Fady Armanious adjusts the birthday cake topping for Hallie Vanderhider as Bobbie Nau (note the Happy Birthday mask) looks on. (Courtesy Photo)
Amanda Boffone and Roslyn Bazzelle wearing their party masks in pandenmic era. (Photo by Courtesy)
Stylish cookies for Hallie Vanderhider's birthday party at Tootsies. (Courtesy Photo)
Hallie Vanderhider blows out the candles on the petite cake for her petite birthday party at Tootsies. (Courtesy Photo)
Presents for Hallie Vanderhider at her birthday party hosted by her bestie Fady Armanious, Tootsies creative director. (Courtesy Photo)
Tammie Johnsonand Roslyn Bazzelle remove their masks for another selfie. (Courtesy Photo)
Tony's opens with a bold welcome for those returning to the fine dining mecca after being closed due to coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Tony's entire staff wear masks and gloves throughout dinner service where the iconic Grand Marnier soufflé reins supreme.. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
As the COVID-19 pandemic refuses to leave Houston alone, hosts and hostesses are cleverly working their way around this uninvited party guest. While some wonder when socializing with friends will mean more than partying with merely a handful of carefully screened, temperature-checked amigos, others are embracing precautions meaning that every gathering is now a masked ball of sorts.
The most recent example is Hallie Vanderhider‘s birthday party at Tootsies. Hosted by her bestie, Fady Armanious, Tootsies creative fashion director, the total headcount was 20. Everyone arrived at the 4 to 6 cocktail hour with fashionable masks and just about all of the ladies were dressed in floral print frocks, some with masks to match.
Both men and women kept their masks on except to sip drinks and pose for photos. Social distancing felt almost natural as guests moved judiciously through the popular fashionista haunt.
For a few hours, the close ensemble was able to put aside the growing health/financial disaster of the country to focus on friendship and perhaps a little fashion. The brief respite from apocalyptic news reports and personal woes was welcomed by the chic clutch that visited with one another over glasses of Veuve Clicquot.
And then there were the sweet treats guaranteeing a sugar high — colorfully sprinkled cake balls from Dessert Gallery; a Berry Chantilly cake from Whole Foods; and delightful cookies, featuring images of Hallie and her fashion favorites, from Michael’s Cookie Jar.
Tootsies’ folk joining Fady in celebrating Hallie were owner Norman Lewis, store director Shelley Taylor Ludwick, and Tootsies’ senior buyer Penne Weidig. The guest list included Hallie’s beau, attorney and former mayoral candidate Bill King; Fady’s beau Heights real estate magnate Bill Baldwin; Tenenbaum Jewelers’ Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black and the Social Book’s Scott Evans and Jeff Henry.
The ladies in their frocks included Amanda Boffone, Roz Pactor, Bobbie Nau, Roslyn Bazzelle, Tammie Johnson, Julie Chen, Ellie Francisco and Sonya Soto.