Society / Featured Parties

Martini Madness Grips Houston with a Costume Fever

Is This the New Manhattan?

BY // 09.22.17
photography Kim Coffman

“I‘ll take Manhattan but make mine a martini.” That could have been the mantra for the collection of zanily-attired guests who enlivened the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft during the revival of its popular Martini Madness fundraiser. With a Big Apple theme, the crowd channeled everyone from Andy Warhol to Liza Minnelli and everything from Lady Liberty to Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup can.

And, of course, the drink of the night was the vodka (make that Deep Eddy) martini. Cosmos were also on the bar menu and in a nod to the theme — Manhattans courtesy of Texas Giant Bourbon Whiskey.

This perennial crowd-pleaser begins with entry through a phalanx of artisan-crafted martini glasses, each waiting to be selected by arriving guests to hold their libations for the night and to be taken home. It’s a playful start to the evening that meanders through the center’s galleries. A video collage of all things Manhattan, compiled by Raincoat Creative, played out as more than 100 guests grazed through the New York-inspired Italian offerings courtesy of Greenhouse Catering.

As sponsor of the costume contest, Anne Kinder got to select her faves in the main competition — Nancy Riviere and Ken Rue, outfitted as Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol, respectively; Heather den Uijl, who painted her own dress to look like one of Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans;” and Helen Lueders, who costumed as “The Big Apple.”

Nyala Wright Nolen and Anthony Sonnenberg judged the late-night costume contest, anointing Sarah Ansell and Alex Mata as winners for their take on the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster from the Ghostbusters film.

DJ Flash Gordon Parks entertained with tunes that escalated the mood as the night progressed. And who didn’t have fun dressing up for the Photobomb photo booth?

Who: Chairs Kara and Ulises Vidal, HCCC executive director Perry Price and wife Rosemary, HCCC president Phyllis Childress, Sara and Bill Morgan, Clint Willour, Betty Moody, Elaine Bradford, Angel Oloshove, Judy Nyquist, Karina and Carlos Barbieri, Kitty and Richard Rabinow, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Dr. Cindy Lisica and Dr. Alan Mur, Brian Nolen, Donae Chramosta, and Ericka Bagwell.

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