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Society / Featured Parties

When a Pool Party Moves Indoors With Serious Designer Style

Inside Esteban Cortazar's Whirlwind Dallas Visit

BY // 04.11.19
photography Bruno, Snap The Picture

The original invitation called for a luncheon and fashion show poolside at the Joule hotel. It was being thrown by entrepreneur and philanthropist — and someone I am fortunate to call a soul sister — Nancy Rogers in honor of one of her dearest friends, designer Esteban Cortazar.

But dammit, the ever-changing Texas Spring weather just wouldn’t cooperate. The night before the event an email was quickly circulated that read: A LITTLE RAIN NEVER HURT ANYBODY… EXCEPT IT HAS MOVED OUR LUNCHEON! XOXO ESTEBAN AND NANCY.

Well, the darling duo turned on a dime and still had a poolside-themed party, but inside Mirador restaurant.

Over lunch, the girls in attendance at Mirador — lucky me, I was the only other boy at the table (besides the designer himself of course) — were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Cortazar’s assortment of casual day separates and evening cocktail dresses.

Afterward, everyone made their way downstairs to shop Cortazar’s Spring ‘19 Collection and preview his Fall ‘19 Collection.

Many asked Cortazar for the inspirations behind his stunning designs, which incorporated soft spring hues and bold hemlines. A few of the intricate beaded pieces truly resembled works of art.

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Overheard chitchat from the group included recaps of folks’ recent spring break excursions and the excitement for the upcoming Dallas Art Fair.

Guests included Lisa Runyon, Zoe Bonnette, Moll Anderson, Candace Romo, Sheryl Maas, Diamond Mahone, Max Trowbridge, Annika Cail, Cami Goff and Olya Sinitsyna.

Cortazar had traveled from Paris, where he makes his home, to Dallas. It was his first visit to Texas, and he apparently loved every minute of it.

A group of us took him to Park House the afternoon of his event, and he was taught the Texas two-step and how to line dance by Kathleen Hutchison and Leisa Street.

Sue Gragg gave him a lesson in applying fake eyelashes. If you see me soon, I’ll show you the video on my iPhone. During his whirlwind tour of Dallas, he even attended the Dallas Contemporary’s Gala.

I’ve become fast friends with the designer via text and have been begging him to return to Dallas for another visit. His joie de vivre is infectious, and his talent seems boundless.

The team here at PaperCity Dallas has created a list of questions that sums up what we are dying to know and plan on circulating it to out-of-town designers and art-world stars who come through Dallas.

Who knows, perhaps even an ambassador from some obscure Eastern European country might provide us their answers. We are calling the series Preferential Treatment. Click here for the first installation with Cortazar’s charming responses.

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