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Culture / Entertainment

Now Hear This — Spending New Year’s Eve at Dallas’ Hottest New Members-Only Club and Other Worthy 2019 Beginnings

How We Rang in 2019 — From Park House to London

BY // 01.05.19
photography Park House photos by Stephen Karlisch

We’ve officially entered 2019. Most of your friends at PaperCity were traveling to see family and friends for the holidays. For this week’s “Now Hear This” PaperCity Dallas office question, I asked my colleagues to ponder New Year’s Eve.

Perhaps share fond memories of years past or the exciting plans they put in place to say goodbye to 2018. That said, I was so charmed with home design editor Rebecca Sherman’s descriptive thoughts on times with her family. Lisa Collins Shaddock also decided to also share fireside memories. Hillery Stack and Samantha Olguin booked airline flights. Christina Geyer put well-laid plans into place — and me?

I had no game plan and honestly thought I would be on my couch binge watching some Netflix. That didn’t turn out to be the case as you will see.

Rebecca Sherman, Home Design Editor

New Year’s Eve is best spent at home, and my most cherished memories of the night go back to childhood in the late ’60s and early ’70s. My parents always celebrated New Year’s Eve out, and it was festive just watching my mother get ready. She had a handful of beautiful cocktail dresses, including a classic black lace number with thin straps that was so timeless that my sister and I traded off wearing it at college a decade later.

The New Year’s Eve that sticks most in memory is 1971, the year the midi-dress made its debut in our household. My father had taken a new job, and his boss was hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner at his home. For the occasion, our dad suggested our mother buy a new dress. Instead, she came home with a Vogue pattern and yards of shimmering champagne colored silk.

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It took her almost no time to whip the fabric into a stunning outfit. A harried working mom, she didn’t even get started until the night before, when she cleared the dining table and laid out the pattern pieces, pinning and cutting until way after our bedtime. She spent the next afternoon hunched over the sewing machine, and as it got closer to the appointed time to dress and leave, there was a tense urgency in the air. Convinced they would be late, my father fumed and paced. Doors slammed. My sister and I were shooed outside to play as she pushed the fabric under the noisy, hammering needle.

Then, right on time, our mother emerged from the bedroom wearing a sleek column of silk that reached mid-calf. She was a goddess in shocking pink lipstick, silk stockings, and glittering heels. She smelled of hairspray and Shalimar, and although she didn’t have jewels, she had great taste. The only piece of adornment she wore was a striking platinum cuff, the same one I saw her wear on every important occasion for years. The length of her dress was an unexpected fashion statement from a woman who didn’t follow trends, and whose closet was filled with workaday pencil skirts and jackets.

Midi-dresses had just burst onto the scene, after so many years of thigh-high mini-skirts. Although midis technically covered more skin, the length revealed so much more — it felt rebellious, even a little racy.

My mother beamed as she threw her coat with the fluffy fox collar over her shoulders, and scooted out the front door with our dad. Like almost every New Year’s Eve, I can remember as a child, we were roused from sleep that night by mom a few minutes before midnight and ushered into the kitchen in our pajamas. Sprite was poured into Champagne coupes for us — had flutes even been invented yet? — and we all counted down the seconds until the New Year. It was exhilarating, made even more exciting by how glamorous our parents looked.

Lisa Collins Shaddock, Senior Editor

A New Year’s resolution I keep making year after year is to pin down my holiday plans earlier. After scrambling through Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas, New Year’s Eve celebrations can feel like an afterthought — although it really is one of my favorite holidays.

Who doesn’t love starting off a brand new year? (Or opening to the first page of a brand new leather planner from Madison?). Despite my lack of planning, I have many fond memories of New Years past, including spending the holiday in Scottsdale with my dear friend, by a cozy fire at my in-laws’ lake house, and celebrating my aunt, whose birthday was December 31.

A favorite tradition that has formed in recent years: taking a champagne-fueled sparkler lap around my parents’ pool before jumping in at midnight.

Christina Geyer, Dallas Editor in Chief

This year, I’m taking a cue from Jan Showers. (See: Billy’s story on society libations; the stylish Showers mentioned that she and her husband, Jim Showers, do caviar at home on NYE, and often she wears a kimono.) And so, to ring in 2019, I will be ordering a splurge-worthy amount of Petrossian, investing in a pair of silk PJs (monogrammed, naturally), and celebrating at home with a few friends, my significant other and the two cats. Cheers!

Hillery Stack, Dallas Publisher

I have always loved New Year’s Eve. That’s probably because for 18 years we went down to The Homestead in Virginia with my dad’s side of the family. Black tie every night with ice skating, skiing and trap shooting during the day. It was magic and the best five days spent with all of my cousins.

This year, we will be in London for NYE. One of my dearest friends is hosting a murder mystery party and everyone will be in costume. I will be dressed as a cop and my husband the village doctor. Looking forward to ringing in 2019 with all my best friends in one of my favorite cities in the world.

Samantha Olguin, Senior Account Executive

This year I will be right where I want to be…. in the mountains of Colorado with my favorite people in the whole world, my family!  If I get to have it my way we will enjoy a delicious dinner (one of which I will be savoring as I start the Whole30 program the first week of January), toast some rose Veuve fireside and be present in the moment of welcoming a new year with a lot of love.

Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2019 be the best year yet. 

Billy Fong, Culture and Style Editor

I had some big NYE celebrations in my late twenties and early thirties. That was my era living in Miami Beach and Los Angeles. As I got older, the night began to feel like a lot of work with little ROI. I began to opt for staying in and avoiding treacherous roads and shoulder-to-shoulder lounge scenes.

My intentions for December 31, 2018, had been couch + dog + television. I was only halfway through HBO’s Sharp Objects and I had been waiting for a good night to also check out the new Chanel documentary, which is part of the 7 Days Out series on Netflix. Director Andrew Rossi (also behind one of my other favorite fashion documentary’s First Monday in May) was given unprecedented access to the brand and its creative director, Kaiser Karl, for one week. What unfolds is the presentation of over 60 made-by-hand looks from Chanel’s spring/summer 2018 haute couture runway show at the Grand Palais amidst a backdrop of a recreation of a palatial French garden setting.

The weekend before NYE, I was texting my dear friend, Deborah Scott, attempting to set-up a catch-up coffee date. She inquired as to my plans for December 31 and I shared the above formula for success. She insisted that I make an appearance at Park House. The members’ only club that is the brainchild of she and her husband, John, and their business partners Brady and Megan Wood, has recently opened (I was fortunate enough to attend one of the first menu tastings) in a gorgeously tricked out space above Chanel in Highland Park Village.

I ran to the mall which was surprisingly less crowded than I thought it would be considering the post-Christmas sales (check out my story on hunting for bargains) in search of something appropriate for two or maybe three drinks. I found a perfect “one and done” cocktail outfit which consisted of a silk jacket and evening slippers with the same pattern on both of gold firefly’s on a red backdrop. I paired with a simple black Zara turtleneck and my signature black shorts.

Going to a private, members’ only club for an impromptu, last-minute visit seemed perfect for NYE. I knew I wouldn’t be dealing with the aforementioned shoulder-to-shoulder crowds jockeying to get the bartender’s attention. Instead, I would likely be amongst an intimate crowd of many I knew and perhaps I few I would want to know. Given Park House’s rules, I, unfortunately, cannot share the names of those I air kissed that evening. I’ll just tease you with — it was a “Dallas who’s who” of those who had not ventured to St. Barth’s or Mexico post-Christmas.

Park House had been given a holiday festive makeover by the Todd Event’s team with the dining room beautifully set for supper for just over 100 (another 200 or so guests would be arriving later for the turning of the clock). The early evening entertainment was provided by DJ Souljah and violinist Sharla Franklin. Apparently, the invite had called for sequins as many of the girls in the room opted for that demure fabric.

The standout amongst the glitterati set, however, was my favorite girl, DJ Lucy Wrubel. As I made my way around the room I indulged in the Ruinart that was free-flowing and nibbled at the caviar and potato chip station. As guests entered the room to take their seats for the meal that included Chef Andrea’s signature risotto, I bid my adieu. I still made it home by 1o pm and got in plenty of my original plan of couch + dog + television.

Home, chic home.

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