Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Fabulous Ladies Steal Show from Dreamy Lance McCullers Jr. and Other Sexy Sports Stars

Wild Runway Night Includes Twerking, Juking and an Astros Star in Pinstripes

BY // 11.21.19
photography Daniel Ortiz

Dreamy faux eyelashes, voluminous hair extensions, plunging décolletage and billions of sequins — on this night, the ladies stole the show from the gents who were centerstage at the annual Una Notte in Italia.

Not even MLB Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell or the juking and jiving Houston Texans linebacker Dylan Cole could top the visions of femininity, Bagwell’s standing ovation notwithstanding. Even the dreamy Lance McCullers Jr. in high-style pinstripes . . . well, maybe not. He could hold his own in any crowd.

To be honest, the catwalk parade of sports stars, docs, realtors and business execs, dressed to the nines by Festari for Men, was once again the highlight of the evening, their runway sashays punctuated by confetti explosions, showers of flowers and rose petals, hoots, hollers and applause. But there was a decidedly va-va-voom quality to the wildly fun evening benefiting the Houston Area Women’s Center.

The ballroom of the Omni Houston Hotel was packed with an enthusiastic crowd that made each of the runway stars feel the love. Who wouldn’t get a kick out of Viet Hoang, founder of Yellow Magazine and nightclub owner, twerking down the catwalk in his baby blue tuxedo? That in contrast to Bill Baldwin, sophisticated in a black velvet tux.

As is tradition, the crowd was so revved up that one could hardly hear the commentary by honorary chair Debbie Festari and KPRC news anchor Dominique Sachse, both in sequins as was co-chair Rachel Bagwell, and so many others. Co-chair Sneha Merchant on the other hand, opted for a feminine cocktail dress.

Those on the receiving end of the most overwhelming and loudest reception were Dr. Matthew Harbison and Compass realtor Mike Mahlstedt. Rudy Festari, the man behind the fashions, closed the show with his own dignified runway strut and was greeted with rounds and rounds of applause.

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Applause, applause for all who contributed to the night’s take of close to $400,000.

PC Seen: Adrienne and Jared Crane, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Hallie Vanderhider, Tony Buzbee and Frances Moody, Jo and Jim Furr, Gary Petersen, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Courtney Hopson, Neal Hamil, Nick Florescu, Nicole and James Lassiter, Christine and Steve Johnson, Dr. Rocio Harbison, Nina and Karun Magon, Habiba and Ali Dhanani, Dr. Roland Maldonado, Gordon Bethune and Jessica Rossman, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Brigitte Kalai, Ed Finger, Jane and Larry Wagner, Alice and Matthew Brams, and Chris Venegas.

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