Black Ball

Le Grande Debauchery

Catherine D. Anspon. Photography Sontera Dresch.  |  Photos by Sontera Dresch
March 28, 2011
Event Date:
January 21, 2011

The august 18th-century-era party room Le Grande Salon of La Colombe d’Or — which once served as the backdrop for nobles and their circa-1700s merriments  — was the mise en scène for an evening of mayhem and raucous fund-raising at Glasstire and Fresh Arts Coalition’s big bash, this year themed “Black Ball.” (Past GT and FAC galas are the stuff of legend, including the not-soon-to-be-duplicated Cheese Ball, Golf Ball and Mirror Ball). This year’s sizzler conjured delicious, Page Six-worthy scandal as more than 500 thrill-seekers turned out, presided over by chair sextet Sloan/Hall gents Shannon Hall and Marcus Sloan, Sicardi Gallery’s Allison and David Ayers, and Cabrina and Steve Owsley, and honorees Meg and Nelson Murray.

What Monsieur Hall Saw: We enjoined Monsieur Hall for his best-dressed list: “I assumed the identity of fashion model Kate Moss. And Marcus [Sloan] was the very embodiment of Lindsay Lohan, all pretty in a turquoise halter dress by American Apparel — with requisite alcohol monitor, of course ... Allison [Ayers] was the most gorgeous Cleopatra! I loved Timmy Martinez as the disgraced Boy George; Ceron’s pre-rehab Russell Brand, his wig tangled with chewing gum and cigarette butts; Michael Landrum and Pepper Paratore as the shameful lip-syncing Milli Vanilli; Daniel-Kayne in ballet tights and his black and white swan companions, the black swan being with child à la Natalie Portman; Claudia Schmuckli’s perfectly pink and saucy Marie Antoinette, and my favorite: Jeff Shell as the loose-lipped but all-smiles-and-pageant-waves Miss California.”

And let’s not forget the party’s founders, who sported ice skates while enacting an Olympic bit of bad behavior with Fresh Arts’ Marita Fairbanks as Tonya Harding, while husband J. B. Fairbanks was Harding’s pipe-wielding ex Jeff Gillooly, to Glasstire’s good girl Rainey Knudson, aka Nancy Kerrigan. Dripping Springs Vodka, The Black Door wines and St. Arnold’s Brewery added to the fervor, while Digital Photo Memories snapped blackmail-able party pics as the band Klockwork performed. And incoming Fresh Arts executive director Ian Garrett toted a camera and emerged from the bushes in a bit of paparazzi performance art.