Fashion / Style

Y2K Fears, Moscow Missions and Social Soup: A Time Capsule Look at Houston (and PaperCity) in the Early 2000s

BY PaperCity Staff // 08.19.16

Since whirling into Houston in 1994 and Dallas in 1998, PaperCity 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 Houston in the early 21st century. (Come back to this space next week for more PaperCity history, and click here for a look at our first six years.)


We shoot spring fashion in Marfa. We hardly knew where that was. And in fall we shoot in Venice. 

Bridget Jones’s Diary launches, and droves of women turn out at Brazos Bookstore, chipped nails and all, to meet author Helen Fielding.

A model climbs atop stacked-up furniture for a sky-high shoot inside a not–yet-completed penthouse at Giorgio Borlenghi’s Villa D’Este high-rise, making for a most memorable issue cover. Is that Milton Townsend in his modeling days, guest-starring?

Elizabeth Anthony

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 Remember Y2K?

We photograph fashion in the new Beck Building, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, while art is still being loaded in.

Dominick Dunne and Nan Kempner swing into town to honor Lynn Wyatt, as does the Alley Theatre at Un Grand Bal for La Lynne.

 Remember the Silver Slipper Award bestowed by The Textiles and Costume Institute of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston? Remember the Fortuny and Geoffrey Beene exhibitions? So wonderful.

Supermodels ice skate at the Galleria for Dishes on Ice (Fredrique, Kelly Emberg, Bonnie Pfeifer, Roshumba all skate to town).

We shoot spring fashion at L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills and fall fashion at the Sherry-Netherland hotel in NYC, and feature the newest in flip phones.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opens “British Fashion: From Monarchy to Anarchy” (we are light years ahead of the Met) with loans from Sandra di Portanova.

We pronounce Houston’s Most Stylish: Cathy Echols, Pat and Dan Breen, Joey Vallone, Scott Ziegler, Andrea and Matt Minnis, David Beebe (lead signer of The El Orbits), Marcela Sheridan, Margaret Reckling, Cornelia and Meredith Long, John Kuhl.

The Menil Collection hosts Cy Twombly for a sculpture exhibition; Sally Mann comes in for the opening. Ned Rifkin is the Menil director

In 2000, fall fashion was also shot in Venice.
In 2000, fall fashion was shot in Venice.

EPHEMERA: Jose Éber has a salon at Saks Fifth Avenue. • The Greenhouse Spa is at the corner of Kirby and Westheimer. • We flock to Lillya at Manos y Mas in Highland Village for mani-pedis. • Virginia and Fred McCain are the proprietors of Esther Wolfe. • Ron Marks opens Cotton Exchange downtown. Smoot Hull opens Shag and Saint. • Lee Brown is mayor. • Rickshaw opens in River Oaks Village. • Benjy and Erica Levit’s Dish Restaurant opens. • Perry Podaras opens The Gatsby Social Club in Rice Village. • Harry Gordon opens By Appointment offices in the River Oaks Bank building. • Style editor is Alex Lloyd. • George Cameron Nash opens at Decorative Center Houston. • John Axelrod launches Orchestra X. • Empire Baking Co. opens. • DJ Sean Carnahan writes Night Seen column. • Ed Boode is manager of Saks Fifth Avenue. • Prague Club opens. • Stephen Baldwin and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen come to town for the opening of Joe Martin and Tim Collins

Monica Pope’s Boulevard Bistro • Dolce & Gabbana (the first time around in The Galleria) • The Remington Grill • Carrano • Pascal/Robinson Galleries • Elan • John Ludlam Fine Stationer • Liberty Noodles • Xipango


Arts editor Catherine D. Anspon ventures to Moscow twice for PaperCity — in 2001 for the Glassell Gold exhibition lent by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to the mighty Pushkin Museum, and again a decade later, trailing FotoFest’s Meeting Place sponsored by Russian power art couple Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich.

It was Chalet Chic and Alpine Madness on our cover.

 Nellie Connally is honorary chair at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (in the Pavilion on Post Oak). Frenchy Falik calls her Sara Lee: “No one doesn’t like her.” Bob Mackie is there.

Ricky and Sandra di Portanova pass away in 2000, and we can’t get enough of the di Portanova saga — we shoot fashion in their former home, Sandcastle, which is now offered for sale by Martha Turner for $4.5 million. When we put a mustache on model Hunter Sullivan, we are told to halt the shoot.

 “It’s Hot Outside. Stay Inside and Get Smart,” states the August cover. Signs of Intelligent Life feature: “Casually strew Mensa applications about,” Laurann Claridge opines.

Becca Cason Thrash throws the first of many fantastic Best Buddies brouhahas: titled Shanghai Chic, with Kip Forbes, Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Randolph Duke, Jose Éber, Deanna Hamro, Lauren Bush and Jaclyn Smith. Even in 2001, Becca could round them up.

 We travel to the Adirondacks to exclusive enclave The Point to shoot fashion, with photographer Tim Boole; Ceron does hair. Were we made of money?

Yoko Ono is here for CAMH, with dinner at The Bayou Club, and performs her “yelps” and “eeks” at Brown Auditorium at MFAH.

 The very first Menil Collection Gala honors Walter Hopps, with PAs from Dennis Hopper, Ed Ruscha, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg.

EPHEMERA: At PaperCity, Frenchy Falik is social editor, Betsy Parish pens the nightlife column, John Mariani joins the ranks, Erica Levit and Lisa Pope Westerman are design editors. • Jerry Bartee is running Tony’s … at Home catering. • John Capizi is manager of Neiman’s.

Walzel Jewelers • Fred Joaillier • Plus Klasse • Mannequin Boutique • Evelyn Gorman’s Mix Modern Clothes on Colquitt • Nuit • M. King Interior Collections • Kreiss Collection • Louise Blum • Tu Chez • Julie Stander Fine Linens • Bernabe Somoza’s Somoza-Sims Gallery 


The first PaperCity Party Book hits the stands with an index of who appears and how many times.

 PaperCity San Francisco launches with another swell party at Neiman Marcus, and the store’s Union Square windows are filled with PaperCity magazines.

 Francesco Scavullo shoots the cover and fashion.

 We re-enact America’s first dinner party with Indians and pilgrims in Valentino, Chanel, Cavalli.

 We love our guest editors Meredith Long and daughter Martha Long, née Staley (in 2002).

Neiman Marcus VP Ken Downing channels “Billy Baldwin meets Van Day Truex meets Truman Capote” for the annual PaperCity PartyBook launch party. Furnishings and props are trucked to Dallas at midnight après the same-themed PC PartyBook at the Houston store.

EPHEMERA: Grace Slick is at Off The Wall Gallery. • Tony Vallone opens Los Tonyos Cantina (yes, Mexican food) for a nanosecond. • Hugo’s opens. • Hobby Center for the Performing Arts opens. • Laurann Claridge’s infamous quiz rates how smart your interiors are.

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It’s the debut of Social Soup! Money. Power. Fashion. Booze! Twin Peaks: Benjy Levit is Marc Jacobs, Paul Hobby is George W. Bush, Andrew Echols is Julian Schnabel. Still spot on.

 Editors Mia Jones and Karen Sommer Shalett join the SEAL Physical Training Course, with a 4 am start time for 10 days. Guess who drops out Day 1, after 20 minutes.

 Our crew jumps aboard Swiss International Air Lines, flies to headquarters in Zurich and Basel, photographs with Ford model Kristy Hinze (who later marries Netscape billionaire James Clark), channeling Julie Christie in Darling, and flies home. A well-spent 24 hours.

 We shoot designer Michael Dale’s Palladian-inspired house just after he retires. We spell it Palladium, as in the nightclub. Anguish.

 Chuck Close is at Blaffer Gallery.

 We look inside the refrigerators of Jackson Hicks and Randy Powers. Why?

 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Heroic Exhibition with 204 works on loan from the Museum of Modern Art, while it undergoes restoration.

De Beers


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