Heels clicked, jewels glimmered and the scent of Chanel No. 5 permeated the air at Neiman Marcus Downtown as hundreds of ladies — and a sprinkling of men — gathered for the most sophisticated luncheon in town. Thursday marked the beginning of the fall social season, thanks to the much-anticipated Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon featuring Lanvin’s fall 2012 collection, designed by Alber Elbaz.
As the crowd filled into the shoe salon during the VIP reception, a line of adorable waiters in velvet bowties and jackets carried trays of wine. “If [the waiters’ bold attire] is any indication, we know it’s going to be exciting and fun,” remarked Patty Leyendecker, chair of the CCB Foundation. After the ladies and gents schmoozed and sipped, they made their way to the fourth floor, where a glitzy runway awaited.
To start, Neiman Marcus President Jim Gold talked about the store’s 38-year history working with the Crystal Charity Ball and commended the organization for its great philanthropy. The Dallas nonprofit has been supporting local children’s charities since 1952, and the 2012 board raised more than $4 million dollars. Gold also recognized Lanvin CEO Thierry Andretta, who flew in from Paris, as “one of the most kind and poetic people” he knows and praised Elbaz’s tremendous sartorial sensibilities.
The praise continued as event chairman Aileen Pratt credited Neiman Marcus for the charity’s great success and thanked honorary chairman Gene Jones and her husband, Jerry, for their generous support. Pratt announced Annette and Harold Simmons’ sixth generous $1 million donation for the CCB as the proper crowd clapped, respectfully. After luncheon chairman Robyn Conlon also gave thanks, Shelle Sills, vice president of Neiman Marcus, presented the 10 best-dressed ladies.
The honorees — a mix of first-, second- and third-time recipients — were Tricia Besing, Nancy Carter, Nancy Carlson, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Dee Dee Lee, Lynn McBee, Pat McEvoy, Kim Miller, Pam Perella and hall of fame honoree Lana Andrews. Handsome models escorted the ladies as they flaunted Lanvin’s collection with smiles and flair. The fashion show finished with a flourish, as professional models walked the runway sporting the eclectic fall and spring collections.
After gazing at the structured dresses and blinged-out statement pieces, the audience went up to the sixth floor for an elegant luncheon. (The croque monsieur was a decadent favorite.) Guests walked away dreaming of Lanvin’s incredible designs — and contemplating what they’ll be wearing to the upcoming ball in December.
Spotted in the crowd: Toni Munoz-Hunt, Heather Furniss, Ward Hunt, Susan Palma, Kristi Hoyl, Sunie Solomon, Scott Studenberg, Karen Katz, Ruth Altshuler, Dianne Skovell, Ceron, Michelle Nussbaumer, Brenda Cockerell, Letty Spicer, Carol Levy, Brett Levy, Nancy Dedman, Paige Slates, Katy Bock and Teffy Jacobs.