Raising the Barre

September 1, 2010
Michigan Avenue Magazine
Katerina Bizios


From sweeping floor-length evening gowns to shimmering sequined party dresses, the duo hosting The Joffrey Ballet's Couture & Cocktails say that at their glam gala, anything goes.  "If you're going to take a fashion risk, this is the night to do it." says Kristina McGrath.  She and her cochari, Marci Holzer, will be wearing gowns by Carmen Marc Valvo, whose fashions will be featured in a Neiman Marcus-sponsored high-production runway show at the event.  "We insisted that the designer be there," says McGrath.  "This is a full-fledged fashion show, like what you'd see in New York."  In addition to the high-profile designer's appearance, ballerinas will mingle among the crowd and join guests for dancing when a DJ takes the stage.


The fifth-annual party will attract about 550 of the city’s best-dressed guests, including The Joffrey Ballet’s Women’s Board members Sugar Rautbord, Shelley MacArthur Farley and Rebecca Besser and fashionable fellas such as Joffrey executive director Christopher Clinton Conway. The cochairs were more than willing to takeon the task of drawing the ballet’s wide range of supporters together to raise funds. “I believe it’s better to be a social heavy than a socialite,” says Holzer. “The Joffrey Ballet’s Women’s Board is full of social heavyweights.”

Proceeds from the event will support The Joffrey’s various programs and performing costs.


Couture & Cocktails will be held at the W Chicago-City Center hotel on Friday, September 24.

For Tickets ($275 and up), visit JOFFREY.ORG