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Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Ultimate Garden Party Defies the Weather Man

A Lovely Throwback in Time

BY // 04.06.17
photography Jenny Antill Clifton, Wilson Parish

Mother Nature shamed meteorologists last Sunday by providing a balmy spring night rather than the predicted monsoon — a development that had Bayou Bend patrons in a particularly celebratory mood as they dined and danced in an open air party tent on the lush grounds of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston house museum.

The evening was a nod to the 50th anniversary of the public opening of the John Staub-designed home and the 35th anniversary of what is surely one of the loveliest soirées of the season. The Bayou Bend Garden Party revives an era of gentility with ladies in their spring frocks and gents at their peacock finest in colorful blazers, silk ties, and matching muchoirs.

The 320 patricians, Houston’s old guard and contemporary philanthropists, partied beneath of a grove of candlelit chandeliers sheathed in pink roses, a reflection of the fragrant centerpieces of roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, and lilacs. The Diana Fountain played stage backdrop for the David Caceres Band on one side of the tent while views to the pink facade of the stately mansion filled the opposite panorama.

While most, such as Lilly and Thurmon Andress and Carol and Paul Barnhart were praising the weather, table talk between guests covered a range of topics including the Houston Astros season opener on Monday, that conversation headed by Astros owner Jim Crane and fiancé Whitney Wheeler. Pat Breen and Jeanie Kilroy were still talking about Friday’s Bayou Bend Luncheon and the smashing Oscar de la Renta fashion show. Debbie and John Daugherty focused on family matters with his son and daughter-in-law, John and Hallie, in tow along with his daughter, Annie, with Albert Spires.

And then there were those applauding the CityKitchen dinner so divine (oh, that cheese grits soufflé!) that even the strictest calorie-counters were cleaning their plates.

Spring fling flock: MFAH director Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner, Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Diane Lokey Farb,  Kathy and Marty Goossen, Carole and Ken Bailey, Pam and Dr. David Ott, Anne and Albert Chao, Diane and John Riley, and Laurie and Reed Morian.

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