Society / The Seen

Storied Texas Tea Party Reveals its Much-Anticipated 30th Anniversary Theme

Lavish Gardens by the Sea Conjured Up

BY // 12.20.17
photography Dana Driensky

What: Mad Hatter’s Tea 30th Year Theme Reveal

Where: Tootsies in The Plaza at Preston Center

PC Moment: The Mad Hatter’s Tea party is one of Dallas’ most festive events, drawing throngs of fashionistas who don over-the-top chapeaux to match the year’s specific dress code. (Last year, celeb stylist and designer Rachel Zoe was the guest of honor for “Under the Tuscan Sun”; the previous year was themed “Steel Magnolias.”)

To celebrate the tea’s upcoming 30th anniversary gala, to be held at the Dallas Arboretum on Thursday, April 12, 2018, patrons and friends assembled at Tootsies for champagne and to browse the boutique’s winter collections.

After Linda Burk was announced as honorary chair, chair Venise Stuart revealed the theme, “A Garden by the Sea.” The title calls to mind the Gilded Age of American history when tea service was a staple in parlors and seaside gardens of lavish New England estates, where men sported trousers and blazers, and women accessorized with dainty parasols and hats festooned with ribbons and lace.

Burk and her husband, John Gilmore, are longtime supporters of the arboretum, having donated a piece for A Woman’s Garden in 1997. The Mad Hatter’s Tea is an annual fund-raiser for the garden and the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum.

Who: Mad Hatter’s Tea honorary chair Linda Burk, chair Venise Stuart; Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum president Melissa A. Lewis; Tootsies store director Nerissa von Helpenstill, store manager Dustin Holcomb; Linda SpinaBarbara BighamJocelyn WhiteSteve and Linda IvyJay Trevis NiblackDyann SkeltonKathy Fielder, Yvonne Crum, and Deve Sanford.

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