The Gloved Ones
New Members, Old Tradition
A dozen debutantes caught the limelight at the New Orleans Country Club during the presentation of the Debutante Club of New Orleans, blending cotillion and curtsies. Each one was escorted by her father during the formalities and then assumed a spot on the stage. A royal blue backdrop centered with the Debutante Club’s large ornate crest, which was also on the invitation and programs, was a principal feature in the back-stage area. The stage had several large planters with colorful flowers, including two profusions of pink roses, and topiaries.
Prior to stepping forth, the young ladies and their parents, along with a few principals of the club, assembled in the Founders' Room of the Country Club. Conviviality occurred as those gathered enjoyed a light collation and conversation.
Appearing as the first of the honored 12, and to the music of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, was Miss Elizabeth McKenzie Cummins, daughter of Mr. Harold Hackett Cummins Jr. and stepdaughter and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Guy Dugué Perrier. She and her father, as did the following, processed in front of the white-gloved audience and then, at a special moment, she curtsied to the crowd before heading to the stage.
“It’s Only a Paper Moon” played for the next debutante, Miss Grace Allen Gambel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Christian Gambel Jr., and “Some Enchanted Evening” set the pace for Miss Emily June Hardie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Davis Hardie.
The next two were Misses Johnsen and Johnson, namely Miss Kristina Britt Johnsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Erik Lee Johnsen, and Miss Sarah St. Paul Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Bennett Johnson. “It Had to Be You” introduced Miss Emmaline Blanc Monroe Kelly, daughter of Mr. Raburn Blanc Monroe Kelly and Ms. Stacy Borges Kelly. The following twosome were Miss Althea Gibert Kingsmill, daughter of Mr. Patrick Michael Kingsmill and Ms. Althea Gibert Kingsmill, and Miss Lindsey Andrews Page, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Marshall Page III.
To complete the lovely picture, four debutantes arrived. The first was Miss Adele Bright Petagna, daughter of Mr. Stephen Price Petagna and Ms. Elinor Spicer Bright. Her song was “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” Then came Misses Julia Margaret Plauche, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Anthony Plauche; Ellen Heidingsfelder Silvia, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Paul Silvia Jr.; and Olivia Knight Worley, daughter of Dr. Newland Knight Worley and Ms. Rebecca Fransen Worley.
Last year, Miss Mary Fleming England Redd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund England Redd, was presented. Months later, in the 2018 Carnival season, she caught every eye as the queen of Oberon. This year, she returned to the Debutante Club in another spotlighted role: the club’s president. With her father as her escort, she appeared before the audience wearing a stunning Monique Lhuillier raspberry satin ballgown. Her curtsy was the cue for the group curtsy.
The master of ceremonies closed out the program, saying the first dance was reserved for the debutantes and their fathers. The Maxwell Orchestra then struck up “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.”
After the presentation, the ballroom became a dance floor. In the nearby Gold and Founders' rooms, tables decorated with round ivy topiaries bedecked with gold ribbons and small gold balls, were set up for the debs' families and guests. A traditional breakfast ensued, as did dancing. And more dancing.
Several additional young ladies from last season were intrinsic to the recent presentation. Miss Jane Talley Hodges, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Nalty Hodges, is the club’s vice president, while Miss Megan Lane Feringa, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Anthony Feringa, and Miss Elise Locket Clay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George William Clay, are the officers. The new class will have three more members, in addition to the aforementioned dozen. They are Misses Hanton Quarles Agnew, daughter of Mrs. Frank de la Houssaye Agnew and the late Mr. Agnew; McAlister Wynn Brewer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Wren Brewer; and Lucie Sandoz Lanier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Munson Lanier Jr. Their studies abroad prevented them from being presented, but they will relish the associated revelry with their co-debs at later dates. Enchanted evenings await.
Belles and Bachelors
The Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel was filled with the excitement of an annual debutante presentation, the Bachelors’ Club. Twenty-four young ladies processed with a past president, Mr. William Howard Thompson, as master of ceremonies. A cocktail party in the St. James Room with music by The New Orleans Banjos + 2 and a toast by club President Christopher Marak Riess preceded the presentation. Additional officers are Messrs. Adam Michael Laurie, Joseph Ryan Acomb, Kenneth James Taylor Jr., Todd Bennet Johnson, Michael Joseph McKay, Edwin A.F. Ellinghausen IV and Howard Jordan Platt II.
At the entrance to the ballroom, a large Bachelors’ crest was displayed. Provided by Paul Norman of Thibodaux Flowers, the presentation stage was decorated with ferns and the club’s colors of red and gold. The debs’ scepter nosegays and table centerpieces were by Steve Baker.
Radiant as presentees were Misses Sydney Freeman Bickford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wayne Bickford; Ashley Frances Bossier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Michael Bossier; Emerson Normand Carville, daughter of Mr. Chester James Carville and Ms. Mary Joe Matalin; Louise Rainey Charbonnet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Thomas Charbonnet; Caroline Louise Chunn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Keith Chunn; Juliet Eliana Detiveaux Cimini, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. Vaughn Cimini; Angele Hodges de la Houssaye, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Charles de la Houssaye; Shea Hodges Duckworth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Shea Duckworth; Payton Alayna Frischhertz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce James Frischhertz; Sarah St. Paul Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Bennett Johnson; Caroline Marie Kurzweg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Haynes Kurzweg Jr.; and Madeleine DeHaven Landry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Scott Landry. Miss Charlotte Davis Alan Goldenberg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Aaron Goldenberg, was not able to be present, due to unexpected circumstances.
Next in alphabetical order were Misses Elizabeth Lynn Lunn, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Wilburn Lunn; Corinne Renée Moffett, daughter of Mr. James Robert Moffett and Ms. Laurée Zachariah Moffett; Madeleine Claire Moise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dimmick Moise Jr.; Ashley Linfield Murphy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Mark Murphy; Chloe Margaret Pelitere, daughter of Mr. Michael and Dr. Margaret Pelitere; Sarah Hayne Montgomery Read, daughter of Mrs. William Wilkerson Read and the late Mr. Read; Andrea Townsley St. Paul, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Townsley St. Paul; Caroline-Camilla Eugénie Saunders, daughter of Mrs. Diana Saunders Juliano and the late Mr. Richard Cameron Saunders; Jessica Carter Schaumburg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Holden Schaumburg; Catherine Grace Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Craig William Smith; Elizabeth Colon Toso, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Joseph Toso III; and Madeline Cecelia Zimmer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jay Frank Zimmer.
An ensemble curtsy capped the presentation, after which the debs danced with their Bachelors’ Club escorts. The sister-brother duos were Caroline and Andrew Chunn, Angele and Brandon de la Houssaye, Sarah and William Johnson, and Caroline and Conner Kurzweg. The next dance-floor pairing was father-daughter to “My Girl.” After the formalities, general mingling and dancing occurred. Popular with the crowd was the show band, BRW, who set the night to rollicking music.