Society / Featured Parties

Steamy $1.5 Million Houston Ballet Night Inspired by Tennessee Williams Play — and the Ballgowns Bring All the Smoke

Major Art Fundraising and Costume Changing

BY // 02.07.23
photography Wilson Parish

With the upcoming world premiere of Houston Ballet’s Summer and Smoke having set the theme for the Ballet Ball, the black-tie gala saw an energized throng swanning through a tableau of moss-draped trees and magnolias with backdrops of dreamy cypress-filled swamps.

The set was a state-of-the-art party tent, erected next to the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance, that was designed to recreate the setting of Tennessee Williams’ steamy and heartbreaking love story on which the ballet of the same name is based. Kudos to Richard Flowers and The Events Company for the convincing installation.

Lynn Wyatt, Harper Watters; Photo by Wilson Parish
Lynn Wyatt dances with Harper Watters at the Houston Ballet Ball, held in a state-of-the-art tent at the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance (Photo by Wilson Parish)

The theme provided fashion inspiration across the board with honoree Hallie Vanderhider, who underwrote the ballet production, taking all honors as fashion diva. Though there were plenty of serious contenders in the mix. Vanderhider entered the party tent in a voluminous Pamella Roland gown with a massive train of lavender tulle rosettes with bodice beaded in silver and lavender.

“I saw it in an ad campaign for Pamella Roland and I thought it was terrific so I had her make it for me,” Vanderhider says. “With summer and smoke, I feel like lavender and plum, all those colors picture smoke along with gray.”

While stunning, the gown had its down side.

“I’m guessing it’s 30 pounds. It’s so heavy, so heavy,” Vanderhider admits.

Celebrate 4th of July

Swipe
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July
  • Bering's Gift's June 2024 Fourth of July

Which could perhaps explain why after the presentation, Vanderhider, accompanied by her BFF and style guru Fady Armanious of Tootsies, departed the ballroom for a costume change into another Pamella Roland gown, one more suited for the dance floor. Ball gown changes are nothing new for the retired energy exec.

Reginald DesRoches, Margaret Alkek Williams, Paula DesRoches; Photo by Wilson Parish
Reginald DesRoches, Margaret Alkek Williams, Paula DesRoches at the Houston Ballet Ball, held in a state-of-the-art tent at the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance (Photo by Wilson Parish)

Running a close second to the honoree was Kristy Bradshaw, stunning in a dazzling Givenchy Haute Couture, the same gown that Julianne Moore wore at the 2015 Golden Globes when she won Best Actress honors. “It’s the only haute couture I’ll ever own in my lifetime!” Bradshaw says. “I had to diet for three weeks to fit into it.”

Among the many standouts were Melissa Juneau in Marchesa, Dr. Ishwaria Subbiah in Badgley Mischka couture, Isabel David in Erdem, Luvi Wheelock in Monique Lhuillier, Elia Gabinelli in Christian Dior and Roslyn Bazzelle-Mitchell in Oscar de la Renta.

Kenny and Kimberly Parsley, Fady Armanious; Photo by Wilson Parish
Kenny & Kimberly Parsley, Fady Armanious at the Houston Ballet Ball, held in a state-of-the-art tent at the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance (Photo by Wilson Parish)

Helming the colorful evening that earned $1.5 million for Houston Ballet were chairs Allison and Troy Thacker. They were among the many who crowded the dance floor, enticed by the irresistible sounds of Big Blast & The Party Masters from Atlanta. Perhaps having the most fun on the dance floor were members of the ballet company in particular Harper Watters rocking with Lynn Wyatt.

PC Seen: Houston Ballet executive director Jim Nelson, ballet artistic director Stanton Welch, Margaret Alkek Williams, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Shawn Stephens and Jim Jordan, Anne and Albert Chao, Paula and Reginald DesRoches, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Beth and Nick Zdeblick, Roslyn and Derrick Mitchell, Mignon and Stephen Gill, Heidi and Marcus Smith, Tony Bradfield, Stephanie Tsuru, Martha and Richard Finger, Ileana and Michael Trevino, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones. 

Discover Weber Pellet Grill at Bering's
SHOP NOW

Featured Properties

Swipe
X
X