A brace of debutante bashes occurred back to designer-clad back during the holidays with Vieux Carre locations. Both generated comments of “fabulous and fun.” Days later, debs and moms sipped tea.
“We wanted to create a very traditional deb party,” related Elizabeth Dabezies Goodyear (Mrs. Charles Waterhouse Goodyear IV), concerning the lovely levity that she, husband Chip, and very close friends, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hayes Saer, Katherine (née Van Horn) and Robbie, gave to honor their debutante daughters, Misses Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear and Lily Reiss Saer. Symbolically, the party was destined to take glorious flight: Depictions of butterflies decorated the Alexa Pulitzer-designed invitation.
To fashion a traditional to-do, the Goodyears and the Saers combined the French Quarter and the city’s oldest restaurant, Antoine’s; elegant decor; food, glorious food; music; and the right mix of three generations of family and friends. The Goodyears’ nearest and dearest, several in from afar, included deb brother Charlie, grandparents Charlie and Linda Goodyear, Gene and Covar Dabezies, Claudia Collins Fenner, Gigi Dabezies, Louise Dabezies and Peter Hunley, Sally Goodyear Johnson and husband Stormy, Stephen and Kitty Duncan Sherrill and sons Stephen Jr. and William, Ninette Webster and grandson Louis à Brassard, Harry and Mary Vorhaben, Anna Gray, Jeff and Jennifer Eldredge, Bruce and Katie Van Saun with son Miles, and John and Mary Katherine Roff. To name a very few.
Deb brothers Matthew and Hayes Saer no doubt reported on the excitement to little brother Thomas, who was unable to attend. But making their Saer rounds were grandparents Ken and Meredith Saer, twins Lucy and Grace Gille, Brian and Gladys Van Horn Gille, Matt and Margaret LeCorgne, Noel and Maria Johnson, Thomas and Wendy Beron, Torre Sossaman, Jay Tufts, Mary Faith Lindner, Mary and John Turner and their children, Foster and Shaun Saer Duncan, Ken and Margaret Saer Beer, Jim and Penny Saer Coulter, Woodie and Ann Van Horn, Marion and Lee Egan, and the affianced Megan Beer and Mason Eustis. Being close friends, the hosting families had scores of mutual guests.
All were awed by the extraordinary decor: Each room was decorated with a nod to the party’s invitation, which was, in turn, an interpretation of a Carnival ball invitation from the last century. Incorporated in various Antoine’s locations were vintage silver and glassware; a profusion of posies: roses, peonies, hydrangeas and greenery to suggest a garden; butterflies; a tent set with tables for chatting outside the Hermes Bar; an oversize floral basket in the Rex Room (where certain guests found photos on the walls of their forebears); and a sylvanscape in the main dining room, The Annex. Thanks were plentiful, especially to Jim Perrier and spouses Lance Hayes and Margo Bouanchaud.
Traditional Antoine’s dining fare, plus a nod to Nippon in the form of a sushi bar, sated the collective appetite. Especially good were the soft-shell crabs, which found gleeful takers in Pixie and Jimmy Reiss.
Music makers came in threes, starting with the Jasen Weaver Band playing on the balcony; Swamp Donkeys for the traditional New Orleans Jazz as the families received guests; and the later Party on the Moon and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” which lured Adelaide and Lily and their moms to the stage to sing and dance with the band.
For their dresses, Katherine and Lily turned to relative Kathleen Van Horn (attending with husband Charlie) for the designs. Both Adelaide and Elizabeth incorporated thematic elements in their lovely frocks. As a special accent, butterflies adorned coiffures.
As their festivity concluded, both debs remarked that they had a marvelous time. “All our friends (including many of their parents and grandparents) were dancing with us way past midnight.” “A magical night” concluded the hostesses, who were thrilled that fun and debutante formality found an exciting fusion.
Denim, Diamonds and Debutantes
A “three-D” partying it was when Mr. and Mrs. William Bailey Rudolf — she’s Stephenie — entertained the evening following the Goodyear-Saer revels at the nearby House of Blues on Decatur Street for their daughter, Libby. The theme for the night was “Country Western” with a decorative shot of bling. Credit tapped Kenneth LaCour, of Grand Events, (who planned and designed the bash), Dunn & Sonnier for the florals and Scriptura stationer. The huge invitations with colors of red, white and cowboy blue came in a tube.
Naeem Khan outfits were sported by Libby, who accessorized her sparkly mode with cowboy boots, and her mom. The dance floor was Libby’s domain, as it was for countless others who thrilled to the music of the Rudolfs’ favorite country singer, Pat Green, on the main stage.
As folks meandered about, they also encountered entertainers BRW on the Parish Stage, who rendered “classic” Motown hits. Then there was the food — lots of it, and all yummy, thanks to the chefs at the House of Blues. According to Kenny LaCour, “the food was inspired by fare … at a state fair/rodeo” and included french fry and grilled-cheese stations, smoked brisket sliders, chicken roulade, the sausage bar, the voodoo shrimp station, cornbread, devils on horseback (bacon-wrapped dates with asiago cheese), biscuits and mini lemon box pies.
Relishing the cowboy kick were deb siblings Farrell Diliberto, along with William and Stroud Rudolf; grandparents Dr. Stover and Clara Smith; Kathleen and Terry White and children Hunter, Jane, Bere and Forrest; Caroline and Bo Reily with Will and Hugh; Scott and Sara Louise Ham with Briggs; Tina and Barry Kern with Fitz, Andrew and Patrick; and Hookie and Kitty Jackson with Caffrey, Isabel and Richmond. The deb posse, too. Also Matt Downey, Olivia Mosley, Ellen Lautenbach, Robert Boyce, Ivey Westerkam, Caroline Yeakle, Francis Wells, Kiley Boland, Griffin O’Brien, Will Moor, Megan Ray and Barron Jetter. Quite a few trekked in from out of town.
One of the first things they noticed was a chalkboard headed with “Libby’s Line Up.” Listed were “8 p.m. BRW in the Parish; 9:30 p.m. Pat Green in Music Hall; and 11 p.m. Ultra Lounge in Foundation Room.”
At a choice moment of the western romp, singer Pat Green launched into his hit “Wave on Wave,” figuratively lassoing Libby onstage to sing with him and brother Stroud to play the guitar. As a nice gesture, Green gave Stroud his guitar for even more fine-tuned fun.
Around and About
Mrs. David Albert Weilbaecher sent out pretty pink and lavender-bordered invitations to kin and kith for “A Spot of Tea” at the New Orleans Country Club in honor of her granddaughter, Adley Claire Schmid, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Woolf Schmid.
Erin Fetherston was the designer for the attire for both Adley and mom Karen; Jan at Van Fallo’s created floral arrangements in antique tea cups with a variety of pink roses on the tables and the mantel of the club’s Founder’s Room; the food was tasty tea fare; and custom sugar cookies made from the invitation’s tea cup were parting gifts.
Noted were Michele Weilbaecher Legrand, Mary Stewart Bailey, Isabel McCay, Teabelle Betz, Liz Landry and daughter Ruth, Jill Bellone and Grace, Jacqueline Guillot and Coco, Celeste and Alison Mikes, Margaret Nicolson and Lily Martin, Aimee Bell and Aggie, Karen Johnsen and Katie, Lynne Brennan, Marylin Watkins, Joy Meckstroth, Fe Laughlin, Carol Dienes, Toni Feinman and Joann Nungesser, all enjoying their spot of tea.