Gala Season Officially Kicks Off in Austin – Jewel Ball

As the calendar went from summer to fall, Austin’s social scene went from zero to gala with more than half a dozen events during opening weekend. Austin Social Planner founders Lara Villagran-Johnson and Kevin Smothers released their Fall 2012 Gala Guide at an invitation-only reception the Tuesday prior at Malverde (go to The calendar goes through December 2nd and features more than 20 events.

Pictured: Lance Avery Morgan, Laura Villagran Johnson, Kevin Smothers and Julia McCurley
The Women’s Symphony League 58th Annual Jewel Ball was among the opening weekend events on Saturday. The event featured “America, the Beautiful” as its theme with a Palmer Events Center ballroom transformed to feel like a White House state dinner for the evening complete with a White House replica as the stage backdrop.
Queen Courtney Lord Robb Richards presided over the Royal Court of princesses all outfitted in their white ball gowns and tiaras. If it weren’t for the tiaras, the young women on the court might have been mistaken for a gaggle of brides. In fact, rather than shop for a new ball gown, Princess Megan Bentzin went vintage shopping in her mother’s closet.
“This is my mother’s wedding gown from the 80s, except it had big puffy sleeves. We cut those off and here I am.” Said Bentzin.

Pictured: Princess Megan Bentzin and Princess Callie Wendlandt
In keeping with the event’s red, white and blue theme, many guests wore gorgeous red ball gowns. Dana Germer wore a red, ruffled dress from local designer Linda Asaf.
Of course, this was the Jewel Ball, so jeweled-toned gala gowns in deep purples and greens also filled up the room. Among them, redhead Jennifer Ransom-Rice was a stunner in her purple one-shoulder gown by Monique Lhullier.
The night is one of few occasions in Austin when just about every guest can name their gown’s designer or give a name to their couture. Guest Shelby Krause was quick to point out her Oscar de la Renta beaded earrings and her J Mendel gown. Her friend Sarah Miglicco wore a cocktail dress by Shoshanna.
The Jewel Ball one of several events planned by the Austin Women’s Symphony League of events. The league is the largest fundraiser for the Austin Symphony. The Jewel Ball presents young women to Austin high society and groom the next generation for civic service in the Austin art community. But, for guests not on the royal court, it’s a night to present high fashion to Austin high society.
Featured picture above:
Caroline Lindstrom
Chandler Ellis
Madison Powell
Kate Reese
Meredith Montrose

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