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Society / Featured Parties

The Prom I Wish I Had — What Happens When You Go Back to the ’80s and Finally Do It Right

BY // 08.07.18
photography Photography Tamytha Cameron Smith

Epilogue

The eighties were my glory years. I know virtually everything ­­in terms of pop culture from the decade.

I dream of becoming a contestant on Jeopardy and having Alex Trebek announce strictly 1980s categories: John Hughes Films, Brat-Packers, New Wave Bands, Designers from Esprit to Laura Ashley, Aaron Spelling Shows. I’ll take Golden Girls for $200!

Alas, my throwback ’80s dream will likely never become reality, but recently reality came pretty close to fantasy, when I received a poster-sized tube in the mail with my invitation to a Prom Party (or, as the invite read, “the one you wished you had”).

The cause to celebrate was the birthdays of Brian BolkeLael BrodskyGonzalo BuenoSuzanne DroesePiper Wyatt and Lucy Wrubel. The invitation poster said it all: there was the iconic Go-Go’s Vacation album cover art, but with the birthday girls’ faces superimposed on the bands’. Bolke and Bueno assumed the identities of George Michael and Andrew Ridgely, the dynamic duo that made up Wham. On the flipside was art that mimicked the Memphis Style.

The crew definitely had their finger on the pulse.

From 2018 to 1986

You had me at ’80s. Give me a boombox blaring Cure and INXS and perhaps a four-pack of Bartles & Jaymes and I’m in heaven. The dream birthday team delivered that and more in spades, orchestrating a night that I won’t forget for a very, very long time. This was definitely not a lo-fi production.

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The birthday posse (or shall we call them by one of my favorite ’80s band names, The Style Council) began meeting regularly last fall to plan their perfect prom. Oh, to be a fly on those party planning walls.

The week of the party my cell filled with texts: “What are you wearing?” “Acid wash?” “Lots of hair spray?” “Where can I score some vintage Victor Costa?” Apparently Vintage Martini had a slew of party guests come through its Knox-Henderson store in search for ’80s garb.

Lisa Runyon, Brian Bolke, Jennifer Eagle, Susan Kaminski

I was torn between a vintage New Order concert T-shirt and one with a Nagel girl in all her angular and fluorescent hues. Brooke Davenport hosted pre-party cocktails at her home since it was close to the Dallas Country Club (the venue), and we wanted to get there promptly at the start time as we were told the evening had a packed party itinerary.

Brooke’s handsome husband, Blake Davenport, was straight out of Top Gun in a sexy flight suit. Brooke opted for a more glamorous outfit, slightly vintage Stella McCartney, which reminded me of Jamie Gertz’s model character from the iconic Less Than Zero.

Then, the arrival. Cue sensory overload. Every detail was pitch perfect. Two gents in white button-up shirts, tightie-whities, Ray-Bans and white ankle socks — straight-up Tom Cruise from Risky Business — opened the doors to DCC.

I looked left: A wine cooler champagne fountain was surrounded by napkins adorned with the phrase “gag me with a spoon.” To the right: a photo booth backdrop resembled the one used at my high-school formal. Bathroom entrances were changed to Bowie (boys) and Benatar (girls).

Once inside those facilities I found vintage bottles of Drakkar Noir and Polo cologne as well as Binaca. (Remember the times trying to mask the smell of alcohol with that remedy?)

Since this piece could easily turn in to a lengthy Brett Easton Ellis like novel, I’ll give you a sampling of the best highlights: Tina Craig channeled her former MTV Asia VJ-self and introduced none other than Billy Idol, who gave the crew a video birthday greeting with his quintessential snarl and raised fist … The Greenhill School cheerleading squad pumped up the crowd … At 10pm guests moved into the adjacent ballroom, which had been made to resemble the infamous Starck Club … The prom committee all made wardrobe changes, and a favorite was Piper Wyatt, who went from prom dress to Adam Ant look-alike … I saw a girl with braces (and I’m guessing she didn’t have them a few days before!) … Lael Brodksy had a total of four outfit changes … Lucy Wrubel’s pink gown was originally worn by her mom to the opening of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. (Lucy had it shortened for the party.)

Attendees’ costume game was equally strong. Brooke Hortenstine, Lyle Jackson, and Kelly Parker went as the Top Gun crew Iceman, Maverick and Goose, respectively. Kristi Ramirez was almost unrecognizable as Magnum P.I. (chest hair and all). Ceron was statuesque as Grace Jones, while hubby Todd Fiscus went as Boy George. Lisa RunyonJennifer Eagle and Susan Kaminski all wore matching fuscia one-shoulder taffeta gowns accessorized with one pink glove (and they arrived in a pink stretch limousine!).

Capera Ryan and Heather Wiese-Alexander both wore gowns they donned to their actual proms. Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzidressed as’80s jock. Faisal Halum bared his chest with plunging-neckline jumpsuit as Prince. Kelle Knight brought a ruler with her — as chaperone she was there to make sure skirts were an appropriate length. Margaret Stafford wins the award for biggest, 80s-style hair — and for best use of hairspray.

And Jan Showers, as it turns out, does a mean Madonna impression.

Prologue

We chatted up the birthday prom committee in the days following and posed the following questions.

Piper Wyatt

Favorite Band/Artist: Impossible to choose one, so let’s go with top five: early B-52’s, Duran Duran, The Go-Go’s, Talking Heads, and R.E.M.

Celebrity Crush: Actor crush was Rob Lowe in St. Elmo’s Fire and musical crush was Duran Duran’s John Taylor.

Outfit: Most worn was an Esprit long sweatshirt worn as a mini dress — aka “fanny warmer” — that I owned in every color.

Brian Bolke

Favorite Band/Artist: Duran Duran — my first concert.

Celebrity Crush: George Michael

Outfit: My high school uniform involved a lot of Generra.

Best Prom Moment: Jennifer Eagle, Lisa Runyon and Susan Kaminski pulling up in a long pink limo in matching one-shoulder ruched pink prom dresses

Gonazalo Bueno

Favorite Band/Artist: Pet Shop Boys!

Celebrity Crush: Tom Cruise and Cindy Crawford.

Outfit: Guess jeans with the leather in the back and the folded pockets. Girbaud and Jordache. It was all about the jeans!

Suzanne Droese

Favorite Band/Artist: Madonna, forever! I was also way into the Judys, The Police and the list goes on …

Celebrity Crush: Simon LeBon from Duran Duran. OMG!

Outfit: Guess Jeans styled à la Madonna. My jeans were super pegged at the leg, and I wore them with leg warmers. I grew up in Houston, so you know my legs probably weren’t in need of warming! I also was a whiz at the Flashdance look, with my Dulles Dolls (drill team) practice leotard.

Best Prom Moment: Seeing one of my besties, Tina Craig, on the big screen! She used to be an MTV Asia V-Jay, so it was perfect. And, of course, Billy Idol wishing all of us a Happy Birthday. I mean, it was the Billy Idol! Dying.

Lael Brodsky:

Favorite Band/Artist: Prince

Celebrity Crush: Andrew McCarthy

Outfit: Hot pink Fiorucci jeans, with a white sweatshirt that said “Lower Greenville” in a clashing shade of pink. Thought I was so cool!

Lucy Wrubel:

Favorite Band/Artist: The Judy’s, B-52’s and Madonna… I went to the “Like a Virgin” tour concert at Reunion Arena the night before I took my SATs.

Celebrity Crush: Andrew McCarthy (?!) and Simon Le Bon

Outfit: Highland Park Cheerleading uni or Guess Jeans with matching jacket and/or vest (I still have many of them). All ensembles to include massive bow!

Home, chic home.

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