Veronique Bushala, Lisa Bailey and Betsey Pinkert
Erica Goldman and Johnnie Newman
Magnificent decor from HMR Designs
Guests trying their luck in the casino
The glamour and luxury of the French Riviera took center stage during Red Carpet at the Monte Carlo Casino, the Alliance Française de Chicago’s lavish gala at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago.
Arriving partiers were greeted with a paparazzi-filled red carpet and models strolling past in the latest looks from Lanvin and Carolina Herrera. Many guests donned their finest French frocks for the occasion, including Liz Stiffel, who turned heads in a vintage Yves Saint Laurent couture gown she purchased in Paris more than 40 years ago.
Guest chef Didier Elena flew in to create a decadent meal (think chilled spring pea veloute and grass-fed petit filet) paired with wine from Crozes-Hermitages and Champagnes from Lanson and Cattier, much to the delight of the night’s honored guests, including the French Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency François Delattre. After a fast-paced live auction, revelers whiled away the evening dancing to the Stanley Paul Orchestra or trying their hand at roulette and baccarat in the casino. And a lucky night it was: More than $700,000 was raised for the 117-year-old institution. –Photos by Brian Carey