Party Line: Cotillion presents young ladies as future leaders, role models

Striking a pose before they were presented at the Memphis Chapter, The Links Inc. 22nd Holiday Cotillion were (from left) Alison Jones, Meagan Thornton, Nora Sanders, Taylor Denton, Morgan Dillard, Allison Blankenship and Storm Kimbrow.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Striking a pose before they were presented at the Memphis Chapter, The Links Inc. 22nd Holiday Cotillion were (from left) Alison Jones, Meagan Thornton, Nora Sanders, Taylor Denton, Morgan Dillard, Allison Blankenship and Storm Kimbrow.

Fifteen young women were presented at the Memphis Chapter, The Links Inc. 22nd Holiday Cotillion on Saturday night at The Peabody.

Presented were Victoria F. Chigozie Nwamaka Akah, Allison Whitney Blankenship, Brooke Nicole Bobo, Jerelyn Victoria Carmichael, Olivia Clayborn, Taylor Danielle Denton, Morgan Alexis Dillard, Keidra Jasmal Freshwater, Alison Nicole Jones, Ashera Brionne Johnson, Storm Nicole Kimbrow, Nora Annise Sanders, Autumn Alexis Taylor, Armonkia LéJay Thomas and Meagan Nicole Thornton.

The Holiday Cotillion culminates a year of preparing young ladies to become role models and future leaders. They participate in leadership programs and community service projects throughout the year. The Holiday Cotillion funds projects and programs supported by the Memphis Chapter.

Kimberly Brewer Post was event chairwoman. Lois H. Stockton was program chairwoman. Jozelle Luster Booker is chapter president.

Jewelry by Madame Fortuna

As a jewelry maker, Allison Ward goes by "Madame Fortuna." She once owned a vintage clothing store called Fortuna in Brooklyn, N.Y. "I added the 'Madame' when I started making jewelry," said Allison, a former Memphian who now lives in Narrowsburg, N.Y.

She also gives names to the jewelry pieces -- mostly necklaces -- that she makes out of antique and vintage jewelry. And she makes up stories to go with the pieces. They usually concern "characters on the the fringe, women of ill repute." These would be fictitious women who wore the jewelry, which she describes as "eccentric," "whimsical" and "one of a kind."

Guests were introduced to some of those characters at a one-day show Sunday at Metalworks Gallery at 2537 Broad.

The story behind Allison's "Old Kentucky" necklace is "a woman whose glory days have passed. She spends her days sipping bourbon alone in her dusty mansion wearing her finest jewelry."

Some pieces are based on actual people. "Violetta Delafield" is named for a botanist and self-taught artist who painted the flora and fauna in the Hudson River Valley in the 1930s. The piece includes a '30s enamel violet and a steel buckle because Violetta "was tough."

Family members at Allison's show included her son, Alec Ward, 5; her parents, Margaret and Dan Handwerker; and her grandmother, Virginia Nowlin.

-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797. donahue@commercialappeal.com

© 2011 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.