Kara McCullers gives hubby Lance a runway smooch. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Houston Texan Cullen Gillaspia rocks the runway at Una Notte in Italia at the Omni Houston Hotel. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Lance McCullers Jr. in au courant pinstripes. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Jeff & Rachel Bagwell, Una Notte in Italia co-chair (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Una Notte in Italia co-chair Sneha Merchant with her children, Zaryan and Zenya, her husband Nick Merchant. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Honorary chair Debbie Festari in sequins & Rudy Festari, maestro of the men's fashion presentation. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Nick Florescu & Dominique Sachse in sequins (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Adrian Duenas, Nina Magon in sequins, Marcelo Saenz, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Katarina Tehlirian, Shannon Hall, Melissa (in sequins) & Michael Mithoff (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Beth Zdeblick, Melissa Juneau in sequins (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Brandon McClendon, Nicole Lassiter (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sam Windsor, Raquel Fatiuk, Justin Reid in pinstripes (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Tony Buzbee & Frances Moody (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sippi & Ajay Khurana (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Roi Alan, Iraida Brown in sequins, Travis Player (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
A confetti shower drenches the celebrity models. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider, Bill Baldwin (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Dr. Roland Maldonado, Enid Sanchez (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Mike Mahlstedt receiving one of the most enthusiastic greetings. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Neal Hamil, Courtney Hopson in sequins (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Tony Bradfield (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Jen Grigsby, Marla Hurley, Ann Ayre, Maya Fasthoff, Christi Rawls (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Mary Patton, Mike Mahlstedt, Beth Zdeblick (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Rick Perez, Crystal Saldivar (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Hannah Swiggard, Kara Smith (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sapna Patel, Naureen Malik, Anu Reddy (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Jeremy Garcia, Logan Lester, Miss Texas USA Taylor Kessler in sequins, Ann Ayre, Brian McCullough (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Dr. Kota Reddy, Ahmad Malik, Karun Magon and Rudy Festari (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Bill Baldwin (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Houston Texan Justin Reid (Photo by 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.
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.