Well-dressed necks crane in search of fluttering insects at Bowties & Butterflies

| Sunday, April 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Kudos to the gents who upped the fashion ante during Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens'Bowties & Butterflies soiree, embracing the obvious theme of the evening and daring to go where some had never gone before.

“This is my first tie of a bow tie — so, like, four hours of watching videos,” said David Pferdehirt (with Gina).

After being greeted with a glass of sangria, guests followed the migration pattern downstairs where the action was unfolding. Debbie Barbarita (with Mike), Kathe Patrinos (with Jim), Stephanie Massaro, and event chairwoman Carol Massaro were tucked into a corner and enjoying the unofficial entertainment of Sam Badger. Meanwhile, Michael Herald was spied arriving with his mom, Donna, on his arm and a fashion statement around his neck.

“I'm rockin' the bow ties — somebody's got to bring it back!” he laughed.

Once it was clear that one-half of the evening's theme had been accounted for, a few intrepid explorers took a breather from the party and made their way back upstairs in search of the Butterfly Forrest. Alas, most of the winged beauties were keeping a low profile, although that didn't stop people from lingering awhile with the hope of spotting one.

“People ask when the butterflies are coming all year long,” said Phipps' Adam Haas of the popular exhibit that runs through September.

Among the crowd were executive director Richard Piacentini, Bill Strickland, Bob and Barb Pachevis with their daughter, Tanner, Elin Roddey, Ranny andJay Ferguson, county executive Rich Fitzgerald, Dan and Carole Kamin, Dr.Jeanne DeMoss, Mernie Berger, Bill andVivian Benter, Janera Solomon andJeremy Resnick, Erik Wagner andJune Yonas, and city councilman Dan Gilman.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

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