“We wanted something bright and colorful (for our theme), even whimsical, and Shannon suggested Matisse.” So said Kim Page, who, remarked on the revelry she and Shannon Holtzman, along with husbands Marshall and Eric, held for their debutante daughters, an alliterative duo in Larkin and Lindsey. That’s Larkin Holtzman and Lindsey Page, who were the sure cynosures at The Cannery.
The party channeled France-born Henri Emile Benoit Matisse, who was renowned for his expressive use of color. His painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing and collage filled a body of work that spanned more than a half-century and made him a leading figure in modern art. And it all started with “Wild Beasts.” Early in his career, Matisse and a group of artists exhibited their work at the Salon d’Automne. The wild dissonant colors (disregarding the subject’s natural tones) garnered the description “Fauves” (translated as “Wild Beasts”) and Matisse was the leader of the pack.
Carla Adams' events company worked with Roland Montealegre of Urban Earth Studios to create an ambiance reminiscent of Matisse, especially his cutouts. Large papier-maché flowers and greenery decorated the exterior of the venue, The Cannery. Within, greenery and Matisse cutouts hung from the five chandeliers; cutout overlays graced the highboys; and silver and gold mercury votives with candles were scattered throughout. String lights and brightly colored votives added further decorative accents in the outdoor seating area.
Posies added a requisite punch of color. Various silver vessels held arrangements of ruscus, orange kangaroo paw, pink dahlias, foxglove and blue veronica. On the bars and buffet tables, tall cylinders contained more papier-maché flowers.
As for the looks of the four ladies, Larkin wore bright red, while mom Shannon sported a lace fuchsia sleeveless dress. For the Pages, the sartorial chromatics were royal blue for Lindsey and lilac for Kim.
Carolyn Holtzman, deb Larkin’s sister, flew in from New York for the Matisse merriment and was joined by Andrew Forney, in from Boston. Others were Tom Kellogg (in from Dallas), Alan and Debbie Holtzman, Dr. Elaine Holtzman Brown, Peter and Julie Halinski, David and Tracy Berglass (from Los Angeles), Robbie and Katherine Saer, Margot Melchiode, Daniel and Stacy Piper, Denise Altobello, Grace Perez, Andy and Elizabeth Favret with son Nick, Jeff and Kelly Wenzel with Elle, Wendy Beron and daughter Scout, and 25 of Larkin’s college pals, who jetted in from around the country.
Lindsey’s grandmother, Duane Page, who likes a good party (and often gives one for her Earth Day birthday), made the scene, as did Caroline Page, Rick Andrews, Jeff Andrews, Deborah “Deb” Andrews Warren, Charlotte and Steve Parrino, Jeanne and Stephen Favrot (from Birmingham, Alabama), Ann Clayton and John Chamberlin, Dorothy Clyne, Vaughn and Doug Downing and son Andrew, Stacy and Trey Drury, Carolyn and Brian Fitzpatrick, Miriam and Ned Henry, Deana and Bob Karl and Houstonian Charles Stern. Connor Page, Lindsey’s brother, could not attend: He’s studying in Russia this summer.
Toulouse Catering provided local and favorite dishes, such as shrimp and grits, meat pies and crab cakes, as well as pan-seared tuna and tortellini. Dessert items featured bite-size yummies of every color on the Matisse-inspired invitation. As the party momentum increased, and later in the night, snacks of cheeseburgers and french fries were passed.
“A perfect night that we didn’t want to end,” chimed in both debs after the festive fact. To conclude with brio, Larkin and Lindsey and their families joined the band, the costume-changing ELS, on the stage. Truly a gleeful moment it was with fun, movement and music galore.
Recalled, no doubt, was a famous, color-infused painting by Matisse titled “Le Bonheur de Vivre,” “The Joy of Life.”
Each year, the Orleans Club concludes its season with the closing reception, when camaraderie is to the festive fore. Other social amenities, too, such as food, music and flowers. For the most recent gathering, and according to Elizabeth Woolverton, “Our closing reception was exceptionally pretty this year due to beautiful spring flower arrangements and ladies dressed to the nines.”
Lamb lollipops, fried oysters, seafood, barbecued shrimp with Parmesan grits, chicken and crawfish vermouth pasta and a filet carving station attracted the comely crowd, which was welcomed by Mmes. David W. Aiken Jr. and Michael D. Moffitt, Marilyn and Brenda, president and president-elect, respectively. Praise for the flowers went to Sherry (Mrs. Hunter B.) McFadden, while the musical kick came from the Storyville Stompers.
Conversation covered a gamut of topics, such as members’ travels, summer projects and families. Another topic was the club’s activities that were scheduled for the past spring. Names to note, all speakers and with a title or two, were Henri Schindler, Kathleen Van Horn, Mary Lib Cole, Hunter N. Charbonnet, Edwin Greenwald, Cathy and Al Gomez, Sarah Pottharst, Brian Klebba, Ellis Henican, Liz Williams, Maureen and Carlos Urrego, Vanessa Schmid and Sidney Torres IV. Punctuating the talks were the Chinese New Year Dinner (which elicited a host of costumers), Tango Night and Crawfish Boil.
The summer speakers and programs started June 5 with Kathy Finn and have continued with Dickie Brennan, a representative from Tales of the Cocktail and India Stewart. The final words in July will come from Katie Malone, Virginia McCollam, Rhenda Saporito and sisters Mary Hines and Gail Bergin. Interspersed socializing occurred in June with Apres Cinq Thursday and Caribbean Dinner, while next week’s Newell Normand Program and Dinner finalizes the programming.
Whereas the club will be dormant for a short estival break, it will be back in full force in the early fall. Meanwhile, the recent closing reception offered a fine time to members and their guests, who praised the partying and its many attributes.