Society / Profiles

Dallas’ Most Fashionable Hosts Reveal Their Dream Summer Party Plans

From the Perfect Guest List to Party Games, This Insider's Guide Covers It All

BY // 07.22.19

Come summer, many socials scatter to far-and-away destinations like Jackson Hole or Martha’s Vineyard. Others brave our Texas heat. No matter the locale, all want to comingle al fresco before Labor Day comes knocking.

We queried some of our favorite Dallas hosts about their formula for a perfect summer party. Here, we flip-flop between to-dos that exude Slim Aarons poolside glamour and Fandango-style tequila tastings.

BROOKE DAVENPORT

Formidable party girl. PaperCity Bomb Girl, March 2017. Coveter of caftans.

Type of party you’re hosting.

Slim Aarons-style poolside glamour.

Where you are.

SHOP

Swipe
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas
  • Darby Scott October - Deck 1-15 Dallas

Escape destination, probably Mustique.

Brooke Davenport
Brooke Davenport

Dream guest list.

Whoever looks glamorous, likes a stiff cocktail, and makes me laugh.

Evite or something more substantial?

Definitely something more substantial.

If you decide to instigate a game, what will it be?

Naked chicken fights.

Signature cocktail.

Cold rosé with a sprig of mint.

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

Just enough to keep people from getting hungry — but not enough to keep people from getting drunk. Perhaps pigs in a blanket or tiny croque-monsieurs.

Playlist to conjure a conga line.

“The Girl from Ipanema” with a hint of 21 Savage.

Dress code.

A long white flowy dress with a jeweled parrot on the front that I just bought from Stella Jean and can’t wait to wear.

Hostess tips.

Must have: Good music, great cocktails, beautiful flowers, an abundance of staff and candles, candles, candles. 

MISSY ROGERS PECK

Have-it-all wife. Mother of two. Owner of luxury events business MissyRSVP.

Type of party you’re hosting.

Provence-themed dinner al fresco with lots of rosé.

Where you are.

Ann Hobson’s beautiful chateau in Provence, Mas de Baraquet, in the garden among blooming lavender.

Tim Peck, Missy Rogers Peck

Dream guest list.

Bridgette Bardot and Fritz Gunter Sachs. (He would definitely be filming for his upcoming documentary on fabulous Dallas people.)

Evite or something more substantial.

Handwritten notes on personalized Bell’Invito stationery.

If you instigate a game, what will it be?

Spirited game of writing Haikus about oneself — five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.

Signature cocktail.

La Piscine. Essentially, a massive ice cube floating in a coupe of champagne.

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

John Dory with a lemon white wine sauce, asparagus salad, and, obviously, French fries. Oh, and a raspberry vanilla mille-feuille with a salted caramel sauce for dessert.

Playlist to conjure a conga line.

I’ll just ask DJ Lucy Wrubel.

Dress code.

A Royl caftan from The Conservatory in New York with Hermès slides and a Pucci scarf in my hair. 

Hostess tips.

Split up couples at the table to encourage interesting conversations.

BRADY WOOD

Debonair dude. Founder of WoodHouse.

Type of party you’re hosting.

Fandango-style tequila tasting with spicy Jambalaya and smoked La Caja China pig.

Where you are.

Creek-side in Bluffview.

Megan & Brady Wood

Dream guest list.

Megan Wood, Brandt Wood, Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Buffett, Elon Musk, H.I. McDunnough [from Raising Arizona], mom.

Evite or something more substantial.

Tell a few and make it pile-on friendly.

Some guests might not be competitive, but if you decide to instigate a game, what will it be?

Quarters! (Remember, you get to make a rule after three in a row).

Signature cocktail?

You choose: The Strong or The Quite Strong.

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

Anything from NOLA or Mexico — or both.

Dress code.

Whatever you want. Summer should never have dress-codes.

Host tips.

Plan well, but let the night unfold on its own. Always include something unexpected: drunk gift-bearing Santa arriving by canoe, a second-line marching band, togas for all midway through the party. And be your best guest. If you are having fun, your guests will, too.

ZOE BONNETTE

San Francisco transplant. Jet-setting concertgoer. Art fundraiser. Member of the PaperCity 2018 Best Dressed List.

Type of party you are hosting.

First off is Billy Fong’s very own birthday party poolside at my house, themed “Caftans, Cutoffs and Carafes.” Later in the summer will be an eclectic dinner party in San Francisco with a surprise visit to a performance at Beach Blanket Babylon, the hilarious musical revue which is closing this year.

Where you are.

I will be in California most of the summer, escaping the mosquitos and the heat.

Zoe Bonnette (Photo by Bruno, Snap The Picture)
Zoe Bonnette (Photo by Bruno, Snap The Picture)

Dream guest list.

Besides my nearest and dearest, I would love to have Lynn Wyatt (everyone says she is the best hostess and the most fun); Warriors’ Andre Iguodala (to gaze at his perfect arms up close); artist Mark Bradford; the hilarious Laura Brown (InStyle editor in chief); Edie Sedgwick (every party needs a wild card); and Anthony Bourdain (to whip up something fabulous for late night).

Evites or something more substantial.

I find Paperless Post to be the easiest as both a guest and a hostess, although I prefer to send my thank you notes the old fashioned way through the US Mail.

If you instigate a game, what will it be?

I adore games and costumes and try to feature both in my parties as often as possible. But would never pressure anyone to wear anything they did not feel comfortable in — I just like to have options. Sometimes I have a little questionnaire for guests with simple icebreakers to get stories flowing (like first job, first kiss, etc).

Signature cocktail.

Harrison Tully recently introduced me to the Mexican in Paris, which is a combination of tequila and champagne. It sounds vile, but is actually quite delicious.

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

I love having food trucks cater because it is so easy and there are choices for guests. For smaller groups, I will cook enchiladas or salmon.

Playlist to conjure a conga line.

I have always loved “Summertime Thing” by Chuck Prophet, and I’m partial to ’80s music. For Billy’s party, I am putting together a playlist, with House of Pain, Cypress Hill, and the Beastie Boys among other throwbacks.

Dress code.

In Dallas, colorful caftans and chunky jewelry. In San Francisco, metallic leather pants, vintage rock T-shirts, and a funky blazer. Platforms, of course, in both places!

Hostess tips.

I love to use crystals in my floral arrangements. And never underestimate the power of some whimsical pool floaties.

JENNIFER KAROL

Art collector. Movie producer. Philanthropist.

Type of party you are hosting.

Paying homage to my city and state and partying Poolside at Karol Kabana.

Jennifer Karol, Nini Nguyen (Photo by Photographer: Bruno, Snap The Picture)
Jennifer Karol, Nini Nguyen (Photo by Photographer: Bruno, Snap The Picture)

Dream guest list.

Meghan and Harry, Michelle and Barack, Justin and Sophie (Trudeau) and the late Tim Russert.

Evites or something more substantial.

Would send a kitschy but official invite that Kerri Davis (Ellis Hill) would help me create.

If you instigate a game, what will it be?

Heads Up! can be a riot when you have had a few tequilas.

Signature Cocktail.

I am a true champagne gal, but since this is authentic Tex-Mex, a Mexican in Paris — which is a combination of both tequila and champagne — really gets the party going. (I discovered this drink in Marfa last spring.)

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

Regino Rojas of Revolver Taco Lounge would be serving up some mean, delicious tacos.

Playlist to conjure a conga line.

I feel that positive that Lyle Lovett would accept my invite to croon at this dinner party!

Dress code.

Wouldn’t you love to see Michelle rock some ripped jeans and fabulous cowboy boots?!

Hostess tips.

I always take Brooke Davenport’s advice: “It is all about the lighting.” Picture lanterns in trees, like the patio at The Mansion, and longhorn candelabras.

SHASA MITCHAM

Beauty and fragrance specialist at Forty Five Ten. Avant-garde fashion aficionado.

Type of party you are hosting.

The theme is a Baroque & Roll garden party. Versailles meets the 1980s post punk era; Marie Antoinette from the early 2000s film that starred Kirsten Dunst.

Where you are.

The French countryside, probably somewhere in the Provence region.

Shasa Mitcham
Shasa Mitcham

Dream guest list.

Serge Lutens, Cardi B, Eric Buterbaugh, and the Haas Brothers.

Evites or something more substantial?

Definitely something tangible. Maybe a beautiful card in a bright neon color like acid yellow or hot pink, with a rocaille or floral motif. There is just something extra special and exciting about receiving an invitation in the mail.

If you instigate a game, what will it be?

Backgammon and roulette, with plenty of champagne on deck.

Signature cocktail.

The Aviation: a floral cocktail with a mesmerizing shade of violet purple.

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

Ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms (they are delicious; get them now while they are in season); macaroons in a variety of pretty pastel colors and flavors; and the default charcuterie board for the really picky guests.

Playlist to conjure a conga line.

My playlist will rotate around some of my favorite new wave bands from the ’80s; The Cure, Blondie, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, to name a few.

Dress code.

Something extravagant from designer Palomo Spain.

Host tips.

Definitely flowers. I’m thinking blush florals by Kyle Branch, our in house flower maestro at Forty Five Ten. I love the surreal whimsicality of his arrangements.

SHELBY GOFF

PYT. Part-time Fort Worthian. Gives us the ultimate prep with a fashionable slant.

Type of party you are hosting.

Who doesn’t love a backyard barbecue!

Where you are.

We’re heading to Aspen, London, Nantucket, and I’ll be doing my best Sophia Loren impersonation in the Mediterranean.

Shelby Goff, Travis Goff

Dream guest list.

Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, Andy Warhol, C.Z. Guest, and Truman Capote… I’ll also throw in Chrissy Teigen to really shake things up.

Evites or something more substantial.

Paper. Always paper. Ellis Hill is my vacation home.

If you instigate a game, what will it be?

Catch Phrase over cocktails! The adult version can make the most unabashed guests blush.

Signature cocktail.

Call me cliché, but an Aperol Spritz screams summer.

What to serve to keep guests from feeling peckish.

Is “picnic chic” a thing? A twist on the classics: mini BLTs, mini potatoes with caviar, a fresh crudité and Cassandra’s melt-in-your-mouth mini grilled cheeses.

Playlist to conjure a conga line.

Progressive music is key. Start with Sinatra and end with Avicii.

Dress code. 

La Vie Style House.

Hostess tip. 

You only live once — use the nice stuff! China, crystal and Grandmother’s silver.

We're officially open in Rice Village + Montrose.
Order Now

Featured Properties

Swipe

Like PaperCity Dallas on Facebook

Beyond the magazine. Get more of Dallas’ top restaurant, real estate, society, fashion and art in your news feed.

X
X