The message was clear at the 10th anniversary bash of popular Dallas shop Forty Five Ten: “Fashion must go on!” Or so said the T-shirts worn by the hunky cater waiters hired to proffer Champagne to more than 400 guests Monday night when the retailer pulled out all the stops to celebrate its decade in business.
Designers including Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon Panichgul, Koi Suwannagate, Christian Cota and Ippolita flew in for the event, which was thrown by Forty Five Ten owners Brian Bolke and Shelly Musselman. (For the record, the designers made the trip on their own dime. “We’re not a department store,” Bolke pointed out.)
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rodriguez gushed about his hosts. “I’m a big fan of Brian and Shelly both personally and professionally,” he said.
The duo didn’t disappoint, entertaining their guests in high style — Vintage 2000 Dom Pérignon and caviar — with a Texas twist — boneless short ribs deep fried, on sliders and in mini tacos.
“Monday isn’t usually a drinking night,” cooed loyal client and Dallas social Heidi Dillon. “But I’ll make an exception. I’m enjoying the Dom.”
Cindy Rachofsky, a major contemporary art collector, was enjoying the shopping. She took a coaster-size blue geode and diamond ring right off the finger of its owner, designer Kimberly McDonald. “I don’t care how much it costs; I have to have it,” McDonald said she told her.
Others were hamming it up in a photo booth that was tucked into a dressing room. “The lighting is so good. Is Gilles Bensimon in there?” Cota laughed, waiting for his black-and-white 4-by-6 print.
Meanwhile, Doo-Ri Chung reflected on what could have been the evening’s other theme: a white neon sign by artist Alejandro Diaz that read “Happiness is expensive.”
After the party, an exclusive few continued the revelry at the home of gallerist Kenny Goss and George Michael. (Yes, that George Michael. But he wasn’t there.)
The next day, out-of-towners toured the estates of the city’s top collectors of contemporary art: Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Naomi Aberly and Larry Leibowitz, Rusty and Deedie Rose and Marguerite Hoffman.
Billionaire Tom Hicks had everyone over for lunch, while Forty Five Ten co-owner Musselman hosted dinner at her Preston Hollow home.
“What Brian and Shelly do is amazing,” Chung asserted. “They care about their customers, and that’s why they have longevity. I have to support stores like that because there are not enough of them to go around.”