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Fashion / Style File

A Look Back at Houston History

It’s 1994 and a Stylish New Force Enters the Fray

BY PaperCity Staff // 08.12.16

Since PaperCity first whirled into Houston in 1994 and Dallas in 1998, it has been at the center of everything — the parties, the people, the zeitgeist. 

As we bid farewell to our longtime broadsheet format for a new perfect-bound magazine that debuts in September, we gathered 22 years of PaperCity issues and set out on a mission: Find the most memorable stories, photographs and memories printed in our glossy pages. Here, the best of the best from our first six years in Houston. (Come back to this space next week for more PaperCity history as we look at our entry into the 21st century.)

1994

Spring/Summer: The first issue arrives, highlighting people and places that rocked in Houston 22 years ago, many sadly gone to history today: 8.0, Ruggles Grill, Gigi Huang’s Hunan in the Pavilion, Harold Powell, Ecco, Anthony’s Restaurant in Highland Village.

• There are party pics (in black and white) of those we loved and who have since passed away: Jan Becker, Maxine Mesinger, Frenchy Falik, Louis Tenenbaum; and of those who simply departed: the infamous Theresa Rodriquez, over whose photo we wrote, “The party’s over.” And, happily, in the 1994 pages are many wonderful boutiques and restaurants still with us: Café Annie, Tootsies, Armandos, Shabby Slips.

Party pics fly across our desks. Don Rickles and Little Richard headline at Highland Village Heaven Sent. “What am I doing in a parking lot,” Rickles jokes.

• Stories are filed via fax and floppy disk (no joke). Party pics are shot and developed via fi lm  (can you imagine). 100,000 issues are inserted into The Houston Post and Houston Chronicle.

Becca Cason Thrash and I were partners in the PR firm Cason & Moore when we started PaperCity in 1994, then called The Paper. The first issue rolls off the press — 100,000 issues. Becca and I didn’t realize we needed a loading dock for 100,000 magazines. The 18-wheeler arrives, and we hurriedly call (on a landline) Mickey Rosmarin at Tootsies to borrow his loading dock and receiving area. No room for Donna Kara deliveries for a week! — Holly Moore

1995

 The Cy Twombly Museum at The Menil Collection opens.

 We photograph at the abandoned Rice Hotel, which stood dark for 20 years before Randall Davis turns it into one of Houston’s first cool loft projects. We find the dusty bellhop uniforms with epaulets, old menus to The Capital Club, Empire Room, Flag Room and Petroleum Club, skeleton keys with tassels, stacks of old guestbooks.

And we make a pilgrimage to the fifth floor, up the stairs through the dark, to see the room where President Kennedy and Jackie rested on November 21, 1963. Linoleum floors, louvered doors, gold-flocked wallpaper.

 We discuss Q Café, La Valentino at the Pavilion, Cent’anni. Where was everyone hanging? Marrakesh on lower Westheimer, upstairs Benjy’s, brunch at La Strada, Empire Baking Co., lunch at Piccola Cucina adjacent to Barneys New York, The Martini, Cinda Ward’s Palace Café at Hogg Palace, Smoot Hull’s Ohio Grange and Mike Parentes’ Affresco (in the old Dream Merchant church on Westheimer where Mark’s was located); Thursday night at Armandos and Saturday night at Café Annie, brunch at the new Arcodoro on Post Oak.

 Carolyn Farb throws a bash for Marvin Zindler’s 75th, and guests include Don Henley, Lyle Lovett, Michael Milken, Tippi Hedren (duck!), George Foreman, Buzz Aldrin, Clyde Drexler, Robert Reid and … Jim McIngvale.

1997

 Frenchy Falik begins her Gala-Vanting column at PaperCity, which she continues until her death in July 2006. Gone but never forgotten.

 Saks Fifth Avenue opens at the Galleria. Who was there: Isaac Mizrahi, Nellie Connally, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexandra von Furstenberg, Bill Blass, Carolina Herrera, Jose Éber.

• All in one year: Dominique de Menil’s 90th birthday and 10th anniversary of The Menil Collection … It was a gala with Dominique de Menil, Lynn Wyatt, Bob Colacello, Paul Winkler, Cy Twombly, Anne Bass, Michael Tracy, Mary Ralph Lowe, François de Menil, Edward Albee, Toni and Isaac Arnold. Then there was the Byzantine Fresco opening at the Menil. George and Barbara Bush were there, as was the indomitable Dominique de Menil.

 We shoot fashion at the first Cirque du Soleil to hit town.

• We throw a PaperCity party with François Nars at Barneys New York.

 We shoot fashion in Santa Fe, New Mexico, channeling Georgia O’Keeffe. You always had to channel someone.

 We’re talking about: Vapor Room, Emo’s, Liquid Lounge, Tango.

LONG-AGO ADVERTISERS 
Barney’s New York in The Galleria • Ecco in Highland Village • Alfred Dunhill • Artefact • Q Café (with people smoking in the ad!) • Urban Cottage • Dakota Galleries • Judy Pryor’s Pryotities • Janie Pollock’s Let’s Make Up • La Valerosa Restaurant in The Pavilion on Post • Le Modele on San Felipe • Uropa Club on Mercer 

The Paper made its debut Summer 1994.
The Paper made its debut in the summer of 1994.

1998

 The Paper changes name to PaperCity. New letterhead ordered.

 PaperCity Dallas launches with a swell party at Neiman Marcus Downtown Dallas.

 Our August cover lists where to go and what to do: Get on the list for a Mercedes sport utility vehicle, which is what we called SUVs then. Reconsider your George Clooney fringe haircut. Drop all friends with a 281 area code, which was new then. But we rescind that.

 The Art Guys are on the cover, one in a wedding dress (Amsale) and the other in a morning suit (Armani). Ten years later, they are back on the cover, this time Marrying a Plant as performance art. Isn’t there a law against this?

 Betsy Parish and Phyllis Hand launch their Sightems & Snapems column, pen and camera in hand … Off they go to Felix on Westheimer, Tila’s, Bocados on West Alabama, Armando’s, Vallone’s, The Confederate House, Gregory’s, Post Oak Grill.

LONG-AGO ADVERTISERS 
William Hanhausen Antiques on West Gray, Eclectic in Highland Village • Casa Blanca Home • Sempers Restaurant and Discotheque • Jonathan’s Interiors in Rice Village • Veranda Home • Janice Rudy • Aerial Wireless • Turntable Club • Artuzzi • Circa Antiques • Houston Futon • Dalat Vietnamese Bistro • Tasca • Cabo Grill • Scottsdale’s • The Piano Store 

1999

 We photograph the late sculptor Jesús Moroles at home in Rockport. This is fine arts editor Catherine D. Anspon’s first artist interview for PaperCity.

 We shoot fashion at Parnham House, a 16th-century manor house in Dorset, and in London, and in Venice.

 Lynn Wyatt throws her last bash at Allington, her palatial home on River Oaks Boulevard. Who was there: Doug Wyatt, Christina Girard, Donna and Jack Josey, Sam and Paula Douglass, Bill Anderson, Nina Wickman, Adair Gockley, new residents-to-be Cherie and Jim Flores, Louise Cooley, Patty Hubbard, Stewart Masterson, Dossett and Susan McCullough, Charlier Flanders

EPHEMERA: Chanel Boutique opens in The Galleria. • Taco Milagro opens. • Longoria Collection opens. • Mix opens. • The Remington-Slash-Ritz-Carlton-Slash-Luxury-Collection Hotel is renamed (again) the St. Regis Houston. • Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick in town for Houston children’s Charity Chaired by Sharon Bush.

LONG-AGO ADVERTISERS 
Mo Mong • Vallone’s • Taco Milagro • Ernest Thompson Furniture in Highland Village • The Greenhouse Spa on Kirby • Cities • Spy Club on Travis • Oz Nightclub on Main Street • Urbana Restaurant & Bar on Montrose • Houston Invitation Service on River Oaks Boulevard • Retro Gallery • Mondi • Elysee Club on Woodway • Joan Vass • Nit Noi • IV Elements • Arena Salon • Galerie Claudia • The Mercury room • Steak & Chophouse on Post Oak • Yubios • Home Ambiance • Bisse • Hart Galleries • Moore & Shaffer • Brian Stringer Antiques • La Strada • Chairs & Tables • Sole Sensation • Georgiou • Chianti • Abe Katz Jewelers  

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