Society / Featured Parties

Inside the Most Fashionable Holiday Party in Dallas

Brian Bolke's Conservatory on Two Welcomed Tommy Hilfiger, Ashley Longshore, and More for a Pink-Hued Fête

BY // 12.05.22
photography Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams

Brian Bolke’s exotic, fluffy birds of paradise had come back to the roost — Dallas’ Conservatory on Two for his Holiday Party. Pardon me, but some of those words were appropriated from a special guest that evening (and I don’t mean Santa as I imagine he would never describe a scene with such flourish), but more on that in a moment. Just like Bolke’s iconic Dallas Museum of Art Art Ball this past April, all knew to come dressed.

Were you expecting something after dressed – as in some trite call-to-action like ‘cocktail attire’? No, anyone who knows Mr. Bolke knows that he wants everyone to be their most glamorous (even if that means cowboy boots and a bejeweled duster).

As he is frequently an adherent of numerology his soiree was held on 11/11 (November 11). The glittering affair was the occasion to launch the boutique’s holiday campaign, “Spot On,” and benefitted the upcoming Art Ball 2023 and the Dallas Museum of Art.

The elevator doors opened for me and my date for the evening, Kristin Bray, to a magical leopard-print wonderland scene with a vibrant pink backdrop. Apparently, that color was the #mood shade that many guests opted to wear.

Entrance (Photo by Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams)
The holiday party entrance of Brian Bolke’s Conservatory on Two. (Photo by Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams)

There were so many new pieces in the delicate glass cases and hanging from the racks that for one of the first times, I actually made a beeline to peruse instead of entering the fray of guests for air kisses and bon mots. Some of the items that immediately caught my eye were from Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger’s (current creative director of Judith Leiber) new collection of Italian-crafted shoes and bags, as well as monogrammed silk pajamas — exclusive to the Conservatory, The Webster, and Farfetch. She was there with her legendary husband, Tommy Hilfiger.

I made it halfway through the boutique before I heard a squeal: “Billy!” It was the mistress of the turntables, the ever-effervescent DJ Lucy Wrubel, who had created a playlist for the party. After a quick embrace and quick sharing of stories of recent exploits, I spied the man of the hour, Mr. Bolke, and gave him a fist pump (not a usual gesture from my playbook) but it felt like the most appropriate way of expressing congratulations for the enchanting affair.

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“Why pink?” I asked. With a knowing wink, he shared, “I liked pink when it wasn’t cool.” [Of course, he did.]

Fine Dining (Photo by Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams)
The Teak Room was transformed by Ashley Longshore ahead of the Conservatory on Two holiday party in Dallas. (Photo by Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams)

“Have you met Ashley Longshore yet?” Bolke asked, grabbing my by the arm and escorting me back to the Teak Room, where the New Orleans-based painter was holding court in layered pink Valentino. The artist had recently worked her magic on the Teak Room walls with a suite of floral paintings. “I love my Dallas collectors,” she shared. “They are like exotic, fluffy birds of paradise. Unique, beautiful, loud, covered in gorgeous feathers and with very large nests.”

Who doesn’t love an evening that ends with an evacuation? Apparently, some sort of leak had taken place in the building, and many of the remaining guest migrated over to Lounge 31. If only I had gotten a picture of Longshore and Corbin Chamberlin making their way with their ensembles blowing dramatically behind them in the windswept Highland Park Village parking lot. Chamberlin had also been one fo the night’s marquee star (along with Longshore, Hilfiger, and jewelry designer Stephen Webster) thanks ot the debut of his Sage & Salt Crystal Room in the Conservatory on Two.

Kelly B, Brian Bolke, Ashley Longshore, Faisal Halum (Photo by Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams)
Kelly B, Brian Bolke, Ashley Longshore, Faisal Halum (Photo by Bruno Snap the Picture and Polaroids by Ashley Longshore and Ali Williams)

Some of those spotted in the frenzied crowd doing early holiday shopping while sipping Bolke’s favorite “Kastra-politan” by Kastra Elion Vodka: Eric Reeves and his pink-clad wife Katherine who was sharing intel on the recent, highly successful Planned Parenthood Awards (Katherine had chaired the 2022 event alongside Anne Clayton Vroom); Bolke’s husband, real estate titan Faisal Halum; Wendy and Billy PayneZoe Bonnette in a leopard coat with a pink shorts outfit underneath — I remarked it looked like she was in “camouflage given the evening’s décor;” recent San Francisco transplant and new president of Neiman Marcus Ryan Ross and his husband Robbie Kruith; and another recent West Coast transplant Kelly Cheeseman.

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