2017 Crystal Ball honoree Marita Fairbanks in a Kubiak-designed ballgown. (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
A stunning look from designer Kasi Kubiak and Marci Dallas at 2018's Crystal Ball. (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
Co-chairs A.J. & Katie Brass
Co-chairs Ernie & Stephanie Cockrell
Co-chairs Raquel & Andrew Segal
Kim Sanchez, Nancy Riviere
Carmen & Kiki Dikmen
Anthony Suber, John Abodeely
Cassandra Tolentino, Karen Farber
Tara Conley, Becca Cason Thrash
Ryan O. Harris, Corey Haywood
Claire Petratis, Reagan Corbett
Rainey Knudson, honoree Marita Fairbanks
Dick Clarke, Claire Drennan
Felipe Lopez, J.B. Fairbanks
Fred Murdock, Emily O'Brien
Honoree Marita Fairbanks with Spencer, Addie, and Phoebe
Casey Arguelles Gregory & Tommy Gregory
James Bell, Marci Dallas
Jeff Shell, Ally Shell
Jonathan Cox & Margaret Vaughan
Justin Segal, Rania Semaan
Lisa Santos, Martha Finger, Amy Marvin
Lucinda & Javier Loya
Matthew Dirst & Sixto Wagan
Michael Galbreth & Rainey Knudson, Texas' most beloved and influential art couple
Nicole Hardcastle, Angela Fabbri, Tara Conley
Lindsey George, James Glassman
What: The Crystal Ball Gala Benefitting Fresh Arts
Where: Silver Street Studios
PC Moment: With everyone in rainbow-colored outfits and imaginative get-ups, Houston’s Fresh Arts Gala lived up to its own hype and mythology at this year’s Crystal Ball. The big night was co-chaired by three couples with social swagger — Katie and A.J. Brass, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, and Raquel and Andrew Segal. Honoring Fresh Arts founder and patroness Marita Fairbanks, the Crystal Ball gave supporters the opportunity to riff on the night’s theme however they chose.
Glasstire’s Rainey Knudson donned a Magic 8-Ball-inspired gown, while others went shiny (with lustrous dinner jackets and dresses), glitzy (blingy masks, tiaras, and accessories were a trend), or covered in head-to-toe in crystals (calling to mind Maison Margiela’s iconic crystal masks). Amid the flashy fashions donned by the guests was a silent art auction, fortune telling from Next Iteration Theatre, sounds from the Day For Night-anointed DJ Hiram, and a bar featuring Deep Eddy Vodka and Raquel and Andrew Segal’s own Sequester Wines, among the libations.
Others contributing to the Pop vibe included Candylicious, which stood out for its artfully curated candy bar, and the always-popular Shutterbooth.
Who: Fresh Arts types including director Marci Dallas, and board members president Jared LeBlanc, Dominic Sung (with wife Patricia), Michael Umansky (with wife Laura), brother of the honoree James Bell, and street artist Gonzo 247; Houston Arts Alliance CEO John Abodeely; artists Daniel Elliott, Angela Fabbri, and John Whaley, who each painted canvases live and on the spot to be auctioned (Fabbri’s painting, One Piece of Advice, was snapped up by co-chair Raquel Segal); costume designer Kasi Kubiak, who once again fashioned an elaborate, resplendent dress for Miz Fairbanks, as well as her own opulent headdress, mask, and ballgown.
Others in the party flock: John and Becca Cason Thrash; Art Guy Michael Galbreth; Tootsies’ Fady Armanious with Boulevard Realty honcho Bill Baldwin; designer David Peck; Neal Hamil’s Ally Shell and Jeff Shell (their firm provided the night’s models who sported past Fresh Arts ensembles worn by the honoree); gallerist Laura Rathe, as a psychedelic gypsy complete with crystal ball; talents donating to the live auction including Reagan Corbett and Casey Arguelles Gregory and husband Tommy Gregory (who’s head of all public art for the Houston Airport System); artist Hannah Bull; Lucinda and Javier Loya; Martha Finger; designer Claire Drennan; dressed as a big carrot; Strut blog’s Dick Clarke and Omar Lisandro; The Menil Collection‘s Tommy Napier; and HSPVA’s Matthew Jamison.