Jenna Bush Hager and hubby Henry Hager may have been the honorary chairs of Club Berlin Saturday night, but the night's true star was not a public figure, but a fabric. For Houston’s elite under 40-set it was all about leather, which was on display as tight-fitting leggings, biker jackets thrown over vintage T-shirts, and demure details on little black dresses. These were some of the more memorable interpretations of “Punk-Chic: Chaos to Cocktails,” a celebration benefitting Rice University’s Baker Institute.
For the ladies short, sexy dresses with conservative necklines and statement necklaces made up a lot of the tamer looks. The adventurous opted for black dresses paired with printed tights (plaid and newspaper print were some of the coolest looks) or fishnet stockings (Bush Hager was spotted with this pair from Commando peeking out from under her black cocktail dress), and booties ranging from high end finds (Rag & Bone) to Target treasures (like these). Studs were also a favorite. From epaulettes to stilettoes — including a few pairs of the coveted Valentino Punkoture pumps — the women of Club Berlin clearly liked some metal with their martinis.
Among the gentlemen, most of the looks were much, much more “Young Republican” than “Sex Pistol.” Regular suits with regular ties, skinny suits with skinny ties, and a few brave souls in leather jackets, mohawk wigs, and dog collars rounded out the dude fashion. That said, one of the best ensembles of the night was from a gentleman clad in a well-fitted black suit with a studded tie and combat boots. It was the perfect mix of dapper and daring.
While punk looks may have been missing on many partygoers, the impulse to party like your parents aren’t home was alive and well. As the night wore on and piles of designer shoes started forming near the dance floor, it was clear that the gold-laden champagne (yes! That exists.) had loosened up the crowd enough to reach middle school dance levels. When Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” blasted through the speakers it sent even the most reserved ladies to the floor with their rumps in the air. I guess all you need for a little punk rebellion is a couple of studded bracelets, early 2000's hip hop, and some good old-fashioned liquid courage.