With spring knocking on our door, thoughts of colorful frocks, short sleeves, cheerful prints and sandals begin to occupy our minds — at least the minds of the fashion-conscious. Toward that end, several organizations always hold style shows to provide a glimpse of what’s hot this season.

Southern Brunch

Fashions from Russo Ross, aka clothes “for women who weren’t born yesterday,” were in the spotlight at the Woman’s Club’s traditional Southern Brunch March 2. The nippy temps outside were nicely balanced by the warm company of the membership and their guests, the scrumptious grits and grillades dished up by Abigail’s Catering and the brightly colored ensembles modeled by Frances Bennett, Eugenie Burglass, Debbie Harris, Carla King, Sugar McAdams, Susan Poole, Karen Rimes, Pat Snow, Janelle Wilhelm and Kathleen Young. Escorting the models was Mark Mitchell.

Giving us the scoop on the looks was Chris Russo Blackwood, who had just returned from a trip to market in the Big Apple with partner Susan Ross earlier that morning. So, we also got an early report on what’s coming our way this fall.

Diane Finley chaired the event, which benefited the historic Woman’s Clubhouse.

‘Hats Off to Spring’

The day before, it was fashions from Chico’s, Mall of Louisiana, taking center stage at Campus Club’s annual style show and luncheon at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Chairing “Hats Off to Spring” were Jeanette Johnson and Linda Hammond, who did double duty as a model along with members Edith Babin, Betty Bagent, Marilyn Braymer, JoAnn Doolos, Lynn Evans, Beverly Heymsfield, Kitty Ingram, Kakki Martin, Rhetta Sellers, Mary Jo Schneider and Marjorie Whitehead.

Assisting with the luncheon were President Rosanne Robert, Mary Dommert, Chris Enright, Eloise Futrell, Gayle Gautreau, Ann Guedry, Mary Helen Hamilton, Jynx Marcel, Della Sinclair, Babin, Doolos and Evans.

LASM milestones

The annual meeting of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Feb. 25 was a bit out of the ordinary this year. Yes, they elected new board members, thanked departing ones as well as sponsors and volunteers. LASM Executive Director Carol Gikas also thanked the 2013 Decade members: Kell and Dorian Bennett, Katherine and Scott Chenevert, Beth and John Dupaquier, Doveal and Henry Essex, Robin and Brad Gaspard, Marcie and Dan Godbee, Jennifer and Douglas Hanks, Cindy and John Hartgerink, Megan and Adam Knapp, Sue and CC Lockwood, Marcia and Daniel Marsh, Berva and J.C. Noone, Kelley and Michael Olinde, Glenda and Frank Parks and Mimi and Guy Riché.

But at the post-meeting reception, staff, board, supporters and members paid tribute to retiring Development Director Pam Sills and 30-year employee Donna Welch. Pam was most proud of her proclamation from Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, showing it off to all lookers. She was also excited to talk about the next chapter in her life.

In her younger days, Pam longed to study at the Pratt Institute in New York City but that idea was quashed by her parents. Then she thought about studying architecture, “but my dad was a contractor and he wasn’t real fond of architects, so he said no.”

Now, free to make her own decisions, Pam is ready to begin studying interior design at LSU. We wish her well; who knows the LASM Gala committee might be able to put her new talents to good use this fall. Like she and Kris Kirkpatrick were saying, LASM is like Hotel California — “You check out any time you like but you can never leave.”

‘Opal Beauties’

Five young women were presented by the Mu Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority at its 18th debutante cotillion, “Mu Sigma’s Expressions of Opal Beauties,” Feb. 16 at Stage One.

Welcoming members and guests was President Deborah Daniels. Serving as emcees for the presentation were sorority member Melissa Chavis and Darryl Charles.

The official presentation got underway with the final promenade of 2012 Cotillion Queen Ronnicé Danielle Washington followed by the Cotillion Grand March of the debs’ parents and escorts to the accompaniment of the Leroy Pero Band.

The debutantes included Queen Da’Jiaron Rochelle Houston, daughter of Jacqueline and Roland Houston III; First Princess Ty’Nisha La’Sha Lodge, daughter of Tonya Lands and Frank Lodge; Second Princess Nyla Thomas Hall, daughter of Kim and Byron Hall Sr.; Chelsea Mariah Maple, daughter of Charlotte and Dwayne Maple Sr.; and De’Leon Domineek Williams, daughter of Jacqueline and the Rev. Anthony Burton, who was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow debutantes.

Sorority member Melissa Smith Noel presented debutante scholarships to Houston, Lodge and Hall. The debs were each presented with keys to the city from Mayor Kip Holden, who also proclaimed them honorary mayors.

Lodge was presented by her grandfather, Samuel Lands; the other debs were presented by their fathers. Serving as escorts were Roland Houston IV, Bobby Duncan Jr., Byron Dwayne Hall Jr., Dwayne Maple Jr. and Breon Williams.

Charis Carey and Aislinn Herrera co-chaired the cotillion. Committee members included Daniels, Rochelle Howard, Jacqueline Hunt, Enjoli Reynolds and the late Trudy Segars

Deirdre Harris Stepter served as the debutante program coordinator. Recognized for their “extraordinary assistance” to the success of the debutante cotillion were Tobrina Jackson, Susan Washington, Tynette Hawkins, April Parkman and Heather Lewis.

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