Songs and Styles of Italy Fashion Show & Luncheon 2023

Over 300 guests gathered at River Oaks Country Club to celebrate all things Italian at the Songs and Styles of Italy Fashion Show and Luncheon benefiting the Italian Cultural & Community Center. The sold-out event was held in honor of Roz Pactor and Steve Tyrell and showcased the latest fashions from Italian designers, all sold at Neiman Marcus.

As the country club began to fill with longtime and newfound friends of the ICCC, guests browsed the silent auction, purchased raffle tickets, and enjoyed the Prosecco Pull, which boasted a mimosa brunch for eight guests at Trattoria Sofia as its grand prize.
To kick off the show, soprano Krista Pape and pianist Lucrezia Slomp performed a moving rendition of “Sempre Libera” from Verdi’s La Traviata that was met with wild applause from the audience.

Master of Ceremonies and KPRC TV Anchor Owen Conflenti welcomed the attendees and introduced Executive Director Erika Myers to say a few words about the mission of the Italian Cultural & Community Center. Consul General of Italy in Houston Mauro Lorenzini offered heartfelt remarks about the impact of the nonprofit as guests dined on Italian-inspired dishes.

Luncheon chairs Lesha Elsenbrook and Ginger Niemann were all smiles as they expressed their gratitude to the attendees and introduced honorees Steve Tyrell and Roz Pactor. Brother and sister Pactor and Tyrell are members of an admired Italian family with a long heritage of community leadership and philanthropy.

Pactor is a famed Houston-based fashion blogger whose experience in the industry spans four decades. Pactor took the stage to recount her latest trip to Sicily, where she checked off a bucket-list item of visiting the city from which her family immigrated to the United States.

The audience was moved to tears and loud applause when Grammy-winning producer and vocalist Tyrell took to the stage for a surprise performance of “Bella Notte” from Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp.

Neiman Marcus stole the spotlight with their phenomenal fashion show featuring the latest trends from Italian designers. Beautiful models donned sequins aplenty, luxurious velvet and brocade, and bold patterns. As a delightful finale, models sported red glasses in a surprise tribute to Roz’s iconic signature fashion statement.

Molte grazie to the talented Jeanne Ruberti for curating yet another amazing show, to Fashion Show Producer Neiman Marcus, and to Houston Community College Fashion and Cosmetology. Bravo!

Congratulations to the winners of our amazing raffle packages, silent auction items, and Prosecco Pull. Raffle prizes included a Houston experience package, an Italian Dine-Around in H-Town, a selection of premier Italian wines, an original artwork from Daniela Pasqualini, the “Amalfi Rose” brooch from Peter Martino – Private Jeweler, and a Buccellati cuff and earrings set from Tenenbaum Jewelers. The Italian Cultural & Community Center extends a huge thank you to everyone who donated to the event, purchased tables and tickets, and participated in the silent auction and raffle. Your generosity helped make our fourth annual fashion show and luncheon one of the ICCC’s most successful events yet.

Proceeds from the event benefit the ICCC Scholarship Program. Since 2000, the ICCC has awarded over $263,000 in scholarships to college students. To read more about our Scholarship Program, click here.

A big heartfelt thank you to our donors for the event

Amalfi Ristorante Italiano, Nancy Ames & Danny Ward, The Astros Foundation, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Beautique Day Spa & Salon, Berg Hospitality Group, Bering St Advisors – Garofalo, Financial Services, Blossom Hotel Houston, Shelley Boyer, Brio & Co., Cathy Brock, David Capobianco, Johnny Carrabba, Central Market Houston, Ciro’s Italian Grill, Owen Conflenti, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Rosanette Cullen in memory of Christine Bilao, Da Marco Italian Restaurant, D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe, Davanti Ristorante, De Cecco, Karen DeGeurin and Peter Remington, Dessert Gallery, Diana American Grill, Valerie & Tracy Dieterich, Dionysus Imports Inc., Dolceterra Italian Within, David Edelstein, Laura Ferro, Edward Finger, Fiori Italian Restaurant, Fleet Feet, Four Seasons Hotel Houston, Ellie Francisco, The Gents Place, Gorjana, Goode Company, Gruppo Butera, Harmonia Stellarum Houston, Titus A. Harris, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston Community College Cosmetology, Houston Community College Fashion, Chris Kase, Theresa and Ralph Kelly, Debbie Kemple, Kendra Scott, Caroline Matthews Kenney, Killer Vino Brix and Mortar – Rob May Proprietor, Ray Kirk, Lucho, Maida Belt & Buckle, Peter Martino, Julie Mastroianni, Matula Stubbs Winkler Young & Associates, Ray & Maureen Miller, Mimo, Angel Muñoz, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Neiman Marcus/Heather Almond & Preston Antonini, Ginger Niemann, Nice Winery, Susan Osterberg, Olivia A. Pacini in memory of Robert L. Pacini, Krista Pape, Daniela Pasqualini, Leila Perrin, Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, Piola Memorial, Piola Midtown, Pomí, Sandra Porter, Dean Putterman, Ragin Cajun, Raintree Boutique, Vicki Rizzo, Franelle Rogers, Roma | An Italian Eatery, Jeanne Ruberti, Nancy & Bryan Ruez, Robert T. Sakowitz, Carol and Tom Sawyer, Segcity Segway Galveston Tours, Claudia Gentile Sims, SkinSpirit Houston, Lucrezia Slomp, Marguerite Swartz, SweetCup Gelato & Sorbet Originale, Betty Tapick in honor of Lesha Elsenbrook, TASS, Tenenbaum Jewelers, Bette Thomas in honor of Joyce Standish, Tiziana Terenzi, Tootsies Houston, Rev. Fr. Juan Torres, O.P., Total Wine & More, Patty Turboff, Elaine Turner, TuttiLili Wines & Specialty Foods, Hallie Vanderhider, Vinoteca Poscol, VinSanto Wine Bar, Wildcat Golf Club, Flavio Zannin

Photos by Johnny Than.