Big changes to Junior League’s Opening Style Show lead to the ultimate Tuesday night fashion party

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It’s entirely possible that this writer has been doing the Junior League of Houston’s annual Opening Style Show all wrong. For half of a decade, given the choice between luncheon and dinner showings, I’ve opted for the former, earlier-in-the-day event.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Last Tuesday, some 90 years after its inaugural style show, the Junior League of Houston eliminated the luncheon program altogether. Instead, organizers and league president Jayne Johnston voted for a single, evening-only soiree.

Total game-changer.

Of the 300 stylish volunteers and fashion plates in attendance, an intimate group of VIPs were treated to a party-before-the-party via an interactive style lounge. That’s where French 75 cocktails were served, Cherry Nails doled out manicures, Fringe Salon and Color Bar offered coif touch-ups, and Switch2Pure founder Estela Cockrell shared clean beauty tips.

All things considered, it took awhile to coax party-goers to sit and settle down – the photo ops were just too good.

Fortunately, Johnston shared everyone’s enthusiasm.

“Here in Texas, the beginning of fall is not marked by the change in temperature. It’s marked by fashion shows, September issues and the Opening Style Show,” she said from the stage, dressed in jade ruffles. “We are thrilled to have Tootsies return to the Opening Style Show, and can’t wait bring out (creative director) Fady Armanious later. But first, here are our Junior League volunteers to ‘unlock’ your Opening Style Show.”

A number of Junior League members kicked things off by modeling fall’s most wearable trends. Think cheetah prints, sequined frocks and a jumpsuit or two.

Next, Armanious hopped onstage to introduce the season’s more aspirational looks. He endorsed “spots, stripes and snakes,” dark romance, satin, voluminous silhouettes, jewelry stacking, boots and big hair.

“We are in Texas,” he quipped to laughter and applause.

The professional models who followed skipped the big hair and strut their stuff in slightly undone waves instead – a modern foil to the lineup’s throwback vibe under heavy ’80s influence. They rocked layered python accessories, sequins-on-sequins, an entire series of hot pink gowns, and metallic-flecked eveningwear.

Afterward, attendees circled their favorite runway looks and indulged in a full bar and three-course dinner service.

In 2019, Junior League Houston expects to contribute more than $2 million to the community through volunteer hours and monetary support. Tuesday night’s soiree added an additional $40,000 to those efforts.

It’s fashion week, with a side of philanthropy.


Source: September 11, 2019, Houston Chronicle, Amber Elliott