"OH, YOU MUST COME. You simply must come," Becca Cason Thrash exclaimed. I had called her to see if I could get myself invited to the party she was throwing in April to benefit Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre. "We’re calling the night ‘A Celebration of American Fashion,’" she said, her voice as creamy as vichyssoise. "Anna Wintour [the editor in chief of Vogue] will be here, and some of the great American fashion designers are cominga[euro]"Diane von Furstenberg, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Carmen Marc Valvo."
"And I assume it’s black-tie?" I asked.
"High black-tie, my dear. This party is going to be flawless, absolutely flawless, and I expect everyone to look their best. I’ve told my girlfriends, ‘You have to wear something by an American designer, and you have to look divine.’"
For five years I had been seeing the name Becca Cason Thrash in boldface almost every time I glanced at the society columns in the Houston Chronicle. I read about her extravagant parties in Women’s Wear Daily, Town and Country, Talk magazine, and Liz Smith’s gossip column. I read stories that called her “the high priestess of posh.” I read that Houstonians had nicknamed her TriBecca because she changed her outfit three times at every party she threw. I read about her wildly avant-garde, 20,000-square-foot mansiona[euro]”a house originally designed by Preston Bolton that her husband, John Thrash, the chief executive of the Houston energy company eCorp, had remodeled, tripling its size.