Youthful krewes and their sub-deb courts commanded two recent dates with Carnival mirth. Turning pages in history, we see that the first one, The Harlequins, made its initial presence in 1925 at the no-longer Athenaeum with “Robin Hood” as the theme. At the 90th anniversary ball, with “Back to the Future” bannered, her majesty answered to Miss Erin Curry Reily, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Harrington Reily.
Four years later, in 1929, the Krewe of Apollo made its first festive foray into the Carnival fun with gallivanting at the St. Charles Avenue residence of George W. Clay. At the recent bal masque, her majesty was Miss Elise Lockett Clay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George William Clay. Hailed as outgoing majesties were Misses Sarah Marie “Sadie” Favrot McLellan (Harlequins) and Margaret Elisabeth “Margaux” Hoefer (Apollo).
- Harlequins Hobnobbing
In the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the pageantry associated with The Harlequins commenced with the presentation of Miss McLellan, the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a brief tableau, the whistle cue of the captain and the viewing of his majesty, and the sounding of trumpets for the arrival of the queen, Miss Reily, who was escorted by Mr. John Peter Labouisse III.
The 18 maids to her majesty Erin were Misses Eliza Ann Baldwin, Mary Nolan Brown, Emily Catherine Busse, Charlotte Crenshaw Clark, Collette Elysse Crouere, Elizabeth Fenner French, Katherine Grace Gambel, the above Margaux Hoefer, Christina Elizabeth Karl, Caroline Emily Lane, Mary Lucy Lapeyre, Ailleen Cassegrain Livaudais,Eleanor Grace Masinter, Madison Colleen Mikes, Emma Friend Parham, Olivia Louise Rufty, Madeline Meriwether Strauss, and Madden Elizabeth Wilbert.
Masters Sidney Louis du Fossat Loughlin, Padraig Raegan McCausland, Charles Frederick Seemann IV and St. Denis Julien Villere IV were the pages. Mrs. Charles Frederick Seemann III was the matron.
Debutantes of the current 2014-15 season were presented with a former Harlequins queen, Miss Katherine Larson Thompson, among them. Her coterie cohorts, all Harlequins past maids, were Misses Margaret Magee Brown, Jamie Favre Pellerin, Marylynn Beatrice Smitherman, and Nicole Elizabeth Weinmann.
A special moment occurred when Ms. Christine Phillips Westfeldt was presented to the Harlequins majesties. She wore that organization’s crown 50 years ago and then in 1966, she graced the Rex court as the queen of Carnival.
Children in the recent Harlequins court included Masters Charles Wilhelm Adriance (grandson of the above Mr. Labouisse), Miller Mason Bourgeois, William Clayton Brooks, and William Wiley Kessler. And Misses Carson Louise Browne, Claire Marie Burton, Sophia Bujoreaux, Caroline Katherine Roberts, and Patricia Becker Seemann (daughter of the above Mrs. Seemann III, the matron).
Dr. Kenneth McLeod Jr. was the ball’s general chairman with assistance from Messers. Labouisse, James McCall Baldwin Jr., Alan G. Brackett, Bret Alden Clesi, Michael Quirk Walshe and Peter Michael McEnery. The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra purveyed the music.
Admiring queen Erin in her Suzanne Perron-designed gown of Italian silk double satin with encrustation, and her regal accessories of a glittering collar, crown and Harlequins scepter with a rhinestone fleur-de-lis, were Mrs. Reily, royal grandmother Mrs. Rene Andrew Curry Jr., and Mmes. Kevin Buford Reily, Eugene J. Schreiber, Brent A. Talbot, William R. Gardner, Thomas Dugan Westfeldt II, John David Mills, Ryan Todd McKinnon, Michael Wermuth Kearney, George Fraser, Cyril Paul Geary, Thomas Gerard Diano, Robert Joseph Strumm. Lynes Robinson Sloss, Allan Barksdale Colley, Dudley Digges Morgan, and Ms. Stephanie Reuter. Also, Misses Kathleen Rose Reily, Elizabeth R. Schreiber, Alexa R. Zaheri, and Alma Atkinson. Several wore the beautiful queen’s pin designed by her majesty Erin and Adler’s.
Prior to the ball, queen Erin entertained at her ancestral home in Metairie. Soft silver and gold ribbons were laced throughout the Christmas greens, along with small crowns and Venetian glass ornaments that bedecked the tree. A long-stemmed white rose arrangement was sent from the king, who remained unidentified.
Within the Convention Center (and after the ball), the queen and her court entertained at the Queen’s Royal Palace, where orchids were floral embellishment and a traditional breakfast nourished the assembly.
The call to dance — and almost everyone obliged — came from show band BRW.
Reflecting on her royalty and the revelry, queen Erin commented that what made the night special “was seeing so many guests enjoying themselves, and that’s what truly brought a smile to my face.”
- Apollo’s Bounty of the Beach
“Where the Boys Were” was buoyed by distaff delights as hibernal climes were replaced by warmer ones during the 86th ball of the Krewe of Apollo at the Convention Center. The gold throne set was placed in front of a backdrop of a shoreline of palm and coconut trees and centered with the krewe’s cipher, a half-round sunburst bearing the name “Apollo.” Heat and light seemed to symbolically emanate from it.
Reigning as the queen of the “Beach Party”-themed ball was Miss Elise Lockett Clay. Maids to her majesty were Misses Caroline Bailey Acomb, Bailey Elizabeth Batt, Isabelle Baugnies de Paul de Saint Marceaux, Julia Anne Charbonnet, Virginia DeRussy Dodenhoff, Sarah Jane Holbrook Freeman, Jane Talley Hodges, Charlotte Worley Huger, Mary Wilder Claiborne LeBourgeois, Elle Colton McLeod, Layne Watkins Nalty, Adele Dugue Perrier, Mary Fleming England Redd, Katherine Kergosien Simmons, Eugenie Elizabeth Stall, Eugenie Cecile Whealdon and Anne Summers White.
Tending to their duties as pages were Misses Isabell Fenner Merlin, Katherine Harper Montgomery and Anna Hassinger Schmidt, and Masters Padraig Raegan McCausland, Nathaniel Pope Phillips IV and Charles Frederick Seemann IV.
A long, off-the shoulder dress of white netting and Lilly Pultizer fabric accents garbed the youthful queen, whose further accoutrements were a rhinestone crown and scepter decorated with matching flowers. The king wore a white linen suit, a belt of Lilly Pulitzer fabric, and a Panama hat. Whereas the captain wore the traditional outfit of a fold lame tunic and an embellished cape, the maids and girl and boy pages followed the beach motif in their attire. Sported sandals, too.
Seated with the royal mother, Mrs. Clay, was the queen’s grandmother, Mrs. Gordon E. Clay Jr. Nearby were Elizabeth Clay, Elizabeth C. Perrier, Jane H. Heidingsfelder and Ellie H. Silvia, along with Mmes. Kyle C. Wild, Perry M. Lopez, David G. Bailey, Kevin P. Reed, Vincent Pigna, Charles P. Silvia Jr., Guy D. Perrier, and Charles E. Heidingsfelder. Claude V. Perrier, Cooper A. Manning, Peter H. Dupuy Jr., Justin B. Schmidt, Charles F. Seemann III, and Michael Q. Walshe Jr. Mr. Peter H. Dupuy was the general chairman with help from Messsr. Robert J. Whann IV, L. Noel Johnson Jr. and Charles N. Monsted IV.
Debutantes from a former Apollo court were recognized, starting with the queen Miss Leah Katherine Whann (2012) and continuing with her maids, Misses Patricia McCarthy Beron, Claire Marie Clay, Courtney Cooke Geary, Elizabeth Ashland Hines, Isabel Nott Jackson, Charlotte Lane Langenstein and Laura Elizabeth LeBlanc.
Frankie Avalon, Sandra Dee and Annette Funicello were there in spirit, but the music from their days on the celluloid beach was real.
The audience, young and less-young alike, thrilled to the sounds of The Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet, and such numbers as “Kokomo.”
Related socializing included the past Queens’ Luncheon hosted by the above Mrs. Claude V. Perrier (the former Alice Henican); the pre-ball reception at the Metairie Country Club, where guests first admired Elise and her court; and the Queen’s Supper in the Convention Center with hamburgers among the “fun food” and music makers Ocean Street to put boogie in “Beach.” Compliments flowed to the beaming “Beach Party” monarch, who raved about how much fun she had and the surprise, months ago, in discovering that she would reign.