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18 Feb

MasterClass with Tata Harper Skincare at Neiman’s

My new favorite all-natural skincare line 

I have a confession to make. I, Christy Smith, am a skincare product addict. Just a little habit I picked up around the ripe age of twelve, thanks to my mom introducing me to the Beauty Terrace at Neiman Marcus in the 80’s.

Of course, my friends already know this, especially if they’ve seen all the lotions and potions I keep in my bathroom drawers. And if you happen to work in the skincare department at Neiman Marcus, well, then this is not news to you. At all.

My Skincare Additions

For years and years, I’ve been in love with three brands almost exclusively: La Mer, Sisley and my friend Lisa Alexander’s vegan skincare line, LA FACE SKINCARE. Now, I added Tata Harper to that list last Fall and it has transformed my skin.

So here is the scoop, and why I have fallen head over heals for Tata Harper! This skincare line unites health with beauty through all-natural and organic ingredients. It’s 100 percent free from GMOs, toxins, fillers, artificial colors, artificial fragrances and synthetic chemicals of any kind, and everything’s bottled in glass (recyclable and reusable!). Plus, it’s all formulated and packaged on a 1,200-acre farm in Vermont by a team lead by, who else, a woman named Tata Harper.

If it’s Good Enough for Gwyneth …

If you read the label of a Tata Harper product, you won’t find any ingredients with names you can’t pronounce. With that said, I didn’t really bother reading any of the labels myself either. I let Gwyneth do it for me. As in Paltrow. You know, the queen of clean beauty and founder of the Goop Empire. 

Well it turns out, Gwyneth is a Tata Harper superfan, and now, I am, too, thanks to Neiman Marcus Fort Worth and my own personal skincare seminar with Tata Harper herself.

Going Gaga over Tata 

That’s right – I met Tata! Here’s us together. Which means I am now only one degree of separation from Gwyneth! I mean, we are practically a squad now!

Seriously though, it was so inspiring to learn about natural skincare from the very woman who developed the line. She shared so much info about quality, natural skincare and beauty that I wanted to leap out of my chair and scream, YAAS GUURLL!! while giving her a big sloppy kiss and a dry hump to boot. I didn’t, of course, mainly because I wanted Neiman’s to invite me back again, but you get it. I was pretty much, blown away. 

The Dirty Truth

  • Here’s the deal, everyone is trying to live better and look better. Although you can’t make time stop, you CAN make sure you’re aging in an amazing way. Chemicals and unhealthy crap don’t accomplish this goal. We also know this when it comes to food, and the same is true when it comes to the stuff we slather all over our skin for our bodies to absorb.

 

  • I’m talking about parabens like isobutyl and isopropyl, formaldehyde (which is a known carcinogen), triclosan (a hormone disruptor) BHA, BHT, dyes made from coal tar and siloxanes and more. This is just a small list of the thousands of chemicals used in skincare formulations today which can range from not great to actually harmful.

 

  • European countries have banned over 1,300+ of these harmful ingredients. Here in the U.S., only eleven have been banned. Yup. Eleven Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice health for beauty thanks to Tata and her trademarked blends of hundreds of botanicals and all-natural ingredients. 

Beauty is a Process

Tata taught me that just using a natural product isn’t enough – the how and how much also matters. It’s all about finding the right routine for your skin, and layering products to ensure that your products are working for your face.

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As important as layering is to lavishing, Tata believes more is more. Don’t scrimp on product – slather your skin forehead to chest, then take a moment to let all the goodness sink in and be totally absorbed into the skin before starting the next layer.

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Oh, and one more tip: SUNSCREEN!!! If you wear sunscreen on a daily basis, this should be the last step, not the first step, of your morning skincare routine. If you put it on first, it blocks all of the beauty products from absorbing into your skin and doing their job. 

Does all of this take a bit more bathroom time? Maybe. OK, yes. Yes it does. But aren’t you worth it? Yes, my friend. Yes you are totally and absolutely worth it!

Wanna Get Started?

Are you ready to get down with your very own customizable Tata beauty routine? Then check out this really cool feature on how to personalize your very own Tata Harper regime.

Full disclosure!!! I am not getting paid for writing this blog post, I just want to give you the tools and the power to be healthy and to feel as beautiful as you already are. Besides, it’s not often I fall so head over heels about a beauty line, that I literally arm swipe all the products off the shelf and into a box.

Check out the 8 products below that have transformed my skin.

You can also watch my entire Tata Harper beauty routine in my Instagram highlights!

 

If you’ve tried Tata and want to share your experiences or have any comments about the importance of natural skincare in general and your thoughts, please post below!

SoFortWorthIt x Tata Harper x Neiman Marcus GIVEAWAY!

Oh my gosh y’all, I am thrilled to share this Tata Harper giveaway with you. The Tata Harper MasterClass at Neiman Marcus Fort Worth wasn’t just a blog-worthy experience, but it was incredibly educational! I wish everyone could have been there to further their knowledge on healthy beauty.

 

With that said, I am giving one lucky winner a lovely start to build a Tata Harper collection of their own!

22 Feb

SO FORT WORTH IT WINS! My Oscars Weekend: The parties! The stars! The swag!

If you think The Oscars is all caviar, Champagne, big stars and free stuff, you’re right!

*To take in the full experience, view this article from a laptop or PC for best results*

This Sunday, Feb. 24, when Hollywood royalty comes together at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles for the 91stAnnual Academy Awards, I know exactly where I will be: at home. I’ll be in my favorite organic cotton robe, propped up in my bed, watching The Oscars with the dog and cat hogging our comfortable real estate.

 

And yet, I’ll know exactly what it feels like to walk down that red carpet, to mingle with celebrities, to snag swag at VIP gifting suites and to indulge in non-stop caviar. Because last year, I was there, thanks to winning the live auction for this once in a lifetime experience at the LeapFrog fundraiser for Kinderfrogs School at TCU.

 

It was hands-down one of the most incredible experiences EVER, courtesy of our dear friends, Angelique and Mike De Luca! The coolest part? Not only was Mike producing the Academy Awards for the second year in a row, but they are seasoned insiders of the industry too.

 

I am going to reveal to you exactly how the entire weekend went down for the Chosen Ones of the entertainment industry (and me!). It was also one of the most stressful experiences of my life, and I’m gonna tell you about that and what I learned.

Prepping for the Oscars is a full-time job!

Celebrities start their Oscar-prep early, meeting with top fashion stylists to plan their red carpet looks. And I did that, too. Nearly eight weeks before the Big Day, Angelique and I met with Dallas’s top couturier, Michael Faircloth, to get measured for gowns that would be chic, slimming and comfortable.

 

And because I had a dream dress made just for me, I wouldn’t have to worry about being caught in one of those awkward “who wore it best” situations with Nicole Kidman or Cate Blanchett.

 

Unfortunately, the dress wasn’t quite ready by the time Jason and I headed west, so the designer promised to overnight it to arrive by noon on Friday. Now hold that thought, because I am coming back to it in a minute.

There were a few other necessities to check off the frivolous list, including scheduling an appointment to get Botox and fillers for the first time ever with Dr. Peter Malouf.

I also kicked my beauty routine up a few notches and put my hair game into overdrive with taped-in extension. I reached out to a few experts in the beauty industry and Ben, the co-owner of Novak Hair Studios and his ultra-talented sidekick Madalyn Porche were recommended with the best of the best reviews.

On top of the standard norm of manicures, pedicures, lash extensions and spray tans, I hired local celebrity makeup artist, Shannon Dowling, owner of Something You, to teach me some camera-ready makeup tricks for the big weekend.

And of course, a Hollywood red carpet look isn’t complete without a custom designed clutch by Edie Parker from Stanley Korshak. Cool Fact: This usually takes three months to make, but Korshak put in a favor, and it arrived 3 weeks later! Schwing!

Watch Out Hollywood, Here Comes SFWI

The buzz of excitement was in full effect as we waited in the DFW Admirals Club before our flight. Celebratory cocktails were in order!

The Christy & Angelique Show at DFW Admirals Club

We finally arrived at the Beverly Hills SLS Hotel late Friday night, and I went straight to bed. I had a 9 am meeting with my glam squad to go over hair and makeup for the Big Event on Sunday.

Day Before the Oscars

Then it was time to head to the Dolby Theater for rehearsals. Check-in and security at the Dolby Theater were tighter than a bandage dress on a Kardashian. Thankfully, we breezed through each checkpoint along the maze of backstage hallways thanks to our name being on the “I Am Cool, You Are Not” list.

Stepping into the actual theater was surreal. I was shocked at how small it looked compared to seeing it on TV. There were scattered groups of people seated in the rows of chairs and also some standing around the sides of the auditorium as people rehearsed on stage.

We also checked out Mike’s backstage office, and I gave him a little thank you gift of custom Eleni’s Academy Award cookies!

Even the Beautiful People have to eat lunch, so we scooted out for a quick bite at Villa Blanca, the restaurant owned by Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump. I had a fab salad with lobster and crab.

Houston, We Have a Problem

It’s hard to process what happened next, but it went something like this. Michael Faircloth texted me with a dress update. He shipped it, but UPS had lost it, and he suggested I start implementing Plan B. Or rather, Plan WTF.

I am going to interrupt this fabulous story about the Oscars to share my Five Rules for Dealing with Dress Disasters. I followed this to a T and ended up with a dress that was even more stunning than the one I was originally going to wear.

 

I wish someone had shared this wisdom with me that day. It would have saved me a lot of time, especially when an internationally televised red carpet walk was less than 24 hours away!

Dealing with Dress Drama

  1. Breathe, take a sip of Champagne and relax. You got this.
  2. Make a list of everyone you know who can help you, reach out to them immediately and call in some favors. In my case, I called my go-to personal shopper from Neimans to pick her brain. I also called the hotel concierge for help as well as a couple of boutiques that carried dresses by designers that I knew fit my body well. The concierge set up an emergency appointment with a seamstress while I hopped into an Uber to do a blitz shop before stores closed in less than an hour. I felt like I was on one of those game shows where you have 60 seconds to solve a puzzle before the buzzer goes off.
  3. Kiss your budget goodbye. This is no time for bargain shopping. Great if you find something on sale, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you can’t decide between dresses, buy them all and handle returns later. Time is of the essence!
  4. Confirm that the bra and Spanx you have still work with your new dress.
  5. Breathe, take another sip of Champagne and relax. You did it!

I’m not going to lie, my adrenals went into overdrive when I received that text. We had to cancel special dinner plans at Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica in lieu of a wardrobe crisis. Oh, and in that lost UPS box was the De Luca’s daughter’s dress too. So while I was frantically pulling my plan B together, Angelique was in a panic to find a gown for their 10-year-old daughter.

 

With five previous failed attempts, I finally secured a seamstress through the hotel concierge begging over the phone that I would pay double for the emergency alterations. She accepted. Jason and I then hopped into an Uber and arrived at Oscar de la Renta 45 minutes before closing. Since they knew we were coming, they had five dresses pulled and already hanging in a dressing room.

 

All the dresses I tried on were lovely, but only one was worthy of an Oscar nomination. Hopeful that UPS would still deliver the dresses before the night was over, I asked if my purchase would be returnable. They told me no. Whatever, I didn’t have a choice in the matter, so I charged away!

 

Suddenly I found myself in need a strapless bra. Our next stop? The Grove Mall. While on our way to buy a brazier, I got THE phone call. UPS had finally delivered the Faircloth designer gowns. Umm, that’s what I call a day late and a dollar short! Insert eye roll and facepalm.

 

We finally made it back to the hotel for my 8:30 pm alterations appointment. When the seamstress started pinning my dress, she told me she had been waiting all day for an emergency call like this! Insert another eye roll. I guess I would, too, if someone offered double for my services. I never asked her rate, and I assumed the total would be around $500-600. After she pinned my hem and a little bit in the waist, she told me the amount would be – drum roll, please. Thirteen hundred bucks!  I mean, I just love being taken advantage of. It just warms my soul. She had me by my lady balls. What could I do?

 

Fast forward to 10 pm; I was well on my way to having a brand-new Oscar de la Renta gown ready by Sunday at 9:00 am. I knew it looked great on and made me feel like one of the movie stars I was there to see! Now it was time to change into a fun number and hit the Oscar pre-parties.

Celebs and Swag

Saturday evening was all about the pre-party. We had an invite to the most exclusive, most high-profile of them all, the Night Before party. Hosted by none other than Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg on a sounds stage in the Fox Studios lot. I know, right!

 

The party benefited the Motion Pictures & Television Fund, which provides social services, financial services and other programs for seniors who worked in the industry, as well as those who care for them. I am not sure how much of our $15K couples ticket went to benefit these programs, but I was relieved that it was a gift and didn’t end up on my Palladium Card along with (gulp) the new dress.

By the way, this event raised over $5M. I suspect it had a bit to do with all the incredible selection of corporate sponsors – there were 11 of them that I counted, and I know this because they all gave out amazing swag! Ford even gave away a Mustang that night! I felt like a kid in a candy store going from one sponsorship booth to the next trying out all the experiences this pre-Oscar’s party had to offer!

MPTF Oscars Pre-Party

When we left around 2 am, we were so loaded with swag, I thought I was going to need a Sherpa to get it all back to the hotel. Thank goodness I brought an empty piece of luggage with me. I may not know which way is up or down on any given day, but I definitely know how to strategize when it comes to extreme VIP gifting.

Oscar Sunday

As one Cinderella Moment ended on Saturday night, an even bigger Cinderella Moment began the next morning at the Ciel Spa with hair, makeup and a spray-tan that was so thorough I felt like I had highlighted, contoured and bronzed in just about every crack on my body.

Finally, I was red-carpet ready and now choosing between the fabulous custom made Michael Faircloth creation or the brand-new Oscar de la Renta gown I fell in love with. I knew I couldn’t wear them both, so I let the SLS concierge and my photographer help choose. Of course, Jason agreed with them too. Can you guess which one I picked?

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Oscar de la Renta Oscars Dress

The check-point situation was balls-out crazy, and our 15-minute drive to the theater took over an hour. Now I understand why celebrities are always late! I finally experienced the magical walk down the Oscars Red Carpet and here are three things I learned:

  1. It’s VERY crowded.
  2. It moves super fast.
  3. Being 5 feet tall is the perfect height to film people’s butts in front of me.

Mira Sorvino & Ashley Judd on the Red Carpet

So Fort Worth It on the Red Carpet

Press Photos with the De Luca's

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We were finally in! But it was only 3 pm, and we still had nearly 3 hours until show time. There wasn’t much to do but eat caviar in the green room. FOR REAL! The green room was sponsored by Rolex and tricked out to look like a chalet in the Swiss Alps.

I noshed nonstop on caviar and smoked salmon, washing it down with flutes of Champagne. I also chit-chatted with my new BFFs, maybe you’ve heard of them? Laura Dern, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Taraji P. Henson, Armie Hammer and Eva Marie Saint. They were all there! (Although the BFF part may be slightly exaggerated).

The VIP overload continued once we took our seats in the theater. (Which were BTW next to the entire cast and crew of Dunkirk! I mean? WOW!). Angelique sat on the fourth row with her mom and two children while Mike took his position backstage at the nerve center.

Jimmy Kimmel hooked everyone up with a “lunch box” of delicious snacks so, even though the event lasted THREE HOURS, we were never hungry!

Jimmy Kimmel's Academy Awards Lunch Box Reveal

Super cool moment of the night? We got to move up to the 4th row with Angelique when her mom took their sleepy son back to the green room!

I Loved The Movie Chadwick Boseman

Post Oscars Producers Wrap Toast

Once the show ended, and we gobbled down the last Jimmy Kimmel snack, we joined the crowd heading backstage to celebrate the wrap with the crew. Along the way, we had a quick chat with Chadwick Boseman. I tried to act casual, even though I was super freaked out to be in the presence of the leader of the Kingdom of Wakanda!

Being backstage with the entire Oscars production crew for the wrap party probably wasn’t much different than a post-production wrap party at Casa Manana, except Jimmy Kimmel was there! Other than that, totally same same.

Jimmy Kimmel's Post Oscars Toast Backstage

90th Oscars Governors Ball

We finally arrived at the Ray Dolby Ballroom for the Governor’s Ball around 11:40 pm and the party was ab-so-lute-ly poppin’! Once we evicted the seat-stealing randos from our reserved table, we settled in, sat back and let the waiters pamper us with more caviar.

Mira Sorvino & Ashley Judd Outside The Governors Ball

Inside The 90th Governors Ball

Did you know Chef Wolfgang Puck whipped up more than 60 delicious dishes for ball attendees featuring luxe ingredients like wagyu beef, French black truffles, and edible gold? But for me, it was all caviar – easier on my no-meat diet. I heard that there was $35,000-worth of caviar at the ball, and I estimate I consumed about $1K of it. Plenty left for the other 1500 guests! But I did save room for dessert!

My biggest regret was not getting up and walking around more. I did, however, walk to the dessert bar, shaving probably 10 calories off the thousands upon thousands that I consumed at that all-you-can-eat-high-fructose buffet. In case you think all I did was eat, the truth is, I also drank a lot. You would, too, if they were pouring $150K worth of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.

 

A highlight from the evening? When producer Darla K. Anderson, winner of Best Animated Film for Coco, stopped by our table to get a quick pic with Mike.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Post-Oscars Party

In case you thought we were wimps who quit partying once we were seated with champagne and caviar, you THOUGHT WRONG! We took our stamina to the next level and headed to Jimmy Kimmel’s after-party in West Hollywood at The Lot.  It wasn’t just an Oscar party, it also was his wife Molly McNearney’s 40th  birthday bash! I was so energized, I could have stayed up ‘till the cows came home. I just didn’t want the night to end!

Jimmy Kimmel's Post Oscars Party

I spotted Jennifer Aniston, and I almost tinkled myself. She is absolutely gorgeous. I was determined to get a picture without looking like a mental patient in the process– and I did. I’ve posted it below. I mean, we’re practically BFFs now that she’s found out how tight we are with Chadwick Boseman. #TeamAniston for life, baby!

Although this was another big foodie event, we were stuffed from our caviarpalooza at the Governor’s Ball. The drinks were flowing with multiple cocktail stations and mixologist, and I was starting to see a pattern between Jimmy’s party and all the other Oscar events: the presence of MUCHO SWAG.

 

Dude, this party was SWAGALICIOUS, and we shamelessly snagged as much as we could possibly carry. Jimmy thought of everything (or rather, his party planners did) and our parting gifts were boxes of Shake Shack burgers and fries for the road. When we got back to the hotel room, I slammed those fries like a mother and even tried a teenie tiny bite of the burger – I didn’t want to disappoint Jimmy.  Then, I slept like a baby.

SoFortWorthIt Oscars Swag GIVEAWAY!!!

The Oscars are exhausting, y’all. I’ll definitely be cheering for all the stars this year, especially since I know the kind of caviar-Champagne-and-swag-filled night they’re experiencing. And you know what? I want you to experience what it’s like to get arm-loads of bags and swag too!

 

That’s right folks, I’m giving away EVERYTHING* I was given from the sponsored gifting suits at the pre and post Oscars parties. This collection of loot is valued at over $1000.

 

**Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS for the official rules at the giveaway link below, including following all requested social media accounts and being subscribed to the SoFortWorthIt newsletter for your entry to qualify.

MPTF Night Before Pre Oscars Party SWAG!
Kiehl's: Ultra Facial Cleanser $20 | Line Reducing Concentrate $65 | Midnight Recovery Concentrate $49 | Creamy Eye Treatment $48 | Ultra Facial Cream $30 | Ginger Leaf Hybiscus Firming Mask $54
L'Oreal: Damage-Erasing Balm $7 | Men Expert Vita Lift Daily Moisturizer Anti-Wrinkle & Firming $11 | Lipstick $10 | Revitalift Cicacream $18 | Total Repair Shampoo & Conditioner $10
Proenza Schouler: Arizona Eau de Parfume $100
Hunter for Target: Beach Towel $25 | Koozies $6 | Hammock $35 | Hang Light $5 | Zipper Pouch $9 | Umbrella $15 | (*Tote, Frisbee & Hat are not in the giveaway.)
Urban Decay: Rebound Collagen Infused Complexion Prep Priming Spray $32 | All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray $32
IT Cosmetics: Brow Powder $24 | Super Hero Volumizing Mascara $24 | Heavy Luxe Wand Ball Powder Brush #8 $48 | CC Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream & Anti-Aging Hydrating Serum $29 | Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream $16 | Bye Bye Pour Press Translucent $29 | You're a Superstar Brush $48 | Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer $24
Donut Shop Google Home Mini $50
Swag from Jimmy Kimmel Post Oscars Party! Tieks Ballet Flat "Romantic Blush" SIZE 8 $265 | Le Labo Palo Santo Candle $65 | SMD Cosmetics Saromae Snail Serum Concentrate $70 | Foreo Luna Mini Facial Spa Massager & Cleanser (one) $140
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!

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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!

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