The party pitch hit one of its top notes when the honorees, six debutantes of the season, stepped up on the stage to sing with the band.
After their rendition of “September,” as a possible musical antidote to current hot weather, the band launched, in alphabetical succession, into “Sweet Caroline.” The party pack closed in, swaying to the rhythm of the deb-popular song by Neil Diamond and waving Styrofoam glow sticks in different colors. Taped to the sticks was “Summer Soiree 2016.”
Weeks before, friends and kin of the above debutantes, received a pretty rose-pink invitation that depicted a flower-burst with iridescent accents and the name Patti T. Lapeyre as the artist. On the other side was the party information, designed through Patti and Scriptura. “Summer Soiree honoring Caroline, Mary Nolan, Charlotte, Emily, Margaux and Lucy” headed the wording. Stated next was the venue, the New Orleans Country Club, and the names of the participating parents: Elizabeth and Steve Brinson for Caroline, Suzanne and Michael Brown for Mary Nolan, Susie and Oliver Delery for Charlotte, Kelly and Bill Ellis for Emily, Lisa and Karl Hoefer for Margaux, and the above Patti and Robert Lapeyre for Lucy.
“Summer cocktail attire” was the requested dress. As for the debs, they caught the eye in their varied looks. Caroline Brinson sported a pink and silver dress by Alex Teih; Mary Nolan Brown, a yellow frock by Monique Lhuillier; Charlotte Delery and Emily Ellis, both in Halston designs; Margaux Hoefer wore a Parker NY Co. summer dress; and Lucy Lapeyre, a floral Milly mode. Their dads wore the same ties.
Guests, and there were many, many due to the multiple Crescent City connections of the hosting families, were duly impressed by the beautiful décor. Lighted moss-covered orbs adorned the entrance to the New Orleans Country Club. Furthering the floral theme of the invitation, a profusion of posies was placed in the foyer atop a circular table and surrounded by a dozen or so votive lights. Inside the ballroom, a large, center bar was constructed with pink and white streamers cascading from the ceiling, and huge white paper flowers on the four corners, all designed by Sara Fay Egan of Jackson Durham Floral Events in Dallas.
Blake Brinson, deb brother of Caroline, joined in the “Summer” fun, as did grandparents Vernon and Patricia Brinson, Emily and Andrew Webster, Gary Alexander, Tom Alexander, Jeanne and Jay Case, Katherine and Jeff Scurlock, and Sara Fay and Merrick Egan.
Mary Nolan’s siblings, Margaret and Michael Jr., were part of the Brown brigade. So were deb grandmothers Betty Schmitt and Margaret Brown, Will Moss, Haley Lightfoot, Ellie Burk, Alex Mackillop, Margaret Gaenzle, and Margaret Wilbanks.
Passed food was eagerly consumed, especially the club’s delicious fried oysters. In the Founder’s Room, filet tenderloins, sesame chicken satay and crabmeat ravigote in shot glasses were some of the tasty features. In the formal dining room, a whimsical cheese display by Patti Constantin was set in an 18th century restored dugout pirogue. Patti and husband Paul were also among the legions of guests.
Included, too, were deb brother of Charlotte, who answers to O. Delery III, grandmother Winnie Delery, Anne Comarda, Joyce Delery, Wendy and John Hills, Suzanne and Fritz Fromherz, Phyllis Fromherz, Ann and Bob Bruce, Tim Trapolin, and Joann and Steve Menzies.
Likewise, Emily Ellis had sibling and grandparent representation in Coco Ellis, and Pat and Conner Ellis and Nancy and Tommy Gennusa (step-granddad). But she also had great-grandparents present, Ruby and Con Mills. With them, as well, were Laura Stagno, Ravenel Harrigan, William Szcecinski, Sam Cochran, and Annie B. Boyd.
The dessert table lured the appreciative eye, along with the sweet tooth. Flower cookies by Olivia Guider, flower chocolates, and assorted sugary bites were displayed on acrylic risers surrounding a vibrant floral centerpiece designed by Patti Constantin to emulate the floral tablecloth underneath that was artistically done by co-hostess Patti Lapeyre.
Checking out these taste treats were the sister and brother of Margaux, Hayley and Karl Hoefer Jr., grandmother Mathilde Hoefer, Mathilde and Joe Leary, Libby and Bruce Hoefer, Anne and Bruce Johnston, Cooper Johnston with Aimee Domingue, Ashley and Scott Bohn, and Blake Johnston.
Robert T. Lapeyre, Lucy’s brother, attended with Sara Gambel. Another brother, Miles, was present, along with grandmother Shirley Taylor, Susan and Jim Wadick, J. Fant Taylor Jr., Robert Taylor, Peggy and Richard Bailey, Amy and Chuck Lapeyre, Lisa and Philip Lapeyre, and Crickett and Andrew Lapeyre.
Happy hobnobbing was certainly to the fore. “This is such a beautiful party,” said one of the hosts’ numerous pals, who added, “Plus, it’s the first one of the deb season and everyone who was invited wanted to come.” True!
Late-night chomps included passed sliders, fries and grilled cheese bites.
All that fueled the flock for dancing and gyrating to the band. The early-evening music makers were a trio, Jay Ray and Gee, who serenaded arriving guests with Motown favorites. Full force later on was Az-IzZ from Atlanta. As a special homage to each of the debs when they played “Sweet Caroline” with the honored sixsome on the stage, the band then added each one’s name. How “Sweet” it was for not only Caroline, but Mary Nolan, Charlotte, Emily, Margaux and Lucy.