Lou Goes Blue With Project Blue Drum

Haley Collard, Brian Hamilton and Destini Miles.

Haley Collard, Brian Hamilton and Destini Miles.

Louisville is about to go blue.

The critically acclaimed Blue Man Group is slated to play The Kentucky Center April 10-15, a show considered “funny, stunning and intellectually stimulating” by Stephen Klein, president of the Kentucky Center.

And Klein should know – he’s seen them three times already.

Blue Man Group is best recognized as three bald, blue performers that engage the audience with unforgettable tribal rhythms courtesy of large drums.  In addition to hosting the electrifying performance, the Kentucky Center and PNC Broadway in Louisville have partnered with the Louisville Visual Art Association’s (LVAA) Open Doors Program to create a 3-D mural commemorating the event, aptly titled “Project Blue Drum.”

Open Doors provides opportunities to enhance artistic skills for communities with narrow access to the visual arts.  By pairing a professional artist with various community groups, the intent is to create meaningful works of self-expression in a positive environment.

Artist Tara Remington was chosen to collaborate with Western Middle School, an experience she considered enriching and soulfully satisfying.  Remington created the vision for “Project Blue Drum” and spent 12 weeks with the 6th and 7th grade students of Western Middle School, and art teacher, Amanda Thompson.

The teachers took a turn.

The teachers took a turn.

“The power of creativity is so subtle to (the students),” Remington said.

The youngsters are rewarded with not just the satisfaction of a job well done, but with tickets to see Blue Man Group perform.  “The bigger the growth of our project, the bigger the growth of the kids.  I’d say they’ve completely transformed,” Remington said.

And grow it has.

LVAA Open Doors Project Manager Aron Conaway considers this the most sophisticated, most involved project he’s administered to date.  “There’s been such a positive response, and people are so excited for us.  But truly, the excitement is for the kids.  They’ve worked so hard.”

Conaway views “Project Blue Drum” as a literal extension of the visual arts into the surrounding communities here in Louisville, a goal he says that wouldn’t have happened without the collaboration of so many.

Art in progress.

Art in progress.

The Kentucky Center has extended a hand in promoting “Project Blue Drum” by publicly unveiling the sculpture on The Kentucky Center front steps on Friday, March 2nd, from 6-8 p.m. Additionally, the creation will be available for viewing throughout the run of the Blue Man Group.  The Kentucky Center will also host a reception the day tickets go on sale for guests to enjoy blue martinis and Blue Moon beer, and revel in the performance of local band, The Blue Umbrellas.

Being blue never felt so good.

Blue Man Group will play The Kentucky Center April 10-15.  Tickets go on sale at The Kentucky Center box office on Friday, March 2nd with prices starting at $22.75. Call 502.584.7777 or go online at www.KentuckyCenter.org or www.TicketMaster.com to order.  Groups of 10 or more can buy now by calling Hilda Davis at 502.569.3060.

Freezin’ For A Reason

Hundreds of Louisvillians will take “The Plunge” this weekend for a very special cause.

Tumbleweed on River Road will once again host the annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge, one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers of the year.

Tumbleweed Operating Partners Mike and Matt Higgins presented an $18,000 check to Special Olympics in 2011.

Tumbleweed Operating Partners Mike and Matt Higgins presented an $18,000 check to Special Olympics in 2011.

The Plunge works just like a walk-a-thon, but with one big twist: Participants solicit donations but instead of walking, they take a chilly dip into the Ohio River at Tumbleweed on the Waterfront. Anyone can participate by donating a “bear”  minimum of $75 (it’s only $50 for junior plungers).

Last year’s Polar Plunge was pushed out of the Ohio River for the first time since 2003 as high water forced the event to be held with participants jumping into a pair of pools set up in the amphitheater at Waterfront Park. The change didn’t deter plungers, however, as more than 1,275 turned out, raising $357,000 for Special Olympics.

This year’s event is sponsored by Tumbleweed, Zappo’s, WAVE 3, 84WHAS, 93.1 The Fox, Louisville’s GenX Radio 100.5, Radio Now 98.9, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, CBS Outdoor, Watson’s Pools, Louisville Metro Government and AAA Travel.

Tumbleweed Operating Partners Matt and Mike Higgins and their staff look forward to the festivities, despite the weekend’s icy outlook, at least for those who will be going for a swim.

“We support Special Olympics because it has given us such a wonderful tie to all of our local communities in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky,” Matt Higgins said. “It started as a perfect opportunity for an event at the waterfront and now has blossomed into a heartwarming partnership that truly affects every person in our organization.

The brothers invite their entire staff to participate, said Matt Higgins. “It’s truly a team effort. It’s for such a great cause, and we are so proud to be a part of it.”
For more information about the Polar Plunge, contact Candace Thompson at 502.326.5002. e-mail cthompson@soky.org or go to soky.kintera.org/2012louisvilleplunge.


Saturday, February 25
Tumbleweed on the River

  • 9:30 am. to 1 p.m. – Registration (including day of walk-up registration)
  • 10:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies
  • 11:00 am – Plunging begins
  • Noon – Awards Break
  • Noon – ?? – Post Plunge Bash at Tumbleweed

Is Your Dog Bored?

There is a saying in the world of dog care and training: “Your dog is smarter than you think.”  If you don’t give your dog something to do, he or she is going to find something to do. Chances are, you’re not going to like what they find for themselves.

Since the day I brought home my first dog, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, I have known this to be true. I was rewarded for my belief when I asked my canine trainer friend, Allison Jamison Woosley, for some advice on keeping dogs mentally stimulated, and she responded with the very same phrase.

The reasoning is simple according to Jamison Woosley. “Consider being trapped inside a house with absolutely nothing to do for eight or nine hours. Dog’s can’t watch TV or read a book, or even dust or vacuum to keep themselves occupied.

I think most humans, after a nap perhaps, would go stir crazy. It’s no different for your dog, and your dog is asked to do this in many cases day in, day out up to five days a week.”

When dogs create something to break up the monotony, we usually consider the results to be destructive. They will tear up shoes. They will rip the stuffing out of your couch. They will spend all day barking.

My Corgi, Bailey, spent her days chewing through the baby gates we used to keep her confined to the kitchen area. Even if your dog does manage to behave for the hours you’re gone, as Jamison Woosley puts it, “By the time you get home from work they are likely to be wound up and hyper for any interaction, right when you are exhausted from a long day of work.”

The good news is that it’s really pretty easy to keep your dog occupied. If your dog is like most, acquiring food or treats is a great motivator. You can even turn your dog’s breakfast into a game that lasts for much of their morning. Several different dog toy and product brands make puzzle games for your dog. Instead of putting food in their bowl, you put the food or treats inside the puzzle, and your dogs will spend hours getting it out. My favorite product brand is Kong because most of their toys are tough enough to withstand a lot of chewing.

Jamison Woosley suggests there are less expensive ways of doing the same thing, using empty paper towel rolls with the ends folded, or an empty peanut butter jar. Of course both will likely be shredded by the end of the day, which is better than your shoes.

One of my favorite suggestions by Jamison Woosley is the “Find It” game, which she describes this way.

“’Find It’ means something is buried and they should seek it out.  Start easy by placing a treat on a chair and say ‘Find It.’  Offer praise when they get the treat. Eventually you can hide treats all over the house and when you leave, cue your dog to start the hunt game of ‘Find It’.”

Finally, if your dog is social, you might consider taking him or her to doggie daycare while you’re gone to work, or hiring a dog walker to break up the monotony and work out some excess energy. Even a few times a week can make a big difference.

For more on positive reinforcement training visit www.happydogky.com.

David Loignon is the owner of Home Buddies Premier In-home Pet Care. You can reach him via email: louisvilleeast@myhomebuddies.com or Online: www.myhomebuddies.com/louisvilleeast

Open Court

The gnashing of teeth and a lot of bad – really bad – language could have been heard from Syracuse to Florida with stops in Chapel Hill and nearby Duke, and then on to UCLA and Podunk, too, if that high school has a 6-foot-11 center with longer arms than Anthony Davis.

Big name college basketball coaches could be heard screaming expletives to fellow coaches, “Do you believe what that #$%& Calipari is doing now? And with the help of ESPN!”

Calipari already gets the cream of the crop of the nation’s high school seniors – and there he was on one of the family of ESPN networks.

For two hours – TWO hours! – the nation’s recruits were invited to see a free commercial for University of Kentucky basketball: Cal running his Wildcats through a typical day of practice and in effect saying, “Come on down to Lexington. You will like it here.”

And if that wasn’t enough, another national  ESPN outlet showed it one more time at night!

An adoring audience of about 2,000 Big Blue fans showed their devotion as Coach Cal, wired  for sound, played them like a cheap piano. If he asked the fans for cheers, he got cheers. Anything for Coach Cal and his Wildcats.

Just one thing was missing.

A Rupp show?

Adolph Rupp should have been in Memorial Coliseum, one of two arenas that he built for his UK basketball teams.

Rupp was a hoot at practices, especially if a sportswriter was present. The Wildcats hated to see a guest writer because they knew that Adolph would put on a show for the writer – at the expense of the players.

When Rupp would say something funny – which he often did – his players would turn their backs to him so that he couldn’t see them cracking up. Really, he was a funny man when he wanted to be.

The last year Rupp coached, Louisville Times Sports Columnist Dean Eagle and I watched the Wildcats practice. I had taken the old coach a copy of Tev Laudeman’s book, “The Rupp Years,” an incomparable book on UK basketball.

Eagle and I sat with Rupp at courtside when he said, “They bounce the damn balls and it makes me sleepy.”

Rupp Correction

Rupp autographed one for me. As soon as he wrote “Adolph F. Rupp,” I said, “Thanks, coach.”

“Well hell, don’t you want to make it authentic? And then he made a swirl beneath his name and said, “Now, it’s official.”

A little later, he called one day and invited me to lunch at Idle Hour Country Club, where most of the rich Lexingtonians belong. (UK pays membership dues.)

When we had finished lunch, I asked the waiter for the check.

“Well, by gawd,” said Rupp. “I wish that you could pay the bill, but members have to pay.”

Back to Calipari and his televised open practice for fans, students and faculty: You can bet  your bottom dollar that the NCAA was paying attention and it won’t be surprising if the NCAA passes a rule forbidding such practices. No, make that “nationally televised” practices.

Sandy Bell Present

I doubt if many people noticed a white-haired lady sitting at the press table during the TV scrimmage. She was Sandy Bell, whose job it is to see that the Cats are in full compliance with NCAA rules.

Let UK do something that may give the Cats a little advantage and other big schools will start doing the same thing.

Remember when Joe B. Hall succeeded Rupp as UK head coach? He started taking his team around the state for pre-season scrimmages. They were enormously popular. Soon other schools, including Louisville and Indiana, started doing the same thing.

That bad old NCAA passed a rule against off-campus scrimmages.

Nothing has ever approached what Coach Cal (and ESPN) pulled off. Stay tuned.

Not Unique

I hope that Wayne Martin, who runs TV stations in Lexington and Hazard, has a talk with his on-air stars, especially Dave Baker and Insight’s Matt Jones, and asks them, pretty please, to look up the word  “unique” in the dictionary.

UK’s televised practice was  NOT the most unique or very unique. Please, guys, you were doing a national telecast for ESPN and your grammar makes our state look ignorant. There are NO degrees of unique. It either is or isn’t.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Shines On!

Contributing Writer

Fashion photographer Nigel Barker and Jo Ross.

Fashion photographer Nigel Barker and Jo Ross.

What a wonderful week packed with glamorous, intriguing fashion at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Park – and all over the city.

The designers really gave a best effort in creating pretty, beguiling and sensuous ideas for Fall/Winter 2012.

Our favorites: Carolina Herrera, Betsey Johnson, Zang Toi, Pamela Roland and Michael Kors never disappoint, and Naeem Khan, Badgley Mischka  and Reem Acra continued in their spectacular red carpet style, as did Herve Leger by Max Azria.

Custo Barcelona was sensational. Very well coordinated daywear, from head to toe, in multiple prints, with wool, leather and metallic applications, and  great new shapes like cocoons (jackets with rounded sleeves that envelope the arms with yards of fabric).

Tadashi Shoji created very new, ladylike see-through (lined in nude fabric) chantilly lace gowns and dresses that look fresh, but Old World as well.

Shanghai, the “Paris of the Orient,” served as inspiration, and the models were absolutely beautiful, even down to their sheer black hosiery and ankle strap delicate pumps. Chantilly lace in cobalt blue and fire red was unexpected – and exhilarating.

But there were also  lots of new, up ‘n’ coming designers presented from all over the world, and their ideas and inspirations were vast.

Concept Korea presented the concepts of several designers. I particularly thought the Son Jung Wan and Doho were interestingly shaped and used innovative techniques like handcrafted textures and fantasy fabrics of lamé and tinsel sparked fake furs.

Houghton’s entire presentation was in winter white and very slight variations to the hue. Houghton’s silhouettes were particularly interesting, with emphasis on bare backs, glamorous jeweling and long legged trousers and coats.

There were also several mainstream collections that showed during  MBFW,  J. Crew, Nautica, and bebe.  They presented their viewpoints quite well: bebe had a very crisp, ’40’s vibe, with nipped waists, back seamed hose, ivory blouses,  dark skirts and jackets, and broad shoulders.

Nautica was basically the same tried and true for the manly man, but they made up for it with the most delicious models.

A funky collection that was done quite well was  Falguni & Shane Peacock.  Very supple leather cut outs interworked with tulle and netting to create scrolling patterns that looked downright wicked, and then sometimes embellished with jewels and sparkle.  Very well done, but  not for the office. Definitely club clothes.

Trends that I thought looked great include sheer  high/low hems on dresses, skirts, and jackets where there are panels that flow as you walk. Leggings, textured hose, and tights are a must under these. The Emilio Cavallini collection of printed and textured tights, thigh-high hose and bodices  will be the perfect underpinning for these looks.

Shoulder and sleeve emphasis included padded shoulders, fur or textured fabric atop sleeves, and cape and caplet shapes as toppings. A rounded sleeve shape was also in evidence, as were dolman sleeves.  I loved the many backless looks; very unexpected and sexy.  Beaded tendrils dripped from many sleeves and bodices, a lá the Bob Mackie signature trim, as well as mirrored jeweling on gowns.   Metallic trimmings will include all the shades: golden, silver, bronze, hematite, and jet, and they are plentiful.

Fabrics included tweeds, alpaca and velvet as well as chiffon and tulle.

Colors featured most often were   black, grays, cobalt, emerald and port.

Early Signs Good For The Derby

The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is just under 80 days away, but the year’s early indicators point to good things.

A few weeks back the number of horses nominated to the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown spiked to 398 3-year-olds – an unexpected gain of nearly seven percent in the number of horses made eligible to run in the spring classics.

And now we have the results of the first of three betting pools in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The three-day pool that provides racing fans with a chance to wager on possible Derby contenders weeks in advance of the Run for the Roses at odds that could be much more attractive than those available on Derby Day.

Lot of Entries

Racing’s only active pari-mutuel future pool also benefitted from a burst of fan and bettor enthusiasm and a record $631,304 was wagered during the three-day pool.

That’s an increase of 6.6 percent in betting from 2010 and erased a record set in the opening pool of 2005, the year in which 50-1 shot Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby.

The strong 3-2 favorite in the pool was not an individual Derby prospect, but the mutuel field, or “All Others” ruled the weekend.

That $2 win bet covers all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds in the world other than the 23 individual horses among the 24 wagering interests in the Derby Future Pool.

“All Others” has been favored in each of the opening pools of the Future Wager since the bet was introduced in 1999, so the strong support for that interest this year was no surprise.

If you’re looking for an individual horse that could be called the favorite to win the 138th Kentucky Derby, it would be either Union Rags or unbeaten Algorithms.

The former suffered the only loss of his career in a narrow setback to eventual 2-year-old champion Hansen in last fall’s Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs and is trained by Michael Matz, who did a marvelous job of getting the ill-fated Barbaro to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle in 2006.

Local Connection

Algorithms, owned by the Starlight Racing partnership headed by Louisville native Jack Wolf that includes attorney and civic leader Ed Glasscock and son Clint, defeated Hansen in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park to maintain a 3.0 record.

Union Rags closed as the favored individual horse at 7-1, while Algorithms, one of four Pool 1 horses trained by Derby winner Todd Pletcher, was next at 12-1.

After that the individual odds ranged from 16-1 on the Pletcher-trained El Padrino to 141-1 on Longview Drive.

Why bet the mutuel field at such an early stage?

For one thing, there’s a good chance that the winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby was not on Pool 1’s list of individual horses.

Animal Was Late

Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Derby, was not a betting interest until last year’s third future pool, and the eventual winner was a member of the “All Others” betting interest in Pool 1 in five of the previous 13 renewals of the Derby Future Wager.

And why would you bet on a horse so early?

One thought is that you’re looking for Funny Cide, who paid $27.60 on a $2 win wager in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, but returned $188 for the same wager in Pool 1 of that year’s future bet.

And, of course, there are bragging rights for handicappers.

Boost To Ego

The fact that you or I not only liked the Derby winner, but bet on him three months before the race, is a nice boost to the ego of the Derby fan and horseplayer.

The fate of tickets purchased in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 will not be revealed until the race is run on the first Saturday in May, but the bet has rebounded in the past two years after a string of three consecutive years during which the opening pool’s betting total failed to top $480,000.

In a national Thoroughbred wagering marketing that has been on a two-year slide, the 2011 total of $592,492 and this year’s record betting total – just the second to top $600,000 in the Derby Future bet’s 14-year history – cannot be viewed as anything but a positive indicator for the Derby and the industry.

And, as a longtime member of the Churchill Downs team and the racing industry, I can assure you that we graciously accept any good news that develops.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 is scheduled for March 2-4, and the year’s third and final Derby Futures Pool is set for March 30-April 1.

Louisville Lightning Meets Waza

Louisvillians love a good rivalry.

Everyone knows about the hatred between the Cardinals and a certain school an hour or so east of town.

The playing of John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’ has unofficially been banned by most Louisville establishments due to the Cards’ hatred for the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Louisvillians love their sports, but they also love to hate their rivals.

For the past three seasons, a rivalry just short of hooligan proportions has been building between the Louisville Lightning and Detroit Waza.

This season has seen two games boil over with player scuffles, controversial calls, and a broken arm to Lightning goalkeeper Frank Peabody. It should be noted that both games went to the Detroit Waza, with the latter decision coming in mid-January in Detroit.

Since that loss, the Lightning has rattled off five straight victories.

They’ll head into their season finale Friday night boasting an 11-4 league record as they gear up for what hopes to be a deep playoff run. In year three of the franchise, the team looks stronger and more composed than ever as they enter the postseason.

Only one obstacle stands in the way of the Lightning hoisting the division trophy and a six-game winning streak, and that obstacle rolls into Louisville Friday night.

The Detroit Waza currently has a half-game lead over the Lightning in the standings, thanks to a shocking upset by the Kansas Magic on Feb. 12.

That sets up Friday’s meeting between the Lightning and Waza to be arguably the biggest game in franchise history.

With the playoffs looming, Lightning Coach Ted Nichols says the team is solely focused on beating the Detroit Waza.

“We want to win the division. It’s not about the playoffs; it’s about winning the division,” he said. “We got some help from other teams, and now we have to train and get ready for Detroit. We have so much to play for, and we’d like to be playing for first place in that final regular season game.”

Detroit is a veteran team, with many guys who have been playing together for more than a decade.

For Louisville, Friday’s game represents a chance to disrupt the Waza’s cohesion and get revenge after the two earlier losses.

This weekend’s contest is more than just a league match, however.

“We have a great rivalry with the Waza, but we’ve been on the negative end of some decisions up there. Some of our worst moments as a team came against Detroit, so there is nothing we want more than a victory Friday,” Nichols said.

For the Lightning, it’s a chance to claim a division title heading into the playoffs.

For Louisville sports fans, it’s a chance to find another rival to hate.

Kurt & Mary Broecker

Kurt & Mary Broecker.On a trip from Owensboro in 1962, Mary Bartlett asked an acquaintance to drive her to Louisville to watch the University of Kentucky play in the NCAA tournament.

That acquaintance was Kurt Broecker, whom Mary didn’t know well, but after driving in the car with him for 30 minutes, Mary felt a sudden spark.

“I didn’t know Kurt well at the time, but by the time we got to Shelbyville – a half an hour – I was in love,” Mary said, smiling at Kurt.

During the drive, Mary and Kurt began talking about scuba diving, an interest they share, and decided to visit Nassau for a diving trip with a group of friends on spring break.

Kurt & Mary Broecker.“We just have always had so many interests alike,” Mary said. “We’ve always chosen not to go our separate ways especially in the evenings because that’s the only time couples really have time to connect. We decided early that we would maybe do one thing a month that didn’t involve the other person.”

On April 11, 1964, the couple married at Mary’s parents’ home in Owensboro. Following the ceremony, Mary and Kurt hopped in Mary’s ’64 Corvette, a gift she was given as incentive to attend graduate school, and drove to New Orleans for their honeymoon.

Upon returning to Kentucky, the Broeckers resided in Louisville, where much of the Broecker family – including The Voice-Tribune columnist, Carla Sue, whose husband, Brad, is Kurt’s cousin – lived. But, having grown up on a farm in Owensboro, Mary began longing for a farm of her own, and found a picturesque home in La Grange, Ky. three years later.

“I grew up showing horses and cattle and baking biscuits for 4H and that kind of thing,” she said. “We began searching for a farm of our own and we found this place. We’ve been here for almost 45 years.”

Their spacious backyard is home to many horses, cows and chickens. Each year, Mary enters her chickens in the state fair and has walked away with a ribbon every single year.

Kurt & Mary Broecker.Mary and Kurt have also become active in the community. Former president of the Fillies and treasurer of the Woman’s Club of Louisville, Mary now serves on the board of Yew Dell Gardens and is president of the Republican Women in LaGrange.

Kurt has served on the board of AAA Kentucky and the board of Regent University, a Christian college in Virginia, and was in charge of the motorcycle group at Southeast Christian.

Aside from their individual projects, the two also shared time together dancing, traveling and helping young couples prepare for marriage.

“At Southeast Christian we were marriage mentors for about 12 years,” Mary said. “Southeast has a wonderful program. They talk about different things that will come up in married life. We still keep up with a lot of couples we did mentor.”

Kurt and Mary doled out plenty of marriage advice, teaching communication as the key to a successful relationship. But, in the last four years, Mary and Kurt have had to work especially hard to practice what they preach since an unexpected twist of fate happened on March 28, 2008.

On that day, Kurt suffered a stroke that left him unable to speak. He can gesture, and say “yes” and “no.” The Broeckers have found music therapy to be especially helpful, as it has miraculously taught Kurt a few important phrases.

Kurt & Mary Broecker.“He has like six or eight phrases that have their own melody,” Mary said. “ ‘You look nice today’ is one, because he used to always compliment me. It is harder because we were best friends, and still are, but we talked about everything. But you make a commitment to marriage and as you go through life, changes come along and you make the best of them. I wouldn’t say it’s brought us closer, but because we’ve always been so close, it hasn’t taken anything away.”

The couple now spend their time dining at restaurants in LaGrange and Louisville and enjoy Mitchell’s, Corbett’s, Limestone and Rivue. They also spend time with their two children, O’Bryan and T.K., and their grandchildren, Taylor and Mary Elizabeth.

It is safe to say much has changed in 47 years, but Mary and Kurt have never lost sight of their love and have proven that they share a truly unbreakable bond.

“We’ve always respected one another,” Mary said. “In all the things that I’ve done, Kurt has always been 100 percent supportive. People don’t believe us but we have never had an argument. We just always have had so much consideration for what the other one needs at the time. We’re both very easy-going. I try to think what Kurt would like – and he does the same for me.”


“Communicate,” Mary said.


“Don’t forget to think about the other person’s needs,” Mary advised.

From The Front Lines At Fashion Week

Papillon Collective Marketing

Backstage after the Badgley Mischka show Claire Seiffert and Elizabeth Dowell posed with world famous designers James Mischka and Mark Badgley.

Backstage after the Badgley Mischka show Claire Seiffert and Elizabeth Dowell posed with world famous designers James Mischka and Mark Badgley.

From consulting to coordinating and producing fashion shows, Papillon Collective has always worked behind the scenes. However, our latest venture was all about an even more up-close and personal take on style and fashion as it filters throughout the special events we’ve become known for, and one we felt will take all of our future events to a new level.

Delving even further into the makeup (every pun intended!) that comprises one of the grandest special event spectacles in the world, Fall 2012 Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, we packed our chicest clothes – plus some fab new purchases, of course! – and flew to New York to gather our own perspectives on this most ultimate of style-setting special events.

In a word: WOW!

Everything moved at breakneck speed, like a marathon run in high heels, yet it was entirely breathtaking and wildly informative for us as an event planning team.  While last-minute deadlines and a fast pace are the norm for marketing, social media and event planning – Papillon Collective produced last October’s ‘Wine, Women & Shoes’ fashion extravaganza at Keeneland that featured an exclusive runway presentation of the Badgley Mischka Spring 2012 collection benefitting The Lexington Cancer Foundation – in New York we were able to get an in-depth, behind-the scenes, and very personal taste of this fashion phenomenon.  And we’re bringing it all back to Louisville and Papillon Collective’s roster of clients.

We were completely blown away by what we saw in New York, not only from a production and execution standpoint, but also by seeing it from the audience’s perspective.  Sitting amongst the fashion press, buyers, celebrities and fashionistas who attended these shows gave us a whole new perspective on how the ‘wow’ factor can, and will, be integrated into what we do with Papillon Collective’s special events.  “We’re so excited and extremely confident that the New York Fashion Week events Claire and Elizabeth attended will bring fresh focus to all the Louisville-based and Kentuckiana fashion events Papillon Collective presents in 2012,” says Ms. Ruby.

Finale of Badgley Mischka show, where the luxe, swanky models sported super wild hair and dark metallic looks.

Finale of Badgley Mischka show, where the luxe, swanky models sported super wild hair and dark metallic looks.

The highlight of our week included two shows that we were particularly enthralled by.  Papillon Collective has a close relationship with Badgley Mischka, working in conjunction with the design duo and their team (which culminated in last fall’s Keeneland fashion show event), so of course Badgley Mischka’s Fall 2012 presentation on Valentine’s Day was a must-see for us.  And what a Valentine’s Day gift it was! Known for their über-luxe take on eveningwear (they have a huge Hollywood following), with a bit of sportswear thrown into the mix, Badgley Mischka were inspired by the classic 1927 science-fiction silent film ‘Metropolis’.  An homage to German expressionism ruled with references to the Deco period of architecture and design, all done up in a gorgeous, rich palette of golds, roses and platinums, that encompassed everything from the clothes to the hair and makeup. And while the whole point of runway is about ‘presentation’ these were very beautiful, wearable clothes that should make their legions of fans very happy come this fall.  For us, it was pure drama and fashion at its best; from the dark, almost Goth lighting and staging, to the richness of the looks, we were awe-struck, as was everyone else in the audience.

Claire Seiffert & Elizabeth Dowell’s favorite outfit from the Milly show! Mackenzie models a shocking pink brushed wool crepe origami dress with black leather waistband.

Claire Seiffert & Elizabeth Dowell’s favorite outfit from the Milly show! Mackenzie models a shocking pink brushed wool crepe origami dress with black leather waistband.

Show number two that really rocked our world was the Milly presentation. We’ve been huge fans of the collection since we first discovered it at Clodhoppers at the Vogue Center here in Louisville, where co-owners (and style setters in their own right) Kathy Reiss-Miller and Kelly McDonald have exclusively carried the line for some time now.  While we discovered that Fall 2012 looks to be a season of many shapes and silhouettes, at Milly a play on volume was the overriding and unexpected theme.  The collection was an innovative and major shift for a line known for fairly ladylike looks.  For us, it was a refreshing and dramatic fashion moment from the super-brightly lit stage that showed off the neon, acid- colored minis in taffeta paired with super-slim turtlenecks (it’s all about balancing the top and bottom) and jumpers with incredible detailing.  Whimsical yes? Wearable, totally, especially when grounded with sleek black tights and chic footwear, as shown with every look that came down the runway.  And for the Milly customer who’s less adventurous, there was a terrific assortment of classic pieces that can easily be mixed and matched with the more forward looks, or with what already exists in your closets.  One thing’s for sure: we’ll be buying a lot from this line once it hits Clodhoppers come fall!

During our three-year existence, Louisville-based marketing agency Papillon Collective has dedicated itself to serving our clientele with innovative and unique branding, advertising, PR, and social media solutions, all served up with a heavy dose of style.  You see, style is an inherent element for practically everything we’re involved in, from the manner in which we execute our clients’ marketing efforts (a number of whom are literally in the business of fashion and lifestyle) to the staff’s own style DNA.  Papillon Collective’s Founder & President, Biz Ruby, an extremely fashionable fixture herself, has dabbled in accessories and jewelry design, and now with Papillon Collective has assembled a team that ‘teems’ with a stylish sensibility.  It’s reflective in each and every partnership and project we undertake; our M.O. is to deliver programs with both finesse and flair.

First up on our agenda of 2012 special events is the Westport Village Fashion Show held at Summer Classics in the Village on Thursday, March 22. This Derby-themed show will feature the latest looks from Westport Village boutiques Chartreuse, Serendipity, Collections and Apricot Lane and will not only allow the audience the opportunity to witness a fabulous fashion show featuring head-to-toe looks and how they’re put together, attendees can immediately visit the stores for purchase on-site.

And another Badgley Mischka collaboration? Most definitely very high on Papillon Collective’s agenda.

Stay tuned!

Third Thursday After-Work Party

The Voice-Tribune held its Third Thursday After-Work Party at Theater Square Marketplace on Feb. 16.

The event featured specialty drinks, passed appetizers and music by DJ Jaybird.

Members of the American Cancer Society also celebrated the upcoming Relay for Life with a birthday cake courtesy of The Bakery’s chef Derek Spendlove. Relay for Life will be held on May 18. For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/jeffersonky.

Photos by Bill Wine | Contributing Photographer

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

The Belle Of The (Speed) Ball

La Touche, Gaston - The Joyous Festival

La Touche, Gaston - The Joyous Festival

With spring just around the corner, Louisville’s thoughts naturally begin turning to the Kentucky Derby and all its pageantry.

But, as stellar as that event is, there is another specatular event that heralds spring’s arrival.

The event is the annual Speed Ball, which will be celebrating its 39th birthday this year, and as usual it will feature Louisville’s most beautiful people and fashions.

This year’s Speed Ball will mark a time of change for the annual gala, held at The Speed Art Museum.

With a massive $44 million renovation planned, which will span three years, this will be the last time guests will celebrate in the venerable marble walled Beaux-Arts Gallery until at least 2016.

But, the renovation and closing hasn’t dampened anyone’s spirits about this year’s gala event.

This year’s Chairperson Christie Wilson and her co-chairman, Ron Wolz, have been working with their tireless committee to present a truly memorable evening.
I caught up with Christie to find out what patrons can expect at this year’s Speed Ball.

Amy Cimba and Betsy Wall.

Amy Cimba and Betsy Wall.

Lori Kommor: This is the last Ball held in the Museum’s glorious space until the completion of the new renovation, how will this year’s Speed Ball be more special?

Christie Wilson: This is a very special year for the ball, being the last in the current space and our décor committee, led by Amy Cimba of Bittners has worked hard to make it a memorable and dramatic night.

We have added a specialty bar from our Heaven Hill Distillery sponsor and special signature cocktail named by our presenting sponsor Lenihan Sotheby’s.

We have also expanded our popular lounge, which is sponsored by The Glenview Trust Company and as always the beautiful museum and world-class art will make perfect setting for a truly memorable night.

LK: What are some of the different tickets available to those interested in attending?

CW: We have two options: The dinner benefactor tickets available for $450 a ticket which include cocktails in the Glenview Trust Lounge, then dinner in the Speed’s beautiful galleries and ending with dancing the night away in the Sculpture Court.

The second option is the Friends of the Speed ticket where guests arrive at 9 p.m. for cocktails, dancing and desserts.

The Friends tickets are $150. Tickets are almost sold out and limited to first come first serve basis.

LK: There’s a lot of buzz about the entertainment this year, can you tell us what all the excitement is about?

CW: There should be a lot of buzz about the band this year! They are amazing!

The band is Indigo from Chicago and they are sure to keep all patrons on the dance floor all night! They are very hip with a swing touch. A great party band for sure!

SpeedBall20110305TV281LK: The Speed Ball has such a rich history in our community, what makes this event stand alone?

CW: Definitely its elegance – first the setting is unrivaled. The amazing architecture, coupled with the collection of the world famous art, which includes the exhibitions from Renoir to Chagall, is spectacular.

After the art, the extravagant floral arrangements, the amazing designer ball gowns and the fabulous band. Truly, this is the most amazing party in Louisville!

LK: What is your favorite memory of the Speed Ball?

CW: That is so difficult to answer, but I don’t think I could ever forget my first time attending the Speed Ball.

I was overwhelmed with the beauty everywhere! It was the reason I got involved with the Speed Ball Committee. I knew it took a very talented group to make the event happen.

LK: Can you share what Susan Hershberg from Wiltshire Pantry has planned for dinner?

CW: Susan has created a wonderful, local, seasonal dinner and it is outstanding!

Her special dessert is the perfect ending to a perfect evening.

Spring Is Here (Almost): Get Out And Spruce Up

We’ve had such a mild winter that I actually got excited at the sight of our recent dusting of a little snow.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m so ready for spring.

This is the time when everyone starts thinking about their lawns and sprucing up their homes for the spring season.

To me, the best part of spring is the energy and excitement everyone walks around with.

As spring springs, our parks become filled with avid runners,  some of which are training for the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, one of the great Kentucky Derby Festival events.

Why, even if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, I still say it’s the time for folks to begin re-emerging from indoor hibernation and start sprucing up their lawns.
This is my favorite time to get out of the winter mind set and gear up for Derby season.