Mad Hatter’s Tea Under the Tuscan Sun Celebrates its 29th Year
benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and
A Woman’s Garden
Amy Warren and Amanda Hill, Honorary Chairs| Linda Spina, Chair | Sharla Bush, Vice-Chair
Melissa Lewis, President, Women’s Council
(Featured photo: Nerissa Von Helpenstill, TOOTSIES; Amanda Hill, honorary chair; Melissa Lewis, president, Women’s Council; Jan Strimple, fashion show producer; Linda Spina, chair, Mad Hatter’s Tea; Sharla Bush, vice-chair, Mad Hatter’s Tea; Amy Warren, honorary chair; Dustin Holcomb, TOOTSIES. Photo by Dana Driensky.)
(Dallas, TX) It is always a fashionable and lively scene each spring at the Mad Hatter’s Tea at the Dallas Arboretum. This year, Mad Hatter’s Tea Under the Tuscan Sun celebrates its 29th year on Thursday, April 27, 2017 and benefits the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and A Woman’s Garden, a major garden at the arboretum.
This not-to-be-missed fabulous and fun party is attended by over 450 stylish ladies and gents, some from as far away as California, who plan their trips to Dallas not only to take part in the Mad Hatter’s Tea – many in wild and wonderful over-the-top hats relating to the event’s hat contest themes – but to view the glorious springtime azalea displays and flowers that grace the arboretum and visit friends.
Chaired by Linda Spina with Sharla Bush as vice-chair, this year’s event welcomes Rachel Zoe, an unparalleled fixture in the fashion world known for her unique take on effortless glamour, fashion stylist to the stars, clothes designer, author and editor of The Zoe Report, as a celebrity hat judge. TOOTSIES is sponsoring the exciting fashion show spotlighting spring and summer’s newest trends produced by Jan Strimple. A wonderful seated luncheon will be served plein-air under elegantly draped white tents amidst walls of tall azaleas in delightful shades of springtime. Joining in the festivities will be honorary chairs Amy Warren and Amanda Hill along with Women’s Council president, Melissa Lewis and hat judges, to be announced soon!
The morning begins at 10:00 as everyone arrives, champagne is poured and paparazzi snap photos outside in the beautiful Ginsburg Plaza. This is when the judges mark their favorites for hats in these categories:
1) Molto Italiano “Very Italian” – Most True-to-Theme. Everything Tuscan from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the art treasures of Florence to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and everything in between.
2) Rachel’s Pick – Rachel Zoe’s favorite hat. The best of the best, from her point of view.
3) Bella Donna “Beautiful Woman” – Most Elegant.
4) A Taste of Italy – The food and drink of Italy. Wine, cheese, pasta, pizza and more!
5) Belissima Botanical – Best Botanical. What would Mad Hatter’s at the Arboretum be without hats adorned with beautiful flowers?
6) Fellini’s Follies – Famed Italian film director Federico Fellini always worked in a group. Best Group of Hats. Men may compete in this category.
7) Mamma Mia! – Most outlandish. Go wild!
8) Ciao Bella! “Hello Beautiful” – People’s Choice. The best of the best, as voted on by the attendees.
At 11:30 guests are seated in Rosine Hall where presentations and the fashion show begins, including a live auction. Hat design winners are announced and strut the runway to rounds of applause followed by a delicious luncheon.
Individual patron tickets begin at $350 and are available through the website at www.womenscouncildallasarboretum.org. A limited number of individual tickets at $250 each will be available this spring for a limited time. They will be listed on the website when they go on sale. Underwriting opportunities and naming sponsorships are available. Contact Venise Stuart via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 214-507-9662.
Since its inception in 1982, the Women’s Council has supported the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It funded and continues to develop and maintain A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the nation built by women and dedicated to the universal spirit of women.
Full disclosure: Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, represents Mad Hatter’s Tea. She was the third Mad Hatter’s Tea chair in 1991, working with then Women’s Council president Patti Brown and featured the famed haberdasher Frank Olive (now deceased) as the featured designer. She continued to volunteer with the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum for over 10 years on their board and committees. Her involvement included coordinating public relations for the ground breaking and then the opening of A Woman’s Garden, a major feature at the Dallas Arboretum, with the Dallas Arboretum. She has handled public relations for Mad Hatter’s Tea off and on since 2004.