Grab a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, doll, and join us for a chat with the smart, savvy and seriously stunning global philanthropist Becca Cason Thrash. One of the world’s most revered party hosts and a member of The Salonniere 100, Becca throws fêtes that are as fun and frolicsome as they are fruitful. While raising millions of dollars for global charities, Becca’s gatherings also give those lucky enough to be on her guest list the chance to mix and mingle with the most enchanting members of foreign and Hollywood royalty, captains of industry and the creative elite. We’re talking bucket list hobnobbing, baby. In fact, France was so smitten with Becca’s work to raise funds for the Louvre that they bestowed upon her the Legion of Honor. It should come as no surprise that a gal who turns nights into illustrious occasions would be knighted with the most illustrious decoration in France. Let’s listen in as Madame Thrash shares the secrets of her sublime soirées.
Your parties are the hottest ticket in Houston. What’s the secret to your success as a party host?
Having a diverse guest list…when you come to one of my parties, you never know who you might meet!
What’s your entertaining style in three words?
Festive, fun and fabulous.
What is the most important quality of a party host?
The ability to make each guest feel like he or she is the most important person in the room.
What are the qualities of a great guest?
One that shows up to make a contribution to the evening whether with conversation, humor or style. If someone is a bore, I don’t invite them back. Ever…
Becca with Kevin Spacey and Rhonda McDonald of Moet Hennessy at a fundraiser she hosted last month for Best Buddies International.
Let’s play favorites…
Never sit married people together at a dinner party unless they request it (many do). Instead, seat each guest with one familiar person on one side and a complete stranger on the other.
Question to kick-start a conversation?
I ask about a mutual friend. It establishes a common bond immediately. Then I’ll ask the guest about themselves.
Richard Flowers of The Events Company
Party dress designer?
I have so many great designers hanging in my closet, it’s impossible to select one. A few favorites are Giambattista Valli, Zac Posen, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Naeem Khan, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.
Prince Albert with Becca whose regal party look – an Alexander McQueen gown and emerald jewels – landed her on Harper’s Bazaar’s best dressed list.
Party shoe designer?
Shoes are easier: Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik.
Evening bag designer?
I carry mostly vintage evening bags but Bruno Frisoni creates little jewels for Roger Vivier.
Party jewelry designer?
Vintage Bulgari and Van Cleef as well as diamonds from the Georgian period are hard to beat. JAR must be included. He is a design master.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
The tables at Becca’s recent dinner for Best Buddies were set up around the pool inside her art-filled Houston home.
Powder room soap?
I love Bulgari scented soaps.
What items are always in your evening bag?
Altoids, this Estee Lauder compact, this Laura Mercier lipstick and money
What party in history would you most like to go back in time to attend?
One of Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild’s masked balls at her famed Parisian home, Hôtel Lambert.
Who’s the most fascinating person you’ve met at a party and why?
Prince Charles. He’s fascinating and surprisingly playful with a vast knowledge on a wide array of subjects.
Who is your dream dinner partner?
Winston Churchill because of his knowledge, power and wit. Those irreverent one liners! I can think of no one today that compelling or captivating. Gore Vidal must have been fascinating, too.
Becca raised $3 million in one night at her first Liaisons au Louvre gala in Paris.
What one party do you consider to be your greatest entertaining victory and why?
My first American Friends of the Louvre Gala in Paris – the two long dinner tables in the Galerie Daru with the Winged Victory presiding at the top of the staircase, the glorious yellow orchids and roses, dessert and a live auction under IM Pei’s iconic Pyramid and Duran Duran performing a hits-only concert at the evening’s end. I cannot imagine any party being better. It was the perfect mix of guests and venues.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?
The Louvre gala followed by Elton John’s AIDS benefit at his country home outside London where Lady Gaga performed early in her ascension. It was exhilarating.
Becca with George Clooney at a party she hosted in his honor.
From whom did you receive your most treasured thank you note?
There are so many, but the three that come to mind are from Barack Obama, Anna Wintour and George Clooney.
If you could throw a party anywhere in the world, where would it be?
It would be a two night party in Venice and then Rome with an unexpected and mixed guest list with friends from around the world.
You’ve raised millions of dollars for charities worldwide. What’s the secret to a successful fundraiser?
Gather a group of supporters early on to help secure sponsors and table sales.
What makes you accept a party invitation?
If someone invites me, I try to attend. It’s a privilege to receive an invitation. Parties take enormous time and money. I don’t take invitations for granted.
What are your biggest party pet peeves?
Lighting that is too bright. It kills the atmosphere. And guests that talk during a speech or the program. It’s classless and rude.
Becca with her husband John and friend Holly Moore of Papercity Magazine on the night she was honored as a Style Icon by Houston Fashion Week
Your birthday is coming up in February. What will you wish for this year when you blow out your birthday candles?
Continued good health, happiness and prosperity for my husband John, my mother and for me, too!
A vôtre santé, Becca, and merci.
Photo sources from top to bottom: CultureMap, Collins Metu, The Society Diaries, Collins Metu, Houston Chronicle, CultureMap, CultureMap