Magnolia Cotillion

New Orleans Society Gathers For Magnolia Cotillion XXI
August 17, 1995


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by Brad Benedict, AMBUSH Mag 2000

Nowhere in New Orleans is society represented at its most elite and formal as it is for the annual Magnolia Cotillion at 828 Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarter. Anyone who was anyone at all was among those who made their entrance and presence known at the residence of one of the Crescent City's premiere philanthropic couples, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain.

This was a special occasion for Rip and Marsha - their 21st anniversary. Rip & Marsha It was one of the most elaborately planned events of recent months for New Orleans. It is also one of the most honored if you are counted among the invitees. If you are on the list for this function, you have to be someone very special and very important, not only for the local area but for the state as a whole. And the state was well represented as the guests made their appearances to greet the lovely couple.

Decorations for the event were elaborate, as is always the case for the Cotillion. This historic home features a breezeway that is decorated with magnificent purple and gold pillars representing the glorious days of Egyptian royalty. Along one wall were beautiful floral arrangements with the magnolias highlighting each and every cluster.

This year, the Naquin-Delain's opened their patio area which served as the main entertainment area, with Joe Decker and Dixon Miller keeping everyone supplied with something to drink. This lush area of tropical plants served as a perfect setting for the festivities, and supurb plates of cavier and authentic Cajun dishes greeted all on both levels, with gorgeous Joseph Taredo keeping all serving trays adequately stocked.

Of course, the main level was where the guests made their appearances, and this has been converted into one of the most spacious and decorated areas of the complex. It serves as the base of operations for the premiere magazine for the gay and lesbian community in the Gulf South - AMBUSH.

What has happened to the decor reflects on the magnificent working relationships that make this publication so popular. New equipment was on display as well as a history of AMBUSH as featured in special photographs of previous front covers. The honored couple were photographed throughout the home, as well as most of the guests, by one of the Deep South's foremost photographers, Keyth.

The second level is the actual living quarters of this residence. Again all the decorations reflected the theme of the occasion - magnolias and love. Music was provided by an excellent and very cordial pianist, Steven Marz, and the balcony was crowded with participants as they enjoyed the serenity of the evening - a touch of class among the chaos of the present. The heat of this sultry summer day was broken by a cool breeze which bathed Bourbon Street with a cloak of comfort, almost as if planned for this event.

The anniversary cake was three-tiered and covered with white magnolias embedded in the deep green of the surrounding leaves. The hostess was elegantly attired in diamonds and a magnificent and elegant gown of deep purple and gold, accented by dangling rhinestones. Her lifemate was attired in a formal white sports coat and black pants.

Ms. Naquin -Delain displayed a new look in what has to be one of the most fashionable ensembles to be seen among New Orleans elite. Her new hair style was the most becoming yet, and this has to be a trendsetter for even the most trendy and fashion-conscious individuals who came for the evening. New Orleans ladies have never been represented more serenely and with more dignity and grace than this first lady of Bourbon Street.

As the evening drew to a close, participants left with a feeling of having experienced another memorable event. It was Magnolia Cotillion time, and Southern culture never had it so good - at least not until another August swelters into this tropical paradise.

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