Almost Tea Time

Ladies get all juiced up at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party kickoff

Ladies get all juiced up at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party kickoff

Carmaleta Whiteley, Shay Geyer
Carmaleta Whiteley , Shay Geyer Photo by Dana Driensky
Pam Brock, Dyann Skelton, Marcella Wildes
Pam Brock , Dyann Skelton , Marcella Wildes Photo by Dana Driensky
Doris Jacobs, Kathy Cothrum, Ramona Jones, Sue Ringle
Doris Jacobs , Kathy Cothrum , Ramona Jones , Sue Ringle , Sue Ringle Photo by Dana Driensky
Karen Lukin, James Shackelford
Karen Lukin , James Shackelford Photo by Dana Driensky
Jocelyn White, Shane Walker
Jocelyn White , Shane Walker Photo by Dana Driensky
Dana Card
Patty Dedman Nail , Nancy Shamburger , Dana Card Photo by Steve Wrubel
Phyllis Comu, Harriet Gibbe
Phyllis Comu , Harriet Gibbe Photo by Dana Driensky
Yvonne Crum, Jill Rowlett
Yvonne Crum , Jill Rowlett Photo by Dana Driensky
Brian Bolke, Heather Furniss
Brian Bolke , Heather Furniss Photo by Dana Driensky
Carmaleta Whiteley, Shay Geyer
Pam Brock, Dyann Skelton, Marcella Wildes
Doris Jacobs, Kathy Cothrum, Ramona Jones, Sue Ringle
Karen Lukin, James Shackelford
Jocelyn White, Shane Walker
Dana Card
Phyllis Comu, Harriet Gibbe
Yvonne Crum, Jill Rowlett
Brian Bolke, Heather Furniss

It's never too soon for our city's social butterflies to think about springtime — especially with the anticipation of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party on April 11, 2013. 

More than 100 ladies packed into Number One/Le Jus in Highland Park Village for dainty bites and juicy sips to kick off the 25th annual luncheon. 

Co-chair Shay Geyer perused the room and chatted with guests about the upcoming fete, while fellow co-chair Maggie Kipp was out giving birth to her second daughter. 

"This year's theme is Adventures in Time," Geyer told us. "I think I'll be wearing a hat with a roaring '20s twist, even though I can't win the hat contest. Last year, my hat weighed something like 20 pounds." 

The annual event, which benefits the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum, is not your ordinary tea party. Ladies go all out with opulent hats — the prettiest made by local floral designer Shane Walker — and sophisticated dresses. And they drink a lot more than tea.

When the clock struck 7, Sue Ringle, president of the Women's Council, stepped up the stairs to introduce Geyer to the crowd of mad hatters — including Doris JacobsYvonne Crum, Amy Vanderoef, Kersten Rettig, Karen Lukin, Tanya Foster, Nancy LopezKathy CothrumRamona JonesJennifer BellPam Brock and Jocelyn White — and to thank Brian Bolke, co-owner of the new organic concept store and cafe.

Geyer expressed her gratitude to last year's luncheon chair, Carmaleta Whiteley — whom she called a "fairy godmother" — for serving as an advisor for this year's event. 

"The biggest announcement is that our fashion sponsors [for the fashion show produced by Jan Strimple] are confirmed: Oscar de la Renta and Roberto Cavalli," Geyer said. 

After recognizing honorary chair Patricia Brown Dedman, Geyer shared the following: The color scheme is pink, lime green, purple and turquoise; Ron Corning will be the emcee; Walker will do the floral designs; and Steve Kemble will give a surprise presentation. 

If you're planning to attend the fete, these are the hat categories to help give you a head start:

  • Most Whimsical: Roaring Twenties
  • Most Outlandish: Wild, Wild West
  • Most Elegant: Court of Versailles
  • Most True to Theme: Back to the Future
  • Gents Top Hats: Timeless
  • Botanical: Adam and Eve
  • Best of Show: 25th Anniversary

Purchase your tickets now, because attendance at the tea is capped at 500.