As befits one of the true signs that fall is eminent in our fair city, Ballet Austin presented its annual Fête & fête*ish parties last Friday at the JW Marriott with great fanfare. Themed around Ballet Austin’s season opener, Hamlet, the scene was set as a regal dining experience and chic lounge. Fête chairs Ana and Alejandro Ruelas greeted their guests at the top of the escalator and ushered them into what has to have been one of the coolest philanthropic night’s out we’ve had in a while.
The evening kicked off with cocktails among a stunning entrance piece created by the team at Mandarin Design Lab. Fencers entertained guests as they prepared for the lavish feast that awaited them once inside the dining room. Dinner kept with the theme of the evening and skulls & daggers were prevalent throughout the decor. Austin’s jovial Police Chief, Art Acevedo, acted as the master of ceremonies and auctioneer extraordinaire Gayle Stallings called in what early reports say was a record-setting live auction.
While the auction was in full swing, on the other side of the ballroom wall, fête*ish was just getting going as throngs of the city’s bold and beautiful began arriving for a dreamy nightcap. Just as the room seem filled, the wall opened to reveal the Fête attendees on one side staring into the eyes of the fête*ish guests on the other. The merged party made for a pretty impressive moment and the masses carried on until the lights came up well after midnight!
Both Fête & fête*ish benefit Ballet Austin’s mission to provide exceptional artistic programming, arts education and access for the entire Central Texas community.
Spotted: Laura and Chris Aidan, Juliana and Bryan Azar, Linda Ball and Forrest Preece, Jennifer and James Carnes, Alicia Clark, Marla Bommarito-Crouch and Michael Crouch, Leslie Davenport, Abby and Chris Hendel, Kassandra Hendrix and Roger Gordon, Karen Jantsch, Michelle Jantsch, Jessie Katz and Andy Means, Clark Martin, William Miller, Kristi Moriarty, Heather and Alex Ladage, Kate and Hector Perez, Denise Silverman and many, many others.
**photos by Brian Fitzsimmons