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Lauren Gayden in the Theater District

Lauren Gayden’s personality is as bright and vivacious as the colorful clothes in her wardrobe. You’ll find this Houston Style Setter—who manages the box office for Houston Ballet, Alley Theatre and other venues—setting the scene ablaze at all the latest performances and gallery openings across the city, often stopping to linger over a glass of wine afterwards.

Tune in as Lauren gives us the lowdown on where to find the best cocktail dresses for those with curves, what bar has the best frosé, and the hot spots to hit up downtown after your favorite performances.

Houstonia: You have so many gorgeously vibrant pieces in your wardrobe! What about bright colors speaks to you?

Gayden: Growing up I was always in awe of mosaics and frescoes. The combinations of colors that could fit together could be endless. I strive to create my own fashion mosaics through color choices that highlight and accent my skin tone. While shopping, I search for pieces that can make a statement or pair well while being timeless. 

As an integral part of the Houston Ballet, you must have a million cocktail dresses for performances. Where are your favorite places to shop?

I try not to limit where searching for beauty may take me, but I do find in searching for unique plus-size looks that I purchase many web exclusives with Avenue, IGIGI, and Lane Bryant. They have some fashions that are more boutique-style and some exclusive designer lines that are not in store. I am also loyal to the INC International Concepts brand at Macy’s and I find some great looks at Nordstrom too! 

The Houston Ballet season is about to begin! What performance are you most looking forward to in the 2016-2017 season?

A: There is so much to look forward to, but I am bursting with excitement about the new production of The Nutcracker, our Director’s Choice program Legends and Prodigy, and our new co-production of The Tempest. We have such a dynamic group of artists and they will have the so many opportunities this season to master new works that will leave us in awe as we experience the excitement as we progress through the season! 

You are one of Houston’s most fervent patrons of the arts. What arts groups are you most excited about right now?

A: In addition to Houston Ballet, I am so excited for the Museum of Fine Arts upcoming Degas exhibit; the Alley Theatre has an exciting season decorated with new works ahead, and Society for the Performing Arts has great variety of music and dance that I am looking forward to attending this season. 

In your spare time, you are a connoisseur of fine wines, we want to know your thoughts on the latest wine trend: frosé.

I have been witnessing a fierce social push for this trendy warm-weather concoction. Although there are many versions, recently I enjoyed a decadent take on frosé at Canard. I think it has staying power, especially if you are partaking while out enjoying our warm Houston summer nights.

What are the best restaurants and bars within walking distance to the Wortham?

There are a growing number of options in the area, but the ones I enjoy are The Honeymoon Café & Bar, Char Bar, Moving Sidewalk, Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar, Lawless Spirits and Kitchen and Hearsay Gastro Lounge.

When you hit the road for vacation, where is your favorite destination outside of Houston for fun and what do you do there?

One of my favorites that I have visited many times is New York City. Honestly, there would be a tie with Seattle, a city I equally adore for similar reasons, but with completely different experiences. I love to visit places where I can experience the city with a good blend of tourist and local feel. I adore learning about culture, history, art, technology, culinary experiences, and fashion; New York City marries these experiences dynamically and you can continue to find new treasures each time you visit.

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Editor’s Pick

Moving Sidewalk

Cocktails 306 Main St

No other bar has such a massive kitchen attached to it, a perk that has clearly inspired beverage director Alex Gregg, whose ever-changing lineup of bitters,...

Hearsay Gastro Lounge

$$$ American/New American 218 Travis St.

Hearsay is located at the northeast corner of Market Square in the W. L. Foley Building, which was built in 1889. The stylishly restored brick interior takes...

Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar

$ Japanese Multiple Locations

The flagship restaurant of the Azuma group is known for its innovative version of classic Japanese sushi and grilled dishes. Specialties include beef cooked ...

Editor’s Pick

The Honeymoon

$$ Café, Cajun, Creole, Sandwiches, Southern 300 Main St.

This may be the Platonic ideal of a practical restaurant—a niche often unfilled in Houston, particularly downtown, where it has made Market Square the area’s...

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