April 10, 2017

AYE EYE AYE

Smashing highlights from the fourth annual Eye Ball

Dallas Arts Week presents plenty of opportunities to see and be seen, but none quite so fantastical as Saturday night’s The Eye Ball. With a 15-foot-tall Día de los Muertos character stalking the crowd, glam guests (hello Taylor Tomasi Hill and Leon Bridges) sailing through the air on streamered swings, and barefoot dancing on the flower-strewn lawn, this year’s event presented much more than excellent people-watching.

Colorful beribboned “AYE EYE AYE” invitations had hinted at a south-of-the-border theme, further teased with woven Mexican friendship bracelets serving as the night’s wristbands. But passing through the foreboding black wall erected on Main Street felt like Dorothy arriving in Mexican Oz. The lawn in front of Tony Tasset’s all-seeing Eyeball was transformed into a paradisiacal playground exploding with flowers, music, candles, streamers, fog, and lights. And people—lots of pretty people, almost 600.

Parties live or die based on the drinks and food. Ice-cube shot glasses filled with mezcal made a great start, with guests invited to hurl the empties toward a cowbell target mounted on a rainbow-bright mosaic. Next stop: Photos against a wall of flowers, then a beeline to the build-your-own tequila bar with a choice of tequilas and aguas frescas in flavors like poblano lime and strawberry guava. Other tasties: hibiscus margaritas, canned Mexican beer, elote, tacos, churros with horchata ice cream…

A flower-laden shrine to the Virgin de Guadalupe attracted the faithful (and selfie shooters). Bartenders were made up to conjure sugar skulls. Austin musician Yayo Sanchez rose from a platform for a guitar solo straight out of a Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Attention to thematic detail extended even to the piñata-inspired restrooms: Outside, mountains of candy and tissue fringe; inside, walls papier-mâchéd with past issues of 1530 Main.

Gracias, The Joule Hotel, Headington Companies, and Swoon the Studio. You guys know how to throw a party. Click here to see more photos from the night.