Arts / Society / The Seen / Performing Arts

Dallas’ 2023 Tutu Chic Was a Beautiful Blend of Fashion and Footwork

Neiman Marcus and the Texas Ballet Theater Put on a Striking Show

BY // 12.13.23
photography Sharon Ellman

It would be far too easy to describe Texas Ballet Theater’s signature fundraiser as “too, too chic.” Give me a little more credit than that! There is a reason, though, that the long-limbed and fancy-free flock to the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House year after year for Tutu Chic, a melodic blend of fashion and footwork. The recipe is simple: Ballerinas! Neiman Marcus! Tights season! If you build it, they will come. 

The glamorous event, which took place on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, began with a champagne reception in the Winspear’s lobby. Fashionable guests swanned about, offering air kisses and recounting their Thanksgiving holidays, before ascending the stage in the Margaret McDermott Performance Hall for the fashion show. 

Steadfastly returning as Presenting Sponsor, Neiman Marcus supplied the fashions, which Texas Ballet Theater ballerinas modeled, dancing to music ranging from “Kings & Queens” by Ava Max to Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Accenting the ballerinas’ sleek updos? Dainty butterflies, an IYKYK nod to Neiman Marcus. (Who doesn’t love admiring the cascade of butterflies while taking the escalator en route to your popover with strawberry butter?) The dancers’ movements highlighted the art of the fashion. A perfectly matched partnership! 

2023_TBT_Tutu_2882skin (Photo by Sharon Ellman)
Standing from left to right: Emily Huskinson, Katy Brooks, Tama Tran, Hayden Lawson, Jen Sanders, Jillian Miller
Seated from left to right: Ese Azenabor, Danielle Brasher, Madelaine Lam, Sharon Lee Clarke (Photo by Sharon Ellman)

Poised on the front row, House of Preservation owner Rylie Bland co-chaired the elegant afternoon alongside fundraising consultant Kaleta Blaffer Johnson. After chairing 2022’s wildly successful Tutu Chic, Cerón and Todd Fiscus also held court by serving as honorary past chairs. 

Cerón and Fiscus are a tough act to follow, but Bland and Johnson rose to the occasion beautifully, leading the way as sponsors behind Anne T. Bass and Nancy Carlson. 

Founded in 1961 as a small regional ballet company, Texas Ballet Theater has grown into an internationally recognized organization that presents world-class performances year after year. 

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After the fashion show’s conclusion and brief remarks from both Neiman Marcus leadership and Texas Ballet Theater’s Artistic Director Tim O’Keefe (who said he loved watching his dancers get “a little funky!”), guests twirled their way back to the lobby. Attendees enjoyed Tuscan chicken (Chicken for luncheon season? Groundbreaking!) at tables adorned with feminine florals. Models paraded about the room, and my table vowed in solidarity to bring back evening gloves. (What can we say? We were inspired!)

Todd Fiscus, Patricia Quirino, Cerón Fiscus (Photo by Sharon Ellman)
Todd Fiscus, Patricia Quirino, Cerón Fiscus (Photo by Sharon Ellman)

A beloved event on the charity circuit, Tutu Chic stands out as one of the best of the season. 

I successfully refrained from calling the event too, too chic; let’s just say that every detail was en pointe.

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