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Society / The Seen

Houston’s Most Eye-Popping Party

Bollywood Mania Turns This Black-Tie Gala into a Contest of Stunning Looks

BY // 03.07.17
photography Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

Glittering, dazzling, sparkling — pardon me if I gush. But the coterie of guests pouring in for the Asia Society Texas Center‘s Tiger Ball created a colorful Bollywood-worthy fashion tableau that had eyes popping and smart phones flashing. The evening’s salute to India inspired sartorial splendor at a level seldom seen in Houston’s black-tie swirl.

The impact of the colorful costuming was topped only by the level of energy that coursed through the cocktail reception, held in a party tent, and then in the highly-lauded center where architect Yochio Taniguchi‘s design facilitated the sellout crowd of 650 for seated dinner. As guests moved along a red carpet from one venue to the next, a genteel gauntlet of young ladies in Indian dress tossed rose petals and held candles to light the way. All the while, dhol dummers in Punjab tradition revved the energy quotient as the black-tie entourage made its way inside.

The evening honored Sushila and Dr. Durga Agrawal and in the process raised more than $1 million.

While Osar de la Renta and Marchesa gowns might have been few and far between, the national costuming worn by both men and women evoked a maharajah splendor. Case in point, honorary co-chair Nidikha Mehta who practically floated in on a white silk gown embroidered in profusions of beaded florals. The couture piece, she allowed, was created by JJ Valaya, the same famed indian designer who had created her wedding gown. KHOU Channel 11 anchor Rekha Muddaraj had her gown designed by another Indian fashion star — Yashodhara.

Still others in the gathering, including gala co-chairs Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, did their fashion shopping in Houston’s Hillcroft area while Connie Kwan-Wong acquired her sari attire in Dubai. In short, it was an international fashion delight.

In their jeweled splendor, guests sat down to an Indian feast, prepared by CityKitchen under the guidance of Kiran Verma who recently re-opened her namesake restaurant in sleek new digs on Richmond. Applause, applause for the sea bass in saffron beurre blanc and grilled lamp chops masala.

The night concluded back in the party tent for dessert, drinks and dancing to the spins of a Bollywood DJ. Oh what a night!

Additional co-chairs: Dr. Marie and Vijay Goradia and Angela and Chowdary Yalamanchili. Honorary co-chairs: Pershant Mehta, Renu and Suresh Khator, Raj and Jugal Malani and Nalini and Dr. Virendra Mathur.

Who: Asia Society Texas Center Bonna Kol, Nancy Allen, Margaret Alkek Williams, Y. Ping Sun, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Bill King, Sylvia and Gordon Quan, Lily and Charles Foster, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Pinder and Jag Gill, Muffet Blake, Donna Cole, Mina Chang and Jake Harriman, Amit Ray and Consul General of India Anupam Ray.

Home, chic home.

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