Faith Hill, Marchesa Designs Headline Symphony Fashion Show


High-end fashion label Marchesa teamed with Naples, Florida-based boutique Marissa Collections to present the 2011 Symphony Spring Fashion Show on Tuesday, April 26, headlined by music superstar Faith Hill. Hosted by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra League at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the show brought a sold-out crowd of over 800 people to their feet.

Chaired by Johnna Watson and Janet Bentz, the event featured ABC anchor Deborah Roberts, a Marchesa devotee, as emceed. Roberts was clad in a red Marchesa creation. Watson and Bentz also were dressed in Marchesa, with Watson wearing a dramatic white chiffon with a train and Bentz in a one-shoulder, ruffled sapphire-blue dress.

As the lights dimmed and the first model took a striking pose against the white background, the audience was mesmerized by the beautiful designs, with a variety short cocktail dresses, elegant gowns and accompanying custom bags being shown. Marchesa co-founders Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig created a sophisticated evening of fashion and flair, earning unanimous approval and a thunderous round of applause for their romantic creations.

A performance by music superstar and Nashvillian Faith Hill concluded the evening. Backed by her band, Hill sounded as fabulous as she looked, dazzling the audience in her custom-designed Marchesa gown.


After the show, dinner was prepared under the direction of Symphony executive chef Roger Keenan, as over 600 guests enjoyed the meal and breathtaking views of downtown Nashville from the 22nd floor of the Pinnacle at Symphony Place. Guests began with a salad of arugula and mache lettuces with fire-roasted red and yellow peppers, red grape tomatoes and toasted walnuts, topped with a fig vinaigrette dressing. The main course featured Chairmen's Reserve®filet of beef with béarnaise sauce, buttermilk duchess potatoes, patty pan squash, whole baby carrots and roasted red pepper-tied haricot vert. Dessert consisted of flourless chocolate cake with fresh berries, framboise-infused whipped cream, raspberry coulis and fresh mint.

photos by Susan Adcox and Peyton Hoge

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. In 1989, Ellis and his partner launched Dare, Tennessee's Lesbian and Gay Newsweekly which later became known as Query. Ellis is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theater in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, and in 2016, he directed Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest for The Larry Keeton Theatre. He will direct My Fair Lady for The Keeton in 2017.