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 courtesy of Daniel Ortiz

Women of Wardrobe presents Tootsies Summer Soirée

Women of Wardrobe will celebrate 20 years by honoring their founding Board members for an evening of exclusive fashion, food, and shopping. Event chairs Anna Gryska and Catherine Sdao curated a night of shopping benefitting Dress for Success Houston. Featured designer Jane Siskin from Cinq à Sept will share the latest fall trends as they close out summer with fashion-forward young professionals.

Photo by Danny Campbell Photography

Legal Hospice of Texas presents Fashion Cited

Legal Hospice of Texas presents Fashion Cited, an evening showcasing and highlighting empowerment. Fashion Cited is an annual, locally produced charity fashion show featuring up-and-coming Dallas clothiers and designers, sips and bites, a silent auction, and the "Little Black Dress" competition, which highlights fashion design students from colleges of the North Texas area.

All proceeds from the premier fashion event go to supporting LHT in its mission to help take care of the legal needs of those with terminal illness.

Facebook/Highland Park Village

Superstar L.A. designer unzips first Texas boutique in Dallas' Highland Park Village

Shopping news

Designer Jonathan Simkhai served up one of the most talked-about looks of the 2023 Met Gala, and now he's delivering for Dallas women, too. The very first SIMKHAIboutique in Texas has just opened at Highland Park Village.

It's just his third retail store in the country, after locations in Los Angeles and SoHo New York.

“SIMKHAI is thrilled to be joining the Highland Park Village community,” the designer says in a release. “The Village’s one-of-a-kind shopping destination offers a unique experience that SIMKHAI is so excited to connect with and share our offerings with the amazing women of Dallas.”

The new shop - located in the center of the Village next to Panerai - follows the company's yearlong success as a pop-up at MARKET Highland Park.

"The brand has established a presence with the Highland Park Village community, making for a timely store opening for the standalone location," Village officials say in a release.

A native of Tel Aviv, Israel, Simkhai founded his eponymous studio in 2010 and was a 2015 winner of the prestigious CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund. He says he "designs for the elevated everyday with innovative techniques and timeless craftsmanship."

Designs, he adds, take inspiration from architects and sculptors, "blending progressive construction techniques with intimate hand-detailing to create truly special garments and lifestyle design."

His designs have been worn by such A-list celebrities as Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Normani, Camila Cabello, Halle Bailey, and the recent showstopper on Mindy Kaling at the Met Gala.

The Highland Park Village store carries women's ready-to-wear and swimwear alongside handbag and footwear accessories. The actual address is 91 Highland Park Village, and hours are 10 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday and 10 am-5 pm Sunday.

SIMKHAI is one of several high-profile openings at the shopping center this summer and fall, including Brioni, Balmain, and LOEWE.

Photo courtesy of Hari Mari

Dallas flip-flop brand Hari Mari takes next bold step with women's apparel

She wears short shorts

Hari Mari is helping women prep their summer wardrobes in more ways than one. The Dallas-based premium flip-flop brand is launching a line of ladies' shorts.

Called the Ladies BantamKnit Shorts, they're made with a custom cotton blend for extreme comfort, the company says. The performance fabric, they say, offers increased breathability with four way stretch. The shorts also feature a three-inch inseam, stretch-lined pockets, elastic waistband, and a drawstring closure. They're made in the USA.

“We as a brand will always focus on flip-flops and sandals, but when you’re known for making the most comfortable flip-flops on the market, your customers ask for more, and it’s exciting to be launching our first ladies' shorts as part of that demand,” says co-founder Lila Stewart.

Hari Mari has always sold hats, tees, and sweatshirts that were unisex, but the new ladies' shorts line is the company's first intentional apparel item designed specifically for women, Stewart says.

"Our men's shorts line has performed really well, so if the ladies' do as well, which is trending that way, we hope to continue to add small lifestyle pieces to our apparel collections in the coming years," she says.

Women's joggers are coming soon, she adds.

The Women’s BantamKnit collection comes in two color options - Heathered Navy and Honey - in sizes small to XL. They retail for $68, available exclusively on HariMari.com.

Since it was founded in 2012, Hari Mari has built its reputation not only on quality, fashion-forward flip-flops (and other kinds of shoes and apparel), but also on its sustainability and philanthropic efforts, which are a part of the company’s DNA. Hari Mari gives 1 percent of sales to support kids battling cancer through its called Flops Fighting Cancer initiative.

Photo courtesy of Highland Park Village

Dazzle Mom with a treat from Highland Park Village's Mother's Day gift guide

For Mom With Love

Make this Mother’s Day memorable when you celebrate the incredible moms in your life with Highland Park Village’s most beloved boutiques.

From chic clothes and gorgeous accessories to luxurious home and beauty items, Dallas’ premier open-air shopping destination has you covered. Here are some no-fail gift ideas for this Mother's Day:

For the accessory queen
She’s one of a kind, and her boots should be too. The bespoke boot brand Miron Crosby is launching a new style just in time for Mother’s Day: the Natalie Boot. Miron Crosby also offers customization in-studio at its Highland Park Village location. To make her gift an heirloom, bring her boots to the studio after she opens them and treat her to custom ear pulls.

Miron Crosby Natalie bootMiron Crosby Natalie bootPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

The Tory Burch Ella Bio Tote features an innovative leather alternative that is durable, luxurious, and fade-resistant. A functional and practical bag for any on-the-go mom, its mint leaf green color is a perfect pastel shade for the spring/summer season. Bonus: The bag utilizes sustainable materials instead of leather.

Tory Burch Ella Bio ToteTory Burch Ella Bio TotePhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Christian Louboutin’s Ariella Zeppa 130mm Espadrille Sandal will be a summer staple for sure. An audacious twist on the espadrille, the Arielle Zeppa sandal has an elegant appeal with its braided wedge heel in natural rope and black leather for a sophisticated finish.

Christian Louboutin Ariella Zeppa 130mm Espadrille SandalChristian Louboutin’s Ariella Zeppa 130mm Espadrille SandalPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

A matching moment:
A matching moment from alice + olivia’s Mommy + Me line, this gorgeous Dawn Floral print is perfect for a mom and her daughter. The cotton girls’ dress is complete with a fit and flare silhouette, spaghetti straps, and a smocked bodice. The matching Eloise Button Down for mom helps the look come together.

Alice + Olivia Dawn Floral matching top and dressAlice + Olivia Dawn Floral matching top and dress Photo courtesy of Highland Park Village

Roller Rabbit’s ultra-cozy PJs are perfect for a mama and her mini. Feel the L-O-V-E in these fan-favorite pajamas — the collection has sets available for women, kids, and infants. The Love & Letters collection is launching just in time to celebrate mom, too.

Roller Rabbit's mommy and me pajamasRoller Rabbit's mommy and me pajamasPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Dallas-native and mother Lisa ‘Lele’ Sadoughi designs elevated accessories and jewelry for any age. Made with quality fabrics and unique hand-sewn trims, this Papaya Pebble Cabochon Knotted Headband and its matching kid counterpart, the Papaya Kids Pebble Cabochon Knotted Headband, is a fun accessory for any mom or child this summer.

Lele Sadoughi headbandLele Sadoughi headbandPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Luxe jewelry
Exclusive to Highland Park Village, Market houses a finely curated selection of sought-after designers and their dazzling jewelry. The EF Collection Diamond ‘Mama’ Nameplate Necklace makes the perfect gift for all moms and mom-like figures. Featuring a horizontal bar pendant with .14 carats of diamond set in block letters spelling out “mama,” this necklace is a sweet, shimmery addition to any layer.

Market Mama diamond bar necklaceMama diamond bar necklacePhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Another beautiful selection from Market are these earrings, which are the perfect addition to any outfit, casual or dressy. The Marlo Laz Southwestern Heart Earrings are decorated with gold embroidery of floral and paisley motifs. The Southwestern Heart Collection is an ode to the enchantment of the American West and trailblazing women.

Market Marlo Laz Southwestern Heart EarringsMarlo Laz Southwestern Heart EarringsPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Representing happiness and delight as well as love and affection, pink diamonds are one of the most extraordinary gifts produced by Mother Nature and are the ideal addition to the season’s palette of pastel hues. This Harry Winston ring is sure to impress this Mother’s Day.

Harry Winston pink diamond ringHarry Winston pink diamond ringPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Pamper her with services:
With only four locations in the United States, Dr. Barbara Sturm Boutique & Spa offers well-deserved self-care like a Signature SturmGlow Facial, session in the Spa Wave Bed, or Lymphatic Sculpt & Tone Massage. Afterwards, she can browse the selection of innovative products for every skin type.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Boutique & SpaDr. Barbara Sturm Boutique & SpaPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Pamper her with a gift card to Cerón Highland Park, a premier hair and beauty experience in Highland Park Village. Let her choose from an array of incredible services, like a blow out, makeup application, manicure, or pedicure.

Ceron Highland ParkCeron Highland ParkPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

Treat Mom to a meal:
Ensure you get the most of your day with mom by treating her to a delicious meal in Highland Park Village. Enjoy incredible dining experiences with tastes of old-school Italian at Fachini, traditional Tex-Mex at Mi Cocina, fresh seafood at Café Pacific, New York City-style bagels at Sadelle’s, and much more at Highland Park Village’s vast selection of restaurants.

Sadelle'sSadelle'sPhoto courtesy of Highland Park Village

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Dallas' Crow Museum of Asian Art names new curator ahead of second outpost opening

arts news

The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas has found its new curator. Natalia Di Pietrantonio, Ph.D., hails from the Seattle Art Museum and was selected after a nationwide search.

There, she served as inaugural curator of South Asian art, caring for the museum's South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Islamic art collections while also serving as an affiliate art history faculty member at the University of Washington.

Di Pietrantonio arrives just as the Crow Museum is preparing to debut a second museum next fall.

Designed by global architecture firm Morphosis, the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Athenaeum is being constructed as part of a 12-acre cultural district on the UT Dallas campus.

Over the next year, the 38-year-old curator will work closely with architects, interior designers, academic faculty, and museum staff to select the artworks that will be on view when the new museum opens its doors. She will also guide the 10,000 square feet of gallery space at the original Crow Museum, which was founded in 1998 and is in the downtown Dallas Arts District.

In addition, Di Pietrantonio will serve as a faculty member in the arts department at UT Dallas.

“Natalia brings a wonderful vision, a fresh and energetic perspective, and a proven track record in elevating Asian American art and culture in compelling ways,” says Amy Lewis Hofland, senior director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas. “With her background in South Asian and Islamic art, she also will help build the Crow Museum of Asian Art collection, strengthening it to better reflect the growing diversity of our region.”

A first-generation Mexican American whose first language was Spanish, a release says that "Di Pietrantonio brings over 10 years of professional and academic experience, ranging from highly lauded museum exhibitions and university cultural events to innovative collaborations and unique community outreach experiences."

From 2014-15, she served as a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow for the Islamic department at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. She is multilingual and speaks Spanish, Persian, Urdu and English.

At the Seattle Art Museum, she harnessed her expertise of modern and contemporary art to curate two diverse exhibitions: "Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time" (January 2022), which focused on the body and female representations in South Asia; and "Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water" (March 2022), which addressed climate change and water access.

During her tenure at the Seattle Art Museum, she grew their South Asian collection by 25 percent. She also was the lead curator on the mid-career retrospective of the performance artist Anida Y. Ali that debuts in January 2024.

Recognizing that North Texas has one of the fastest-growing Asian American populations in Texas, Di Pietrantonio is excited to pursue exhibitions and programs that are topical both locally and globally to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. She also intends to bring performance art into the cultural mix at the Crow Museum.

"As the Crow Museum embarks on a new era with a second museum on the horizon, I am honored to be part of its storied history known for dynamic and innovative exhibitions and programs,” says Di Pietrantonio. “My first major goal is to learn more about the North Texas region — from UT Dallas students and museum supporters to neighborhood organizations and our increasingly diverse populations — so I can help align and tailor the museum programs for its communities.”

In 2018, Di Pietrantonio completed her Ph.D. in the history of art at Cornell University, studying under the contemporary artist Iftikhar Dadi with a focus on calligraphy and book arts. Prior to that time, she received a master’s degree in South Asian studies from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of California, Davis. It was during her years at UC Davis that a dynamic professor introduced her to Islamic art and ignited her interest.

Anaya family rallies together to open new seafood restaurant in Frisco

Tex-Mex News

Frisco is the latest city to net its own location of Anaya's Seafood, a wonderful family-owned DFW seafood restaurant chain, opening what will be its fourth location in the Legacy Crossing center at 4350 Main St. in Frisco, where it's set to debut in late 2023.

Anaya's was founded in 2020 by four brothers — Miguel, Bobby, Alfredo, and Serafín Anaya — who make up the backbone of the company. Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, they've been in Dallas for more than 20 years, learning the ropes by working at other restaurants such as Fish City Frill and Rockfish.

"But we always wanted a restaurant of our own," says Alfredo.

They finally pulled the trigger in the middle of the pandemic when they opened their first restaurant in Richardson in December 2020. They've since opened locations in Addison (in 2021), and Plano (in 2022).

"We are opening a location in Frisco in response to customer requests," Alfredo says. "We had patrons who were coming over to our restaurants in Plano and Richardson, asking us to open in their area so they would not have to make the drive."

The menu stars seafood, with a Tex-Mex Cajun theme that seems tailor-made for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Entrees include:

  • Lightly blackened trout with artichokes and capers
  • Cedar plank salmon with mango salsa
  • Flounder with lump crab and tomato basil cream sauce
  • Fish & chips, with beer-battered cod and house-made colesalaw

Seafood dishes come with sides such as garlic whipped potatoes and seasonal veggies, and are priced from $15 to $23. Thy also offer tacos, sandwiches, and appetizers including coconut shrimp and a unique hybrid item called Crab Mac N Cheese Cakes. They make everything themselves, including the beer batter for the fish and chips. (They use Shiner bock.)

A chalkboard fesatures daily specials. "We offer a Tex-Mex Cajun menu that is fresh and changes daily," Alfredo says.

A full bar features crafty cocktails such as a jalapeno mezcal margarita, a jalapeno-cucumber martini, and a rosemary grapefruit mule. An extended Happy Hour runs from 12-7 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday, and features $8 bites including oysters, shrimp nachos, and dynamite shrimp. Monday and Tuesday, they offer half-price bottles of wine all day.

And their weekend brunch on Saturday-Sunday is a bargain, with chilaquiles, chicken & waffles, Benedicts, and seafood omelets ranging from $11 to $17.

The fun part of the story about Anaya's is the Anaya family themselves. It's rare to find a family business like this where pretty much every family member is involved.

In the kitchen are Miguel and Bobby: Miguel is the oldest brother, with 25 years of experience working at seafood restaurants, both running kitchens and as general manager. Bobby, the second-oldest, has 21 years of experience, starting as a cook, then lead cook, then kitchen manager.

Alfredo is Brother #3, with 16 years of experience, mostly front of the house. He's the brains behind the cocktail program and runs the bar. Youngest brother Serafin oversees the service.

"Our sisters work in the restaurants, too," Alfredo says. "Even my mom, she is walking around and bussing tables. Everyone chips in."

Dallas officials hope to put $1 billion-plus bond on ballot in next election

Money News

Dallas city leaders putting together the city’s bond issuance for next year are fielding the first proposals from five City Council-appointed citizen subcommittees.

This is the city's first bond program since 2017, when voters approved a $1.05 billion package for a variety of projects such as library updates, Arts District renovations, and more. Those were planned to be completed in five years, but the pandemic delayed some of the projects, which are still pending.

Bonds are debt securities issued by municipalities to finance projects such as buildings, streets, or other infrastructure.

The 2024 bond proposal is estimated to be around $1.1 billion, and expected to be placed before voters in May.

The project, though, could also grow as the deadline to finalize the package nears, including an additional $400 million to cover rising pension costs.

The subcommittees last week submitted plans that would total around $1.7 billion, which includes $224 million for critical infrastructure, $675 for streets and infrastructure, $399 million for parks and trails, $275 million for economic development, housing, and addressing homelessness, and $200 million for flood control and storm damage.

Various city departments are also pitching their needs as part of the process. Those range from $8.8 million for renovations to the Preston Royal branch library and a $114 million animal shelter to $13 million for a new bridge along Malcolm X Boulevard over the DART service center in South Dallas.

Some departments insist their projects are paramount. "Our $399,000,835 request is not a wish list," assistant Parks and Recreation director Christina Turner- Noteware told the Dallas Morning News. "It's a true list of needs."

Some of the new plans are a continuation of the old ones. For example, the 2017 bond allocated $50.4 million for economic development to include improvements to commercial areas and neighborhood revitalization. The current plan includes $150 million for more affordable housing and more “mixed income” communities as well as more money to South Dallas projects.

“We’re still touching the same buckets as 2017," says former city council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, who chairs the critical facilities subcommittee. Similar to 2017, "we have to take care of things that we haven’t taken care of, and the cost goes up."

In 2017, the ever-evolving needs for street improvements came to $533.98 million. (For a list of street projects, see here.) This time around, the proposed $675 million for streets addresses many of the same issues, including bridge repair, traffic signals, and other transit necessities.

Newer items include more money to address the homeless, with the proposed 2024 bond plan to include $29 million to assist that population. The city is already receiving $22 million in federal money to help with the problem. Dallas also funds an Office of Homeless Solutions at $219,000 a year.

The projects placed before voters will broken into separate propositions, similar to 2017.

The city has prepared a needs assessment, or a map of projects it considers on a scored basis of importance, for residents to see.