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Break Out the Ball Gowns

10 must-attend fall events on the Dallas social scene

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Howard Rachofsky, Cindy Rachofsky, Alan Cumming
Two x Two for AIDS and Art. Howard Rachofsky, Cindy Rachofsky, Alan Cumming Photo by Bruno
Tricia Besing

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon.
Tricia Besing Photo by Robert Bostick
Linda Seacrest, Aileen Pratt, Lynn McBee
Linda Seacrest, Aileen Pratt, Lynn McBee at Crystal Charity Ball. Photo by Robert Bostick
Blake Shelton
Cattle Baron's Ball. Blake Shelton Photo by Robert Bostick
Cleve Schneider, Morgan Vaughn
Dallas Opera First Night. Cleve Schneider, Morgan Vaughn Photo by Robert Bostick
Howard Rachofsky, Cindy Rachofsky, Alan Cumming
Tricia Besing
Linda Seacrest, Aileen Pratt, Lynn McBee
Tutu Chic 2012
Blake Shelton
Cleve Schneider, Morgan Vaughn

Yes, it's already time to think about the four months of fancy daytime fetes and elegant nighttime galas that define the fall social season in Dallas. Rest up while you can, because the summer stupor is quickly coming to an end. Mark your calendars for these 10 premier charitable events.

Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon
This chic fashion show and luncheon at Neiman Marcus Downtown kicks off the fall social season in Dallas. On September 12, chairman Claire Emanuelson welcomes Tricia Besing, Nancy Carlson, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Mary Clare Finney, DeeDee Lee, Patty Leyendecker, Lynn McBee, Pam Perella, Aileen Pratt, Christi Urschel and Hall of fame honoree Lisa Troutt, who flaunt designs by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala
Join gala chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill on September 28 at the Meyerson Symphony Center for one of the most elegant evenings of the year. Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming performs alongside esteemed conductor Jaap van Zweden at this year's fall affair. The after-party includes small bites, cocktails, jazz and music spun by DJ Lucy Wrubel

Cattle Baron's Ball
Head to Southfork Ranch October 5 for the 40th annual Cattle Baron's Ball, the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Ever since co-chairs Brooke Shelby and Mary Gill announced Rascal Flatts as the lead entertainment, we've been counting down the days. This year, however, we shall wear waterproof boots.

Dallas Opera First Night and First Sight
For the first year ever, the Dallas Opera is introducing a fashion-focused First Night spinoff called First Sight, a fashion show and luncheon that takes place October 24. The following night, the annual red-carpet affair kicks off the new opera season at the Winspear Opera House. Lynn Mock chairs both events. 

Two x Two for AIDS and Art
Generous art enthusiasts look forward to Two x Two weekend all year. First up is the First Look preview party on October 24, followed two days later by the 15th annual Two x Two for AIDS and Art black-tie gala at the Rachofsky House. Joining generous hosts Cindy and Howard Rachofsky are 2013 honorees Luc Tuymans and Chris Salgardo. Christen Wilson chairs both events, which benefit the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR.

St. Jude Evening Under the Stars
We'll take any opportunity to join St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its fight against pediatric cancer. This year's honorary chairs are longtime supporters Carole and Scott Murray, who help host the event at the Omni Dallas on October 26. Expect silent and live auctions, dinner, and entertainment. Snag your seat if you haven't already. 

Black Tie Dinner
This big-deal formal affair — November 2 at the Sheraton Hotel Dallas — supports 20 local LGBT beneficiaries and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This year's co-chairs Mitzi Lemons and Ken Morris have their work cut out for them; last year's fete raised more than $1 million. But with featured speaker Dustin Lance Black and hundreds of stylish attendees, expect to be impressed.

Texas Ballet Theater's Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon
Forget the Nutcracker and head to the Winspear Opera House for a fashion show featuring models from Texas Ballet Theater, who don exquisite couture from Stanley Korshak. Dee Wyly and Niven Morgan serve as honorary chairs for the December 5 fete. 

Crystal Charity Ball
Join ball chair Caren Kline on December 7 for the most elegant — and most highly anticipated — event of the year. As social season draws to a close, our city's movers and shakers flock to the Hilton Anatole for the grand gala themed "Magnificent Manhattan," which benefits eight local charities.  

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Melissa Glenn, Kristina Kiik, Valerie maniscalco, affair of the art