Photo by Ashley Gongora

Dallas fashionistas didn't need to travel to New York Fashion Week for a high-profile runway show — designer Adam Lippes debuted his spring/summer 2024 collection right here in Big D, as part of the 48th annual Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas event.

The luncheon and fashion show, which many consider the kick-off to fall society season, returned to its usual format at Neiman Marcus downtown, chaired this year by Patty Leyendecker. Hunky models in tuxedos welcomed a who's who of the city's philanthropic queens to the first floor, where they sipped Champagne and sparkling water surrounded by perfume and jewels.

Then it was upstairs for the fashion show, where Neiman Marcus' Ryan Ross, the Dallas Cowboys' Charlotte Jones, and 2023 Crystal Charity Ball chair Angie Kadesky conveyed the nonprofit's mission to the attendees: to fund seven children’s beneficiaries with a collective need of $6.6 million.

This is partly done with major help from this year's Ten Best Dressed, who all strutted down the runway in Lippes' latest, in front of the designer himself. Marybeth Conlon, Monica Eastin, Kim Hext, Libby Hegi, Meredith Land, Ann McPherson, Wendy Messmann, Kim Quinn, Lisa Rocchio, and Sunie Solmon were selected for this honor by members of the Crystal Charity Ball committee.

Claire Emanuelson was also announced as this year's Hall of Fame honoree, a distinction earned after being named to the Ten Best Dressed list for three consecutive years.

After channeling tropical vacation vibes with the fashion show, attendees were whisked up another few floors for an elegant luncheon of Maine lobster salad and a passion fruit tart, complemented by rosé, Sancerre, and bubbly.

Spotted among the ladies (and gents) who lunch were Lisa Cooley, Priscilla and Chaz Martin, Lisa Laughlin, Susan Geyer, Susanne Eades, Kelli Ford, Electra Ford, Gabrielle Gilmore, Karen Dollar, Lisa Woodruff, Delilah Boyd, Carole Ann Brown, Cecy Feld, Lilian Dona, Lisa Meyer, Marlene Cox, Lianne Bernstein, and Stacey Walker.

The independent nonprofit's grand finale, the Crystal Charity Ball, is set for December 9 at the Hilton Anatole. This year's artful theme is "Masterpieces in the Making."

Since 1952, Crystal Charity Ball has distributed more than $190 million to the children of Dallas County. The 2023 recipients include:

After-School All-Stars
Buckner Children and Family Services
Fair Park First
Family Gateway
Metrocare Services
The Salvation Army of North Texas
YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

2023 Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed luncheon

Photo by Ashley Gongora

Wendy Messmann walks the runway in the Adam Lippes fashion show.

Photo by Tamytha Cameron

Save the date for Dallas' 11 most glam galas and lavish luncheons this fall

The gown lowdown

Dallas' fall fundraising forecast calls for champagne-sprinkled afternoons and haute evenings to make it rain millions for local nonprofits.

Cattle Baron's Ball blazes in with a 50th anniversary bash featuring pop-country queen Shania Twain. Two power lunches star powerful actresses Kerry Washington and Brooke Shields. And Crystal Charity Ball doubles down on the art and soul of its mission with "Masterpieces in the Making."

Beyond being fun, fancy parties to attend, these glitzy galas and lavish lunches raise crucial funds for organizations around Dallas, many of which are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic. So grab your pen, circle these all-important dates in your social diary, and get those gowns and tuxes to the cleaners.

Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show & Luncheon, September 8
Per tradition, the annual Crystal Charity Ball luncheon and fashion show honoring the 10 best-dressed women of Dallas (as chosen by the organization) will kick off the fall society season. The 48th edition will take place at Neiman Marcus Downtown and will start with a late-morning champagne reception, followed by a seated luncheon and runway fashion presentation with guest designer Adam Lippes. Guiding the event are Angie Kadesky, Crystal Charity Ball chair, and Patty Leyendecker, Fashion Show chair. This year's "best-dressed" honorees areMarybeth Conlon, Monica Eastin, Kim Hext, Libby Hegi, Meredith Land, Ann McPherson, Wendy Messmann, Kim Quinn, Lisa Rocchio, and Sunie Solmon; Claire Emanuelson is the Hall of Fame honoree. Proceeds will help fund seven local children's charities. Tickets are sold out, but for more information, visit the website.

New Friends New Life Luncheon featuring Kerry Washington, September 29
New Friends New Life will welcome Kerry Washington, an Emmy-winning, and SAG nominated actor, producer, director and lifelong advocate and activist, as the speaker at its annual luncheon, a celebration of the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, the luncheon is co-chaired by Tracey Nash-Huntley and David Huntley, and Elizabeth Carlock Phillips and Kevin Phillips. Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt, Pat and Pete Schenkel, and Gail and Dr. Gerald Turner are honorary co-chairs. New Friends New Life assists trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children, and raises awareness of the issue. Luncheon tickets start at $250, available on the event website.

Dallas Symphony Gala and After Party, September 30
The DSO's mega-gala is a "choose your own adventure" event: come for the concert only, dance the night away at the after-party, or make an entire evening of it and start early with a pre-concert reception and dinner. This year's Gala Concert stars two music luminaries: pianist Emanuel Ax and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. Leonard makes her DSO debut in selections from Bizet’s beloved Carmen, and Ax will perform works by Chopin. Maestro Fabio Luisi and the DSO will round out the evening with Ravel's La Valse. The After-Party Experience, featuring live music by Q The Band, will take place in the Meyerson Symphony Center lobby afterwards. This year's gala is under the guidance of co-chairs Kim and Greg Hext, with Diane and Hal Brierley as honorary chairs; Jane Humphrey and Samantha Wortley are co-chairing the after-party. Tickets (starting at $140 for concert and after-party and $1,250 for the whole evening) are available on the DSO site.

Trailblazer Awards Luncheon featuring Brook Shields, October 10
Model, actress, and author Brooke Shieldswill deliver the keynote address at the 2023 Trailblazer Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on October 10 (note the date change - it's no longer September 29). The annual fundraiser benefits The Family Place, Texas’ largest family violence service agency marking its 45th year. Lindsay Jacaman and Holly Krug will serve as luncheon co-chairs, with philanthropists and former Real Housewives of Dallas stars Stephanie and Travis Hollman as honorary chairs. The event will include a VIP reception, seated luncheon, and recognition of this year’s Texas Trailblazer Award recipient, Mary Kay Inc. CEO Ryan Rogers. The Family Place also will honor Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and State Representative Victoria Neave Criado with the Legislative Impact Award. Tickets start at $350, available on The Family Place's website.

Cattle Baron's Ball, October 14
Dallas' ultimate Western-glitz party celebrates its landmark 50th year with one of the biggest headliners yet - Shania Twain. Co-chairs Isabell Novakov Higginbotham and Andrea Cheek have picked the theme “Iconic” for the American Cancer Society's 50th anniversary fundraiser. It's headed back to Southfork Ranch for the second year in a row, for a night of boots, bling, barbecue, beer, and bidding in the biggest luxury auction of the year. Texas country-rock giant Randy Rogers Band will open the night at the VIP Party. Cattle Baron's Ball is the largest single-night fundraiser in the nation for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. Information and a wait-list for tickets can be found here.

SPCA Fur Ball, October 20
A gala for true party animals, the annual black-tie ball raises important funds for SPCA of Texas' mission to provide every animal with exceptional care and a loving home. Plus, it's the only local formal event where guests include furry, four-legged friends. Human attendees will enjoy dinner, dancing, entertainment, Pony Up for Paws, and live and silent auctions. Taking place at a new location this year - The Factory at Deep Ellum - the 2023 gala is chaired by Christie and Elbert Choi, with an assist from honorary chair Jack D. Knox. Tickets (from $400) are available here.

Two x Two Gala, October 21
Stars from the worlds of art, fashion, and philanthropy annually gather for an invitation-only gala and art auction that raises jaw-dropping sums for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art (more than $113 million to date). Hosted by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Lisa and John Runyon at Rachofsky House, this year's black-tie gala will honor artist Maria Berrio. The black-tie gala dinner will feature a live and silent auction of significant contemporary art, as well as the presentation of amfAR’s 2023 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS. In a new twist, there's no "First Look" party this year - just the gala. While these invitations are among the hardest-to-get in town, the public can view the art auction catalogue online.

FGI Night of Stars, November 10
Hundreds of Dallas’ most stylish will descend on the Ritz-Carlton hotel for Fashion Group International of Dallas’ haute black-tie gala and runway show, which will raise funds for scholarships for aspiring fashion professionals. This year's chairs are Holly Quartaro and Cristina Graham, and honorary chair is New York Fashion Week creatorFern Mallis. Designer-to-the-starsChristian Siriano is the Achievement in Fashion honoree, legendary model Bethann Hardison is the Lifetime Legacy honoree, artist Ashley Longshore is the Exuberance in Art honoree, and Nina Garcia of Elle Magazine and Project Runway is the Excellence in Media honoree. For more information and tickets, visit the website.

Perot Night at the Museum, November 11
Still basking in the glow of last year's blockbuster 10th anniversary gala headed up by VIP couple Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki, the 2023 edition promises to be just as show-stopping. The annual gala is one of the most fun and interactive fundraising evenings all season, with action taking place on all floors of the Perot Museum. This year's chairs, Catalina Gonzalez and Santiago Jorba and Elizabeth and Kevin Phillips, have planned food and drinks inspired by the museum's exhibits, hands-on experiments, live music, and more. All proceeds go toward the museum's initiatives to provide scholarships and financial assistance to schools and families. More information and tickets to come, but underwriting opportunities are here.

AT&T Performing Arts Center Bravo! Gala, November 18
Always an ovation-worthy evening, the fundraising celebration in support of the AT&T Performing Arts Center will feature a seated dinner on the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage of the Winspear Opera House, followed by a performance by the hit indie/alternative band Lake Street Dive. The evening will start with a progressive cocktail hour that uses multi-level lobby spaces for performances by members of the Center's five resident companies. Co-chairs for the gala are Diane Brierley and Ellen Winspear. The night will honor The Moody Foundation, a historic and philanthropic giant in Dallas arts. Information and tickets (from $1,200) are here.

Crystal Charity Ball, December 9
The grand finale to Dallas gala season has the artful theme of "Masterpieces in the Making." It's a double entendre, explains ball chair Angie Kadesky. "While classic artistic masterpieces will be the decorative motif at the ball, the real masterpieces in the making are the children we serve," she says. Specifically this year, the seven local charities chosen as Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries are: After School All Stars, Buckner Children Family Services, Fair Park First, Family Gateway, Metrocare Services, Salvation Army of North Texas, and YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. As always, the glamorous black-tie evening will take shape in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole. Tickets are invitation-only; inquire about underwriting and more opportunities to participate here.

Perot Museum Night at the Museum Gala 2022
Photo by Tamytha Cameron

Woody Abbott, Meredith Abbott, Katie Samler, and Matt Samler at the Perot's Night at the Museum.

Also time to RSVP for:

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Wealthy suburb's big holiday spenders top week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Wealthy Dallas suburb boasts the 3rd biggest holiday spenders in U.S. According to a new study by Wallethub, Santa's gonna be working overtime to fulfill the orders for residents of Frisco this holiday season. The personal finance experts have determined Frisco is the U.S. city with the No. 3 biggest holiday spending budget in 2023. Shoppers in the affluent Dallas suburb are expected to spend $3,546 this festive season.

2. Dallas-Fort Worth keeps winning streak with new movie filming in Granbury. Everyone loves when a movie filming is in town, and there's one going down right now in Granbury, the quaint town 70 miles southwest of Dallas. Oh and it's a holiday movie, which makes it even fuzzier. According to a release, it's called A Christmas Heart, and is a drama about faith, family, and forgiveness.

3. Dallas chef returns with innovative Mexican restaurant at West Village. A Mexican restaurant from Dallas-based Local Favorite Restaurants has debuted at the West Village: Called UnaVida, it's at 3699 McKinney Ave #307 in the former Taco Diner space, with a menu created by Executive Chef of New Concept Development, Chef Matt McCallister.

4. Post Malone collaborates on new line of Dallas Cowboys hoodies and T's. Post Malone gave us Dallas Cowboys-adorned chicken tenders, he gave us Cowboys drink cups, now he gives us Cowboys-themed hoodies. The rapper, singer, and native Texan - a self-professed die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan - has debuted a limited-edition collection of Post Malone x Dallas Cowboys merchandise featuring T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and shorts.

5. Unprecedented round of new concerts headed to Dallas in early 2024. Concert season is alive and well for 2024, with a bounty of tours in the works for spring and early summer. Eight major tours were announced on November 28, featuring a variety of well-known acts, from iconic rappers to seminal rock guitarists.

Universal theme park in Frisco will be a first-of-its-kind Kids Resort

Theme Park News

The big splashy theme park coming to Frisco has a name and identity: Called Universal Kids Resort, it's from Universal Destinations & Experiences, a division of Comcast NBCUniversal, and is the company's first-ever theme park designed specifically for families with young children.

Previously described as a "family-friendly" concept, it's doubling down on the "kids" element, vowing to bring an innovative style of storytelling to a new, younger audience. So, more Disney-ish.

According to a release, Universal Kids Resort will include a theme park featuring immersive themed lands that bring Universal's characters and stories to life in ways that will wow the youngest theme parkgoers.

It will feature family-friendly attractions, interactive and playful shows, unique merchandise, fun food and beverage venues, and character meet & greets.

A resort area will include a 300-room themed hotel, giving families a place to stay and to play.

"Universal Kids Resort will inspire the unbridled creativity of kids through imagination, discovery and most importantly – play," says Universal Creative president Molly Murphy in a statement. "We're designing the resort so kids and families can feel the thrill of being physically immersed in their most beloved stories and characters."

It'll be set in green landscape with a distinctive look, feel, and scale specifically for younger kids. Progress on the new concept is underway, following a groundbreaking in November. With more details about Universal Kids Resort to come.

Singer Michael Bublé to make appearance in Dallas for his new whiskey

Less burn, more Bublé

Singer Michael Bublé has made a career using his voice to enchant millions of fans, but he'll be using his voice in a different way when he stops in Dallas on December 6 in support of a new whiskey he's released.

Called Fraser & Thompson, it's a North American whiskey launched in 2023 by Bublé and his partner Paul Cirka, a Master Distiller and Blender with a goal to create an aromatic and approachable new-to-world whiskey.

Bublé will be at Spec’s Wines & Spirits at 9500 N. Central Expwy. on December 6 from 4-5 pm.

According to a release, he’ll be at the brand’s "Easy, Now" lounge experience (IE, the events space at Spec's), where consumers over 21 can try samples.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early in order to ensure they are able to meet Bublé during the allotted time.

Retailing for $29.99 with the catch phrase, "Less burn, more Bublé," the whiskey is so new that its website is still under construction.

The release describes it as having sweet fig and blood orange on the nose, with a subtle finish of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of spice.

“Michael and I bonded over our shared passion for whisky, and wanted to create a blend that was flavorful but more light-hearted than the category at large can be known for," says Fraser & Thompson co-founder Cirka.

According to Bublé, the name Fraser Thompson references a location in his hometown Canada.

"I spent many summers with my grandfather at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson rivers in British Columbia," Bublé says. "When I heard Paul’s vision for creating a new kind of whiskey, I knew instantly what I wanted to call it. For the last three years, we worked together to perfect a whiskey blend that is equally elegant and approachable."

Bublé, of course, is doing just fine, even before making the jump into the celebrity liquor game. He's released 11 albums in his 20+ year singing career, selling millions of albums and almost singlehandedly reviving the jazz standards genre.

He's also not new to the beverage world, having partnered with Pepsi on a series of amusing commercials for their Bubly sparkling water.