaco, left, and friend walk the red carpet Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Milla Jovovich at Louvre gala June 2013
Milla Jovovich was a photographer's favorite. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
John Taylor, Gela Nash-Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Nefer Suvio at Louvre Gala June 2013
John Taylor, from left, Gela Nash-Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Nefer Suvio pose in front of the Winged Victory statue. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Interior of Louvre party June 2013
The party had a red theme. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Elizabeth Petersen at Louvre gala June 2013
Elizabeth Petersen shows off her banister sliding skills. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Becca Cason Thrash and Tracey Amon at Louvre gala
Becca Cason Thrash, left, and Tracey Amon. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Olga Kurylemko, Bianca Brandolini at Louvre party June 2013
Models Olga Kurylemko, left, and Bianca Brandolini. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Sore feet at Louvre gala on June 2013
Milla Jovovich (in silver dress, far right) took off her shoes after the first course was served. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Diana Ross at Louvre party June 2013
Diana Ross wows the crowd with her greatest hits. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Interior of Louvre party June 2013
Red flowers filled the Galerie Daru. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Becca Cason Thrash, Diana Ross, Stephane Gershel at Louvre party
Becca Cason Thrash, from left, Diana Ross and Stephane Gershel. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Milla Jovovitch and John Thrash at Louvre party
Milla Jovovich and John Thrash. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Pyramid at Louvre party June 2013
The Louvre pyramid with another red carpet that led to the nearby after party. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
23 Louvre party June 2013 Diana Ross
Cameras flashed throughout the evening's performance. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
3 Louvre party June 2013 Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider
Fady Armanious and Hallie Vanderhider. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
4 Louvre party June 2013 Susan Tolson, Ambassador Charles Rivkin
Susan Tolson and Ambassador Charles Rivkin. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
5 Louvre party June 2013 Patrick Cabasset, Andrew Gn
Patrick Cabasset, left, and Andrew Gn. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 Louvre party June 2013 Mark Sullivan, Diane Lokey Farb
Mark Sullivan and Diane Lokey Farb. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
7 Louvre party June 2013 Hamish Bowles
Hamish Bowles Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 Louvre party June 2013 Andrew Echols, Tami Dias, Meg Goodman, Mike Bonini
Andrew Echols, from left, Tami Dias, Meg Goodman and Mike Bonini. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
13 Louvre party June 2013 Cristina Buccellati, Jean Philippe Prugnaud
Cristina Buccellati and Jean Philippe Prugnaud Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
14 Louvre party June 2013 Jared LeBlanc, Caroline Starry LeBlanc, Meghan Thrash
Jared and Caroline Starry LeBlanc, left, with Meghan Thrash. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
16 Louvre party June 2013 Henry Richardson, Monsour Taghdisi
Henry Richardson, left, and Monsour Taghdisi. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
18 Louvre party June 2013 Diana Ross
Diana Ross keeps the party going. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 Louvre party June 2013 Jean Philippe Prugnaud, Judith Oudt
Jean Philippe Prugnaud and Judith Oudt. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Diana Ross at Liasions au Louvre gala in Paris June 2013
Charlotte Casiraghi and friend at Louvre party June 2013
Milla Jovovich at Louvre gala June 2013
John Taylor, Gela Nash-Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Nefer Suvio at Louvre Gala June 2013
Interior of Louvre party June 2013
Elizabeth Petersen at Louvre gala June 2013
Becca Cason Thrash and Tracey Amon at Louvre gala
Olga Kurylemko, Bianca Brandolini at Louvre party June 2013
Sore feet at Louvre gala on June 2013
Diana Ross at Louvre party June 2013
Interior of Louvre party June 2013
Becca Cason Thrash, Diana Ross, Stephane Gershel at Louvre party
Milla Jovovitch and John Thrash at Louvre party
Pyramid at Louvre party June 2013
23 Louvre party June 2013 Diana Ross
3 Louvre party June 2013 Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider
4 Louvre party June 2013 Susan Tolson, Ambassador Charles Rivkin
5 Louvre party June 2013 Patrick Cabasset, Andrew Gn
6 Louvre party June 2013 Mark Sullivan, Diane Lokey Farb
7 Louvre party June 2013 Hamish Bowles
8 Louvre party June 2013 Andrew Echols, Tami Dias, Meg Goodman, Mike Bonini
13 Louvre party June 2013 Cristina Buccellati, Jean Philippe Prugnaud
14 Louvre party June 2013 Jared LeBlanc, Caroline Starry LeBlanc, Meghan Thrash
16 Louvre party June 2013 Henry Richardson, Monsour Taghdisi
18 Louvre party June 2013 Diana Ross
21 Louvre party June 2013 Jean Philippe Prugnaud, Judith Oudt

Red was the color of the moment at the Liaisons au Louvre Trois gala June 18 in Paris. Guests entered the courtyard of the world-famous museum from a private entrance and followed a long red carpet into the Venus de Milo gallery for cocktails. They dined in the Galerie Dare amid the Winged Victory of Samothrace, which was bathed in red light for one night only.

Afterward, legendary singer Diana Ross performed her greatest hits in an intimate concert under the iconic pyramid designed by I.M. Pei while dressed in a glittery red gown with billowy sleeves.

By the end of the evening, though, Houston's Becca Cason Thrash, who chaired three days of gala fundraising activities, was seeing green. The evening took in more than $3 million for the American Friends of the Louvre, which sponsors restoration projects at the famed French museum.

 Red was the color of the moment, but by the end of the evening, Becca Cason Thrash, who chaired three days of fundraising activities, was seeing green.

LA-based party planner Ben Bourgeois worked with Thrash to "paint" the Louvre red for one night, with garden roses, peonies and other red flowers in tall vases on the 20 tables that filled the room. Images of red roses were projected on the ceiling.

Among the first to arrive on the red carpet were actress Milla Jovovich, in a sequined silver Yves Saint Laurent gown and black cape, and Charlotte Casiraghi, the 26-year-old daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco (and a splitting image of her mother), in a floral pink and red off-the-shoulder gown by Giambattista Valli.

Thrash, in a Jean-Paul Gaultier haute couture sequined Mondrian-patterned skirt, crocodile belt and black blouse, also welcomed U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin and wife Susan Tolson; former U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Holmes Tuttle and wife Maria; former French minister of culture Elisabeth Guigou; twins Hubert and Xavier Guerrand-Hermés of the famed luxury goods family; designers Andrew Gn, Giambattista Valli and Bruno Frisoni; and actress Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of Diana Ross.

Also joining in the festivities were Duran Duran singer John Taylor and his wife, fashion designer Gela Nash-Taylor, along with Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes and girlfriend Nefer Suvio (Duran Duran played at the first Liasions au Louvre fundraiser, which Thrash chaired in 2008), and a large contingent of Houston friends and supporters.

After dinner, Thrash chaired a live auction in the pyramid that brought in more than $1 million. In spirited bidding, Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson were the high bidders on a luxury cruise on the Nile aboard designer Christian Louboutin's custom-built boat. Gary Petersen outbid several others for a striking piece of contemporary art by RETNA (Marquis Lewis), for $100,000.

Diane Lokey Farb's bid for a stay at the English country home of John and Gela Nash-Taylor reached $65,000 when Gela jumped onstage and promised the winning bidder something money apparently can buy — and bids skyrocketed. "Ladies, come in my closet and we'll play," said Gela, who co-founded Juicy Couture and now co-owns the Skaist-Taylor clothing line. "There are furs, jewels and lots of feathers. I'll even make you a track suit."

That opportunity was too much to resist for Elizabeth Petersen, who had the high bid of $100,000. (The next day, Thrash, with the Taylors' blessing, sold the package for a second time to Farb for $65,000.)

Then Ross got the audience out of their seats with a 35-minute performance that featured hits from "the good old days," she said. She launched into "I'm Coming Out," followed by "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Stop in the Name of Love" and "You Can't Hurry Love."

She also performed "The Boss," "Upside Down" and the theme from Mahogany ("Do You Know Where You're Going"). She closed with an extended version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

At 69, the singer still maintains her sparkle. Backstage, after the concert, where she met with Becca and husband John Thrash, the Petersens and Bulgari's Stephane Gerschel, Ross said she was thrilled with performing at the Louvre and had done a lot of homework on the museum, reviewing videos of its history.

"This is a very special place to perform," she said.