Society / Featured Parties

Fashion Beats the Rain at a River Oaks Tennis Tournament Luncheon to Remember — The Ladies of the Spring Shine

An Event So Popular It's Held Twice

BY // 04.06.23
photography Daniel Ortiz

It has been a decade or so since Mother Nature threatened with showers the al fresco River Oaks Men’s Clay Court Championship luncheon. Alas, 2023 is proving to be a wet one. Thus, only 24 hours before luncheon chimes, the River Oaks Country Club team and Tootsies scurried about to create an indoor fashion arena that worked for the sellout throng that filled the ballroom and annexes to the brim.

Sharing the country club’s and Tootsies’ angst about moving the luncheon indoors was luncheon chair Michelle Smith. Applause to Smith and the luncheon committee for forgoing the traditional favors, instead donating those funds to a local nonprofit.

Valerie Dieterich, Christine Falgout, Rachel Patrinely, Elizabeth Fertitta, (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Valerie Dieterich, Christine Falgout, Rachel Patrinely, Elizabeth Fertitta, Monica Bickers at the River Oaks Country Club tennis tournament luncheon. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Packed as we were, the logistics created a visual tapestry of floral frocks that only the current dreamy fashion trends could inspire. There were floral Bermuda shorts ensembles, prairie style dresses, Zimmerman frou-frous and sun dresses. Even if there was no sun.

The threat of rain, the 680 guests at the luncheon, and the hundreds attending the tennis tournament made parking, as expected, an awesome  challenge. Whether it was the insane valet line or the street parking that stretched more than half a mile in both directions along Inwood, a private car was the only answer for those with limited time and limited patience. My solution: Alto. Easy breezy.

The River Oaks Tennis Tournament luncheon, which is so popular that is held twice, is all about seeing and being seen. Selecting the right outfit for this event is as important as any red carpet debut.

The fashion pressure couldn’t be better for Tootsies which for two decades has presented a parade of the latest styles and of late has added a pop-up shop for fashionistas’ instant gratification.

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“Fashion has changed completely from what it used to be. It’s very fluid and it’s really what you want it to be,” Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious tells PaperCity. “Your personality shows through fashion. It’s just an amazing way to express yourself and there are almost no rules anymore.

“It’s just about being who you are and who you want to be.

Iris Shaftel, Jasmine Nguyen, Reagan Bregman (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Iris Shaftel, Jasmine Nguyen, Reagan Bregman at the River Oaks Country Club tennis tournament luncheon. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

“And it changes because sometimes you want to be someone today versus tomorrow. The look also changes depending on where you are going and your attitude and how you want to the word to see you. Sometimes it’s modern. Sometimes it’s feminine or edgy. You get to pick and choose.”

This first day of the luncheon brought out a rarely-seen-in-public clutch. Well, not totally public as this event is River Oaks Country Club membership and invitation only. The Sarofim table was a rich example of this with Courtney Sarofim hosting the table that comes with the Fayez Sarofim & Co. naming sponsorship of the tournament.

Lynn Wyatt and Whitney Crane (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Lynn Wyatt, Whitney Crane at the River Oaks Country Club tennis tournament luncheon. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Among her guests, representing old guard and new were Martha Long, Mona Sarofim, Cherie Flores and daughters Alanna and Meredith, Lindsey Holstead, Mindy Hildebrand, Lynne Hudson, Aliyya Stude, Laura Arnold and more.

PC Seen: Tournament director Bronwyn Greer, Jo Lynn Falgout, Mary Eads, Lisa Simon, Kathryn Swain, Regan Bregman, Cheryl Boblitt, Holly Alvis, Cynthia Allshouse, Channing Allshouse, Linda McReynolds, Whitney Crane, Lynn Wyatt, Bobbie Nau, Alice Mosing, Amy Pierce, Stephanie Tsuru, Karen Winston, Terri Havens, Valerie Dieterich, Christine Falgout Gutknecht, and Brittany Sakowitz.

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