Three debutante parties provided a social stretch from “Cajun lunch down by the riverside” at a Cajun cottage on the Mississippi River batture to the Vieux Carre and Galatoire’s, where one set sat for lunch and another for dinner.
’Gator Gallivating at Midday
“Let the good times roll down by the riverside” was the invitation’s beckoning for a Cajun-style lunch in honor of Glenny Brown, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Brown III, Kathryn and Charlie. They, and the deb’s aunt and uncle, Ann and John Koerner, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Koerner III, were billed as hosts.
Honoring Glenny’s wishes for a very casual New Orleans-type party, they all came up with the Cajun caper. First, there was the invitation which was created by Betty Hunley Designs and featured a dancing alligator. Second, the party itself. Guests arrived at the cottage on the batture, where large, cut-out alligators greeted them at the door. Tables were decorated with checkered cloths and bright containers filled with colorful flowers. Red checkered napkins were tied with raffia and small ’gators.
When it was time for lunch, fried catfish, shrimp and oysters, barbecued chicken, spinach salad, biscuits, mini pecan pies, brownies, and, of course, king cake filled the thematic bill. Sated appetites, too. Pleasingly nourished, folks then danced and played washboards to the sounds of the Gina Forsyth Cajun Trio.
Relishing all the Louisiana levity were deb brother Charles L. Brown IV, called Chase, as well as relatives and guests Catherine and John Parker, Karen and Jimmy Baldwin, Anne and Glyn Bailey, Katherine and Parker Koerner, McCall Baldwin, Elizabeth and Henry Hefler, William and Meg Baldwin, Connie and Jeff Parker, Glenny and Patrick Beahm, and several more who made “Riverside” their midday revels.
“Please join us for Dinner at Galatoire’s in honor of Ella de los Reyes Baus” not only stated the time and location of the event, but also gave a party preview. On the front of the invitation, a photo of the interior of the 100-year-plus French Quarter landmark showed people toasting at their table, while others enjoyed cuisine and conviviality. “Celebrate Ella” was scripted at the bottom and she, Ella, smiled in the photo.
Her parents, Donna Baus and Walker Baus, were the hosts for the dinner that started with libations of French 75s, as well as pommes de terres soufflées. The first course was family style (including fried eggplant) and the second, Gulf fish meuniere amandine. Then it was on to a third-course beef filet with tasty sauces and, as a sweet closure, a dessert of doberge cake. Cocktails, wine and Champagne were the liquid counterparts.
Among those lifting shiny silverware were debutantes, immediate family and close friends, including Jacob Rosenthal, Isabel Lanaux, Katherine Lowenthal, Jamie Pellerin, Neel Fallis, Joe Lowenthal, Debbie Baus, Delaney McGuinness, Kelly Swanson, Jonathan Drennan, Katie Adams and Rose Hemphill.
Ella donned a Haute Hippie outfit of a silk top and a skirt of feathers and rhinestones, while mom Donna chose a dress by Antonio Berardi.
The predominant color was lavender, Ella’s favorite. In pretty fashion, the flowers were lavender roses and white hydrangeas and the dinner napkins were linen and monogrammed with the deb’s initials.
When all was supped and said, Ella tallied up an evening of prandial pleasures with smiling kin and kith.
- Hats Made the Happening
“A Luncheon Celebrating Christina!” bannered the ivory invitation that listed Galatoire’s Wine Room as the venue and “festive hats de rigueur” as the desired accessories. The honoree was Christina Ann Ewin, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Cristopher Scott Ewin, and mom Kelly Ann Ewin was the hostess.
Like the above Glenny Brown, who lives in Atlanta, Christina has come to the Crescent City from Fort Worth, Texas, for 2014-15 debutante activities. Both have strong roots in New Orleans and lots of family and friends.
Prior to her luncheon at Galatoire’s, Christina was honored with three other young ladies at a gala dance at The Worthington in Fort Worth.
Photos of the honored quartet in white ballgowns and long white gloves graced the invitation.
For her luncheon’s invitation, there was a watercolor depiction of a full-brimmed, floral-bordered chapeau with a soft-pink silk ribbon as “real” decoration.
Another ribbon made a statement at the luncheon. This was the decorative ribbon that said “Love, Christina” and was tied around the centerpiece flowers that went home with the guests as favors. “This was a nod to my mother, Mrs. George Marshall Young (Diane Decell), who uses similar ribbon for absolutely everything,” said hostess Kelly Ann. Mrs. Young, whose home is in Fort Worth, was unable to attend, but, no doubt, got a full summary of the party. Christina’s late paternal grandmother was Ethelyn Alexander Sherrouse Ewin. Her busy granddad is Dr. Dabney Minor Ewin.
The soft pink on the “hat” invitation not only set the chromatic tone for the flowers by Harkins the Florist, but also for Christina’s Erin Featherston dress. Her hat was made of Italian wool and featured a satin bow and an eye veil. Mom Kelly Ann’s winter white sheath was by Escada and her vintage hat was pink wool and satin. Sentiment was also at the sartorial fore: The hat had belonged to Kelly Ann’s grandmother.
The place-card luncheon featured a printed menu card with the various courses, concluding with banana bread pudding and a delicious mocha panna cotta.
Among those enjoying all the “Let’s Celebrate Christina!” fun — and some were from out of town, such as Mrs. George Young Jr. of Fort Worth — were Caroline Crawford, Pat Irwin, Leila Conner, Mrs. Peter Commette, Margie Lilly, Lois Smitherman with daughter Marylynn, Deborah Mooney, Kay Alpaugh, Cynthia Bassich, Mary Beth Metz, Barbara Waller, Wendy Beron, Priscilla O’Quinn, and Adair Ewin Faust and daughter Lucy.
Christina was the subject of toasting, as was one of her aunts, Ann (Mrs. Dabney M. Jr.) Ewin. Kelly Ann related that she was Christina’s New Orleans “other mother.”