’Twas and ’Tis the season!
As we march toward Mardi Gras there’s been no shortage of merriment and mirth. All those along the avenue, places and boulevards pulled out their prettiest pumps for deb parties, the opening of both the Mahalia Jackson Theatre and the Zulu exhibitions at the Presbytre, and moved right on to Carnival reveling.
The usual “Who’s Queen of What?” guessing games continue. Here’s a “Name that Deb” quiz: Who turned 21 on the 21st and with the tap on a cell phone set off surprise fireworks over the Mississippi River? Whose party décor was based on tapestries stored at grandmother’s house that lead to raising a tent as enormous as it was exquisite – draped in silk, hung with chandeliers and elegantly recreating a grand Italian garden? Who, as the song says, “Had the Horse Right Here” with a bash where betting allowed at the Fair Grounds? Who was given a party at Casamento’s? Who wore the winning design dress from TVs Project Runway? And who celebrated Carnival in Venice, Rio and New Orleans all in one night – with change of music, food and mood, to boot?
The deb set weren’t the only ones frolicking: Sub-deb Aylett Clesi took a regal spin around the ballroom wearing the crown jewels of Harlequins then wandered across the street in full regalia to celebrate at Dickie Brennan’s Palace Café with pals young and old. Playful Aylett crowned her “queen mother” Patrice with a pink-and-white plush toy. Also in the court, the lovely Olivia Woollam who’s off to study viniculture in New Zealand for a few months; dad Philip couldn’t be prouder, and in this case the grape may not fall far from the vine.
Post-deb Emilie Montgomery kicked up some very high heels this season with black thigh-high Can-Can numbers mom Christa picked up in France. Ooh la la! Anne Eichen handed out bedroom slippers at a little post-post queen’s supper while husband Ted, in white tie, showed off “Ted’s Shed” to the fellows at the couple’s Toledano Street digs. Dallas post-deb, our own Morgan Packard did Christmas with a real Reveillon dinner which began at 1 a.m. and ended at dawn. Starting with gumbo and ending with bread pudding with white chocolate bourbon sauce, the meal was cooked by significant other Mike Griffith, who’s quite the guy.
The humming coming from the Annunciation Street home of post-deb Muffin Adriance continues as her exquisite monogramming, produced by special order, grows; what started a children’s clothing cottage industry still comes from a cottage but the results are world-class. The tinkling and tapping coming from the Jefferson Avenue Montgomery manse comes from the aforementioned Christa, whose cottage industry is jewelry making, as in one-of-a-kind things using pearls, jade and semi-precious stones. The strands of emeralds she’s sporting are another story, one we’ll let her tell.
Debs-plus delighted Scott Veazey, one of the city’s top makeup artists, who put down his house renovating tools and picked up his cosmetic brushes just in time to save faces for the season, he’s set up shop at Sun Bodies on Metairie Road. Saks Fifth Avenue Club honcho Cristina pulled on the long white kid gloves for those who thought they had the season covered and now realize they don’t, while Pat McCausland is rattling through the back rooms of Perlis’ making sure there’s enough white tie and tails stock for the season.
No kid gloves at St. Charles Avenue’s new design launch part, just miles of smiles for the camera that framed each face in to our new cover format. Some kicked off shoes to Jeremy Davenport’s and Irvin Mayfield’s music, aided by double-fisted drinks poured by the Ritz-Carlton. That is the way our fearless party maven Bev Church likes it (could be the secret of her success with her books and programs across the country, when she’s not out pounding the avenues for this publication.)
Anne Eichen and Pete Labouisse partying post-post post a Queen’s Supper
Olivia Woollam before heading to New Zealand
Two Peggy Laborde’s kick up their heels at Avenue’s “New Look” party.