The Symphony Fashion Show Kickoff was held at Gus Mayer, where Chairs Mary Morgan Ketchel and Lisa Manning and Executive Chair Sandra Lipman welcomed everyone and shared some news about the spring event.

Lipman recognized Janice Elliott Morgan and LaRawn Scaife Rhea, who chaired the first fashion show for the Nashville Symphony that featured a known designer, Zang Toi. The two ladies were on hand at the event, continuing their support of the symphony.

Brandon Maxwell will be the featured designer for the annual event, which will take place on April 25, 2023 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Maxwell is a luxury women’s ready-to-wear label that launched in 2015 in New York.

Prior to launching his brand, Maxwell studied photography at St. Edward’s University and established a styling career acting as fashion director to internationally-known singer Lady Gaga. His designs have been worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah and Michelle Obama, among many others. Maxwell is also a television personality, most recently serving as a judge on BravoTV’s Project Runway.

Guests at the kickoff were able to shop Maxwell’s Spring 2023 collection, which was recently shown at New York Fashion Week.

It also was announced outstanding actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth will be the emcee and entertainer of the show. The Tony and Emmy Award winner has credits in musical theatre, film, and television.

The multi-talented Chenoweth sang gospel music as a child and studied opera before deciding to pursue her successful career in musical theatre, which then grew to include projects in many media.

Maxwell has a special affinity for a specific lavender shade, Pantone 270 cp. To showcase the color, the signature drink of the evening was a French 75, featuring lavender colored Empress Gin, served with French champagne donated by Tom Black. The glasses were garnished with dried lavender pics and a lemon peel.

The menu enjoyed by the guests was presented by Kristen Winston and offered chilled corn soup sips with coconut and lemongrass, Mediterranean chicken salad on wonton crisps, crostini with triple crème, fig jam and candied almonds, and mango passionfruit tartlets with purple violas.

Everyone gave full measure to produce the fabulous look of the evening, which was particularly noteworthy. Jen Soulsby created the floral arrangements atop large modern wire urns, which flanked the counter and featured the Maxwell logo in lavender.

Soulsby’s bouquets held blooms in varying shades of lavender and purple, such as purple allium, dusty lavender roses, viburnum berry, thistle, Clematis, roses, and antique purple carnations.

Vertical banners with the Maxwell logo at the store entry were festooned with a coronet of florals and clusters of iron lanterns with lavender wax pillars were placed at the front door.

Gus Mayer’s display windows were backed in seamless orchid colored paper which highlighted images from Maxwell’s spring runway collection.

After experiencing the splendid kickoff event, guests are now eagerly awaiting the fashion show in the spring.

For more information, visit nashvillesymphony.org/sfs.