Bottomless martinis & retro cocktail dresses bring a mid-century feel to Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

CultureMap HoustonPosted September 24, 2011 in In The News

When the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft throws its annual “Martini Madness” mid-century-themed bash, you can bet that the vodka will flow and the spirits soar. Thursday night’s semi-costume evening was no exception thanks to the creative energies of museum staff and benefit chairs Alton LaDay, Libbie Masterson and Judy Nyquist.

Celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary, the evening drew more than 300 guests, many of whom had visited vintage clothing stores and grandma’s closet for their costuming that was not far removed from today’s classic runway styles.

Fur collars, feathery cocktail hats, cigarette holders and fitted cocktail dresses set the retro-fashion pace embraced by center director Julie Farr, Kitty and Richard Rabinow, Sarah Morgan, Ann and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Paula Arnold, Madeleine Wright and Minnette and Peter Boesel. The center’s Mary Headrick was stunning in a fitted brocade dress that originally belonged to her grandmother. It could’ve been right from the Oscar de la Renta runway.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House kicked it up a notch with a classic country club style buffet menu that included carved beef tenderloin, boiled shrimp, baby lamb chops and crab salad martinis served in plastic mini-martini glasses.

And, of course, the martinis flowed with guests selecting their bottomless glasses from an enticing collection of 400 martini glasses, commissioned for the evening from local, regional and national artists.

While the Two Star Symphony and the Lisa E. Harris Trio alternated for non-stop entertainment (except when gallerist Wade Wilson was overseeing the big board auction), guests perused the always-intriguing gift shop, had photos taken in a classic photo booth and learned the art of origami at tables set up for demonstrations.

Making the scene were Jonathon Glus, Nic Phillips, Marshal Lightman, Phyllis Childress, Clyde Drexler, George Lancaster, Isabel David, Leigh Smith, Bill Morgan, Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs, Barbara Seymour, Clint Willour and Terry Prather.