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5 Dec

Brunch, Bubbly, and Balenciaga in Black at The Kimbell Art Museum

A Behind the Seams Look into the World of Art, Fashion and Fort Worth Society

I recently attended a very special brunch held in the Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum, highlighting the museum’s latest exhibit Balenciaga in Black, from the Palais Galliera, Paris’ distinguished Fashion Museum, and the Balenciaga Archives, also in Paris.

Renzo Piano Pavilion SoFortWorthIt Kimbell
Kimbell Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt
Kimbell Balenciaga Ken Downing Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt

This event not only highlighted the work of one of the most influential fashion designers in history, Cristobal Balenciaga and the museum’s latest exhibit, Balenciaga in Black, but also allowed VIP guests to partake in an exclusive tour led by the exhibition’s organizing curator, Jennifer Casler Price.

Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga Jennifer Casler Price
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga Jennifer Casler Price Robin Arena Anne Paup Linda Christie
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga Jennifer Casler Price

The Kimbell Art Museum in partnership with Neiman Marcus Fort Worth, hosted the event to celebrate the new exhibit. The HeART of Neiman Marcus Foundation supports the Kimbell Kids program through a four year commitment of $100,000.

Watching Ken Downing, the famed Neiman Marcus fashion director and senior vice president, and the Kimbell’s deputy director, George Shackelford, discuss Balenciaga’s impressive career and enduring influence on fashion was pretty awesome to say the least. Fort Worth LOVES Ken and his bigger than life personality.

Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt Candice Hansen
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt Cami Goff
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt
Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt Julie Kleberg

At Neiman’s, Ken Downing determines the taste, trends, attitudes and ideas that the luxury department store embraces each season. In fact, Ken advised on every detail of this event from the flowers, stage backdrop and furniture to the table linens and menu, which was a lovely Balenciaga-inspired brunch catered by City Club of Fort Worth.

Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga City Club Catering
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga City Club Catering
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga City View Catering

These unique, intimate touches sparked a newfound interest in my appreciation for art and fashion. I soaked in the beauty and magnificence of the works on display, on top of the opportunity to ask personalized questions during the event.

Who is Cristobal Balenciaga?

Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972) was known as “the couturier’s couturier,” the designer most admired by other fashion designers. He was born in Basque Spain, a fishing village, and learned how to sew from his mother.

Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

Black you ask? The folklore and traditions of his Spanish childhood were the sources and inspirations for this collection of more than one hundred garments and accessories. And black because it reveals the impressive silhouettes and simple cuts favored by the artist.

Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt
Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

He trained as a tailor and began his career as the head of ladies tailoring at a department store in Spain. This background helped Balenciaga become an expert in cutting fabric with attention to contour and shape, and meticulous construction.

Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt
Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

Balenciaga used infinite types of fabric in varying shades of black, each carefully selected to emphasize the shapes, volumes and silhouettes of his unique creations, which were often adorned with lace, embroidery, silk, satin, fringes, beads, sequins and fur.

Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt
Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt
Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

Goya in Black and White

I mean, if you’re going to see the Balenciaga exhibit, you might as well take a hot minute and pop over to the Goya in Black and White exhibit just 20 feet away. Francisco de Goya just so happens to be my very favorite Spanish printmaker, an appreciation I formed while studying Art History at SMU.

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In the Goya exhibition you really get to see the folklore and history of Balenciaga’s birthplace graphically illustrated. I even spotted a few garments that may have inspired him, such as the lace dress the seated woman is wearing in this printed title, Pretty Advice.

And this one, ironically titled What a Tailor Can Do, where the ruching in the cape almost looks like the ruching in this dress Balenciaga created in 1956.

The Kimbell Art Museum is one of the cities best treasures.

From Monet and Renoir to Balenciaga and Goya, the Kimbell Art Museum continually debuts unparalleled, special exhibitions with loans from some of the world’s most prestigious collections.

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The museum’s architecture is unrivaled. The original Louis Kahn-designed building is regarded as one of the “outstanding achievements of the modern era.” Even Kanye West can attest to this as he visited the Kimbell on November 3rd! However, what’s most impressive, is what’s on display in their galleries.

With a permanent collection that includes world-famous European masterworks and rare pieces from Africa, Asia, and the Ancient Americas, the Kimbell Art Museum will leave you with a sense of wonder and heightened, if not a newfound sense of cultural appreciation.

Member Perks at the Kimbell

My family and I have participated in the museum’s membership program for many years and reaped the benefits of their unrivaled art experiences. I always look forward to member events at the Kimbell, as I know they are nothing short of fabulous. And I especially enjoy The Red Party, an ultra-trendy event which benefits Kimbell Kids Education Programs.

Christy Dunaway Smith The Red Party Kimbell Art Museum Balenciaga in Black

If you are not currently taking advantage of the bountiful benefits of a Kimbell Art Museum membership, I would highly consider it for a number of reasons. For starters, a visit to the Kimbell will ignite your senses and transport your mind. SO, get out there and flex your cultural muscle and find some art to appreciate.

Also, it’s always free to view their permanent collection but membership gets you free admission to the special exhibitions all year! And I just heard that Monet’s Waterlilies will be here next summer in their Monet: The Later Year’s exhibit so get your membership now to be among the first to see it.

And with Christmas right around the corner, you can give you friends and family a whole year of experiences for as little as $75. Now that’s what I call the gift that keeps on giving!

memberhips

Photography  credit  Laura McCarthy & Kimbell 

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

Y’all, I am sooo excited about this giveaway, I can hardly stand it! The Kimbell has given me permission to give away as many tickets as I want for the Balenciaga exhibit. Wow! Holy cow, right? (follow me on IG and FB for more chances to win tickets)

So here is the scoop, to celebrate this super cool giveaway, not only am I giving away a 4 pack of tickets, but I am tossing in lunch for 4 at the Kimbell Buffet too. Wahoooooo!

Please read the OFFICIAL TERMS & CONDITIONS located in the Rafflecopter link below.

4 May

B&B Butchers & Restaurant launches Brunch with SoFortWorthIt

When B&B Butchers & Restaurant’s PR team reached out to help launch their new weekend brunch, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to collaborate with the hottest new restaurant in town.

Over the course of eight weeks, we hammered out all the fun details for me to host an over-the-top influencers event for gals who were in the media, who were social media savvy and of course, I had to sprinkle in a few of my favorite philanthropist and socialites too.

I reached out to some of the best in the industry to make sure this event would wow! I’m a huge fan of floral, and Cityview Florist, aka Flowersnobs, went all out. We coordinated the blooms to match the colors in the SoFortWorthIt and B&B logos.

Big Ass Balloons made quite the statement for the Sunday Funday launch harmonizing the same color palette as the floral and logos.

Besides curating the Bubbles Brunch & Banter event to be a fabulous experience for an exclusive group of digital experts, my favorite part was sitting down with owner Ben Berg, his managing partner and GM, Darren McDonald, and private events coordinator, Angela Kell, to create the perfect tasting menu.

And let me tell you, we were not going to disappoint! In fact, B&B’s Executive Chef John Piccolino and Berg Hospitality Group’s Chief Executive Chef Tommy Elbashary, pulled out all the stops on food offerings.

Photo credit: Felix Sanchez

Have you ever seen so many precious micro versions of breakfast? These passed appetizers were pared down nibbles from actual dishes they serve off their brunch menu. Barbie-sized pancakes? Yes, please!!!

My mom was so impressed by the flavors, portion size and food presentation, she practically accosted Darren to cater their next private event.

Darren serving bite size stacks of pancakes.
Chef Tommy's Bacon
Mini Quiche
Lox & Bagels
Chicken & Waffle Cones

Brunch started out with a viral BANG as guests grabbed an aperitif and made their way over to the social media backdrop to let the world know that B&B’s Bubbles Brunch & Banter had begun and was here to stay.

B&B Butcher Brunch

Squeezebox Bandits played TexMex Zydeco, similar to Cajun Jazz, as we mingled and visited for about an hour.

After grazing on five different appetizers, it was time to sit down and work our way through the next round of food. By this point, I was already regretting not wearing my Spanx.

Thanks to JOY Macarons, each person found their assigned seat with a tasty personalized treat with B&B and SFWI logos on them. A little insider info? Liz, the owner of JOY, was in carpool with me growing up, when we attended All Saints together.

Once everyone took their seats, Darren introduced and thanked me for hosting the launch of B&B’s weekend brunch. In return, I thanked him, the restaurant, all the guests who attended and the local businesses who helped to make this event just perfect.

As the music resumed, more food came out from the kitchen. And more food, and more food. I seriously thought I was going to blow a gasket, but I couldn’t help but try a bite of everything.

Savory bread, sweet pastries and Nutella breakfast pizza with sliced strawberries and bananas! Holy Big Balls of Cowtown, I was about to founder.

I ordered as light as possible for my main entrée, which was the Power Up breakfast consisting of scrambled egg whites, whole wheat avocado toast, and salsa roja. Need I say more.

And then there was dessert. Ripieni Sorbetto’s, the most lovely, frozen citrus fruits filled with sorbet. The only thing missing was the Amalfi Coast. They were absolutely decadent.

And the family recipe, Gramma June’s mini Monkey Bread was pure crack. It was impossible to have just one bite.

As brunch came to an end, guests took home a B&B bag filled with the restaurant’s signature wine glasses, a custom monogrammed bottle opener, a treat from Cityview Florist and an Elaine Turner gift card to the brand’s store in The Shops of Clearfork.

As a bonus, the ever-fabulous Neiman Marcus provided additional gift bags filled with a full-sized beauty product too.

After the event was all said and done, the one thing I’ve been thinking about over and over was the graciousness and hospitality we received during brunch.

I’ve dined at B&B more times than I can count on both hands and EVERY, SINGLE, TIME, service has been above and beyond, like butlers recruited from Daddy Warbucks’s mansion. Berg Hospitality Group does not disappoint.

Hey, when you’re only one of 10 restaurants in the United States who qualifies to serve authentic Kobe beef from purebred Japanese cattle, you can expect the best.

B&B Butchers and Restaurant is a valuable addition to our community. They offer presentation, atmosphere, and good food all in a way that’s fresh to Fort Worth.

Located in the coolest new land development, The Shops at Clearfork. Southern hospitality and impeccable tasting food, what more could you ask?

B&B Butchers & Restaurant GIVEAWAY!!!

*All event photos courtesy of Laura McCarthy of Elusive Images Photography* 

14 Feb

SoFortWorthIt Takes on Hollywood

It’s not often a heavy-hitter Hollywood producer and his beautiful wife move to town and make Fort Worth the perfect city to raise their children. And it’s not often a Hollywood producer’s wife reaches out to you the second their plane hits the tarmac. Ok, let me back up a couple of decades and share the bigger picture.

Angelique & Mike De Luca

This wasn’t Angelique’s first rodeo to Texas. She was actually born in Fort Worth and attended Southwest High School with my cousins Clif and Cami, but for her junior year she hopped over to Arlington Heights High School, and that’s where the mutual friend thing comes into play.

Several years ago, Jason and I hosted an event at Del Frisco’s with Neiman Marcus in collaboration with Riedel Wine. We had a great turnout and everyone enjoyed the educational wine-tasting experience and gifts. Afterwards, Jason and I entertained our close friends in the basement wine cellar. That’s when Kristi Wilson introduced me to Angelique, and the rest was history!

Fast forward to the present, when Angelique and Mike De Luca made Fort Worth their new hometown, they both mentioned wanting to get involved with a few local non-profits and charities. Many institutions have been clambering for their attention, I mean who wouldn’t, but eventually, the De Luca’s hearts settled on founding member, Jean Roach’s beloved KinderFrogs, a family-focused, early intervention program that provides a developmentally appropriate educational environment for children with Down Syndrome and other developmental delays.

You know what that means! A very special party would soon be in the works. Last October the appropriately themed fundraiser, Hollywood Celebrates KinderFrogs, became the center of attention in the Who’s Who of Fort Worth’s upper echelon. Scoring an invite to this event would not be easy, and of course, it sold out almost immediately. If you weren’t quick to reply, then you weren’t going.

Months before, Angelique mentioned she and Mike were donating two tickets to the Academy Awards for the Leap Frog 2017 live auction. I told her attending the Oscars would be a dream come true, it was a bucket list item of mine and I was determined to check it off the list. She said it would be so fun if we went with them. The mission to win those tickets was on like Donkey Kong.

We laughed at the concoction of excuses I came up with on how to get away with winning this auction item. It was like a scene straight out of, “How To Get Away With Murder”. I was afraid to tell Jason for fear he would shut that fun down real quick, and I definitely didn’t want to tell my Dad because I knew he would knock some sense into my head. No time for that either! So, I called up our accountant to figure out what it would take to get me to the Oscars. After hanging up the phone, my mind was at ease. Now, all I needed was to let Jason know of my plan.

The night of Leap Frog 2017 finally came, and I was so excited I could hardly stand it. When we pulled up, the paparazzi were waiting at the red carpet flashing their camera lights to take everyone’s picture as they arrived. We checked-in and walked down the driveway to the De Luca’s backyard, which was transformed into a majestic scene of purple wonder.

The De Luca Family
The De Luca Family
Jean & John Roach
Jean & John Roach, Founding Members of KinderFrogs
Lauren & Mark Yamagata
Lauren & Mark Yamagata, Honorary Chairs of Leap Frog 2017

I immediately knew this event had its A-game on when I spotted Daylan Sharpe and his very sharp team of service staff. They always set the tone of sophistication and perfection for any event. This outdoor soiree was lit, and in purple too. The floral and place settings complimented the Hollywood and TCU theme of the evening.

After a cocktail and mingling with friends, the dinner bells chimed and we all headed to the table. We worked our way over to the Dunaway Associates/Foundation table with our guests and the guests of President/CEO of Dunaway Assco. Tom Galbreath. 

As we were enjoying a delicious catered meal from Jon Bonnell’s restaurant Bonnell’s, the presentation for the evening got underway.

Angelique & Mike De Luca
Angelique & Mike De Luca
Mary Martin Patton
Mary Martin Patton, Dean of TCU College of Education
Mary Martin Patton, Amy Yudiski & Diane Ayres
Mary Martin Patton with Co-Chairs Amy Yudiski & Diane Ayres

When dessert was brought to the table, I knew it was almost showtime. My hands began to shake in nervous anticipation for the bidding to begin. There were seven live auction items, and “Night at the Oscars” would be the last one on the list. Jason and I had actually instated a “no-bid on live Auctions” rule (several businesses over the years didn’t honor the donations we won at other charity events), but this time was different. The De Luca’s were our close friends, and we knew this was going to be legit!

As Scott Murray finished up the second to last auction item on the list, my heart started to race. The moment I had been waiting for all night was about to unfold. Scott starts in on the bidding. Several people raised their hands, I raised mine shortly after to let the auctioneer know I was in the game. My heart was pounding. I was hoping it wasn’t going to go very high, then one of our friends sitting with us raised his hand just to get a reaction out of me! I gave him the stink eye. He laughed. The bid kept going up. Many people had given up and dropped out. Even though I knew the money was going to a great cause, I still didn’t want to break the bank.

What felt like the longest live auction bid in history, finally came down to me and one other guy in the ring. It went back and forth between the two of us when another friend, sitting at our table, mentioned I was bidding against a billionaire. I mean really?!?! Can it get any worse? But, just as he said this, the bidding slowed. I thought, “I can’t give up now. What’ s an extra $500, just one more $500!”

And then it was over! Although the wallet felt pretty beaten up, in the end, it all went to an incredible cause. We won the Academy Award tickets and Leap Frog 2017 broke many records, raising $394,550, the most money for KinderFrogs in the event’s history.

Scott Murray
Scott Murray

What’s Happening Next

Now, let me share with you the exciting things that are unfolding as we speak. Since January 2nd, I have been on a journey to go from drab to fab by March 4th, 2018. I restarted my super clean diet from indulging over the holidays, and I’ve have lost over 10lbs so far. I’m actually at the lowest I’ve been since I broke my back four years ago. Yay me! Nothing like having something to motivate you, right?

I also tried a few things I’ve never done before, including Botox and fillers. I went to the very best doctor in Dallas/Fort Worth and even live filmed the procedure on Instagram (you are following me there, right?). Before and after photos have been taken and I can’t wait to share the results, plus the incredible giveaway from his practice that you don’t want to miss.

 This Week:

Get your sweet tooth ready, SoFortWorthIt followers! There’s a delicious giveaway hitting the blog this week that you do not want to miss!

 

Next Week:

Total hair makeover and Giveaway!

 

In Two Weeks:

Red-carpet makeover by the best in the industry and of course surprises for you!

 

And then:

Made-to-Measure Oscar dresses- you’ll see the entire process, start to finish, on how this designer for the stars has created a dress just for me.

 

Oscars Weekend:

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for LIVE, behind the scenes moments throughout our weekend in LA. The excitement is brewing, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

 

***All professional photography from Leap Frog 2017 courtesy of  Glen Ellman.***