Society / Featured Parties

Houston Ballet Ball’s $1.4 Million Night Brings Grand Partying Back — a Jewel of a Comeback

The Gowns, the Major Names and the Return of Absolute Fabulousness

BY // 02.23.22

The swans. . . how they dazzled at the Houston Ballet Ball in a fashionable nod to the theme “Jewels,” a play on famed choreographer George Balanchine’s Jewels, which the company begins performing this Thursday, February 24th. After two years of nonexistent or scaled down galas, this ball was the first to return to the absolute fabulousness that has too long been missing in the social swirl, thanks to COVID.

Although the evening honored Houston Ballet’s jewels (aka the dancers), none were on hand as all were in modified isolation, as ballet artistic director Stanton Welch explained, keeping them healthy for the upcoming performances. While the exuberance that the dancers bring to each Ballet Ball was certainly missed, the 400 guests’ enthusiasm for this meaningful black-tie and the energy of party band Gen 8, presented by Élan Artists, sufficed to catapult the night into a rocking celebration.

It was a near-giddy soirée indeed as chairs Stephanie and Frank Tsuru and Kelli and John Weinzierl led the evening to proceeds of $1.4 million.

Richard Flowers and The Events Company created the visual salute to the dancers with life-sized images of the principals floating across the walls of the Wortham Theater Center Grand Foyer. Strands of larger-than-life painted jewels were strung across the balconies. Tables topped with explosions of red roses were draped in either jewel-toned sequined cloths or tablecloths embroidered in shimmering threads and beading.

Isabel David, Allison Thacker, Ishwaria Subbiah; Photo Credit Dave Rossman
Isabel David, Allison Thacker, Dr. Ishwaria Subbiah (Photo by Dave Rossman)

The clutch of Houston society Who’s Who was joined by a surprising lot, not the least of which was Underbelly Hospitality owner and executive chef Chris Shepherd and his wife Lindsey Brown. This was a first for the couple and we hope not the last although Shepherd playfully grumbled that he was never wearing a suit again. They were the guests of the fabulous Kristy and Chris Bradshaw.

Also new to the black-tie gala scene and relative new to Houston was KPRC Channel 2 news anchor Daniella Guzman, seated at a table with the station’s lead meteorologist Frank Billingsley, morning news anchor Owen Conflenti and vice president and general manager Jerry Martin.

The Allen

Swipe
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024
  • The Allen June 2024

Leading the impressive fashion parade were ball chairs Stephanie Tsuru in an elegant emerald green evening pants and skirt ensemble by Dallas’ Nardos Design and Kelli Weinzierl in a stunning ruby red beaded gown from Naeem Khan.

Harrison and Lilly Cullen, Keefer and Laura Lehner; Photo Credit Wilson Parish
Harrison & Lilly Cullen, Keefer & Laura Lehner (Photo by Wilson Parish)

Among the many femmes in sparkling gowns were Phoebe Tudor in emerald green Marquesa, Kelley Lubanko in a bead-embellished gown by Jenny Packham, Dr. Ishwaria Subbiah in Marquesa, Beth Zdeblick in Oscar de la Renta, Leigh Smith in Lela Rose, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell in a silver shimmering gown from Nicole Bakti, Ileana Traviño in Rene Ruiz, Amanda Boffone in Monique Lhuillier, Melissa Juneau in Naeem Khan, and Courtney Tartt Elias in a Lanvin top worn with an  Alice + Olivia skirt featuring artist Keith Haring‘s dancers.

Former Ballet Ball chair Becca Cason Thrash created her own unique look for the evening sighing to PaperCity, “I’m so pieced together. OK, the shirt is David Peck. This (the tulle train) is Monique Lhuillier. Oh, and the pants (with beaded sidelines) are Dior.”

PC Seen: Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch; Houston Ballet board president Leigh Smith and Reggie Smith; Houston Ballet board chairman Shawn Stephens and husband Jim Jordan; Houston Ballet board member Lynn Wyatt; philanthropists Margaret Alkek Williams and Ann and Albert Chao; Houston Grand Opera general director and CEO Khori Dastoor and husband BenJoaquin Gouverneur; Menil Collection director Rebecca Rabinow and husband Matt Ringel, managing partner at New Era Media & Marketing; Neiman Marcus vice president and GM Chris Hendel; Houston First chairman David Mincberg and wife Lanie Gordon; Tootsies owners Donna and Norman Lewis; and Houston Ballet executive director Jim Nelson.

Discover Weber Pellet Grill at Bering's
SHOP NOW

Featured Properties

Swipe
X
X