Founded in the 1840s, the Mid-Winter Cotillion is considered the oldest continuing debutante presentation in New Orleans. Its membership, which is composed of young men of college age, counts some second and third generation members. Messrs. Christopher Marak Riess and Richard Rene Jaubert were cast, respectively, as the president and vice president of the 29-person board of governors.
Following time-honored tradition, the organization held its holiday debutante presentation at the New Orleans Country Club, starting with a reception given by the board for the young ladies and their parents. During that assembly, President Marak Riess gave a toast to the debutantes and then passed the gavel to Rene Jaubert.
Shortly afterward, and with a thematic backdrop of a hibernal scene, the formalities commenced with the debs escorted by board members wearing red sashes over their formal attire. Mark Romig was the master of ceremonies and Deacon John and the Ivories played a unique song for each presentee.
Radiant as the 18 debutantes were Misses Catherine Clare Conwill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Oza Conwill IV; Allie McCabe Crane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Morell Spencer Crane Jr.; Lane-Larkin Davis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Paul Davis; Caroline Elizabeth Drennan, daughter of Mr. Wallace Campbell Drennan III and Ms. Claudia Claverie Carrere; Morgan Hollis Heuer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edwin Foster Heuer; Carolyn Wood Holtzman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Louis Holtzman; Isabel Starke Irvine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Richardson Irvine III; Angelina Silvestry Knister, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terrence Kent Knister and stepdaughter and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Kevin McGill; and Emory Lafaye Lopiccolo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Joseph Lopiccolo III.
Also, Misses Sydney Alexandra Lowe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Gros Lowe Jr.; Greer Elizabeth McKendrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stuart McKendrick; Lane Claire Porter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darden Porter; Madison Mitchell Byers Prince, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Albert Prince; Caroline Withnell Reed, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Patrick Reed; Olivia DiBelle Thomas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Samuel Thomas Jr., and escorted by her member-brother, Nick; Natalie Danielle Tolar, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Lee Tolar; Nancy Marion Weinstock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew David Weinstock, and escorted by her member-brother Jake; and Claire Michelle Zeringue, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne George Zeringue Jr. Their first dance was with their fathers.
The college-age men on the board are Messrs. Joseph Ryan Acomb, Edward Saunders Alpaugh III, Bristol Favrot Bell, Edward Wisdom Benjamin Jr., Richard Joseph Brennan III, Edgar A.G. Bright IV, Blake Thomas Brinson, Henry Price Ciolino, William Brennan Davis, Wesley Philip Fischer, Keith Gerard Henry Jr., Todd Bennett Johnson Jr., Barry Fitzgerald Kern Jr. and Blair Fitzgerald Kern.
And, John Albin Koch, George Sinclair Lanier, Charles Beattie McNeal, Peter Elias Moss III, Alexander Leeds Porter, William Hayes Saer, Matthew McQueen Saer, Andrew Christopher Sherwood, John Crawford Steck, Michael Trapp Tubbs, James Braden Weaver, William Brooks Weaver and Michael Bright White Jr.
Among the tasty treats of the evening were the buffet offerings, the traditional grits and grillades, sliders, grilled cheese sandwiches and an ice cream sundae bar, a favorite.
Then it was on to the floor for what is always – and with thanks to Deacon John – a glorious dance fest. Beat and beauty combined.
n What Plays in Vegas
“Viva Las Vegas honoring Caroline Drennan and Sage Laborde” rounded up hundreds of their family members, pals and deb set to The Civic Theatre for one of the liveliest, most fun fetes of the holiday season. The deb duo are the daughters of Mr. Wallace C. Drennan III and Ms. Claudia Carrere, and daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Peter Laborde Jr. and Ms. Pia Lyons Laborde. The party’s hosts were the Peter Labordes, Renee and Peter, and Claudia Carrere.
The “Viva La Vegas…” invitation done by Margaret Jones of Scriptura consisted of the party specifics written in gold on a black background and, on the flip side, a rendering of colorful artwork done from a painting by Ashley Longshore. The painting was purchased by Renee and Peter Laborde and given to a delighted Sage as a gift.
From 7-8 p.m., a special VIP party beckoned family and older friends. The main bash rounded up additional guests from 8 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
Upon arrival, guests trod a red carpet, where bright lights, champagne bars, photo opportunities, showgirls outfitted in red and black, stilt walkers, “paparazzi,” and “Elvis” were immediate attractions. In the back of the entrance way, high-tech imagery projected the fountains of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas against the wall. Already, the festive feel was Vegas.
Immediately within The Civic’s interior, a huge groaning board by St. James Cheese Company was laden with fromages and charcuterie. No waiting around for the hungry! Not far away were further food features arranged by Palate and Dakota Catering (lobster, sea bass, tuna tacos, etc.), Kyoto for sushi, Dat Dog (for late-night bites), and Zoe’s for desserts.
As folks spotted “Britney Spears,” “Michael Jackson,” the above Elvis, and “Cher,” and charted a course for their luck at the two roulette tables, they also eyed the debs in their finery. Sage and Caroline were outfitted, in turn, in designer looks by Azzedine Alaia and Roberto Cavalli, while Renee chose Monique Lhuillier and Pia, a Theia jumpsuit.
A number of the party pack responded to the “Vegas cocktail attire: Bring the Bling” on the invitation and turned heads themselves.
Around and about were deb brothers John Peter Laborde and Grayson Laborde, grandparents John and Sylvia Laborde and Genie Zylks Laborde, step-siblings James Gibert and Lindsey Gibert, Cliffe and Margaret Laborde, Jack and Peggy Laborde, Celeste and Michael McNulty, Monique and Jimmy Dunn, Lauren and George Brower, Stephen Parker, Carolyn and Gary Lorio, Fionuala and Charles Monsted, Deirdre and Hal Moffett, Bebe and Bruce Thompson, Tac Carrere and Elizabeth Perrin, Debi and Peter Dupuy, Mary and Miles Clements, Sally and Jay Lapeyre, and Ann and Jim Geary.
Also, Dr. Thomas Lyons, Joshua Lyons, Dr. and Mrs. John Gordon, Edward Verin and Lucy Verin Boswell, Petrina Amacker, Ricky Lemann, and Christopher Fransen.
A limelighted name was that of event planner Kenneth LaCour, who said they wanted to focus on “the entertainment and spectacular side of Las Vegas.” To achieve that end, he worked with a lot of talent, such as Dunn and Sonnier for the flowers, See-Hear Productions for the audio visuals (in cooperation with The Civic’s Larry Gibbs), Paul Lacour for furnishings and drapery, and Rock-It Productions. Guests loved the Go-Park valet parking on a drizzly night.
More fab features included Powerhouse band from Miami that got the debs on the elevated stage (created for the event) to dance with them; aerialists and the Bubble Girl (Ana Yang) from New York; DJ John LeJeune; and party favors and koozies imprinted with the deb duo’s names. Excitement never let up.
Also relishing the Vegas vibes were deb sisters Charlotte and Campbell Drennan, Cathy Hassinger Drennan and son Graham, Dr. Patrick Drennan and Laura Sanders, Gretchen and Jon Drennan, Emily and Jonathan Drennan, Lauren and Court Carrere, Jacques and Jill Carrere, Margaret and Pierre Villere, Cleland Powell, Ned and Gail Bergin, Mark and Libby Adams, Mary and Bill Hines, Maury and Gino Rendeiro, Myles Lewis, and Mary Grace and Perrin Rome.
Dozens more joined in this spectacular jaunt to Las Vegas, which was given a Crescent City framework and provided Sage and Caroline with all the social blessings of Lady Luck.