Why Do British Lawyers Still Wear Wigs?

British lawyer in wig

The drama of a criminal trial has a macabre allure. In America, strangers line up to enter courtrooms as spectators of high-profile proceedings. Those who can’t be there in person watch live-streamed versions on televisions and tablets. And when there’s downtime from real-life court battles, many turn instead to pseudo-fictional prime-time portrayals.

But in the U.K., nothing is more British than the iconic white wig judges and attorneys — or barristers as they’re known — wear during formal courtroom proceedings. Many of the judges and barristers who wear wigs say the headpiece — also known as a peruke — brings a sense of formality and solemnity to the courtroom.

“In fact, that is the overwhelming point for having them,” Kevin Newton, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who studied law at the University of London, said when we originally spoke to him in 2017. Newton added that barristers’ counterparts, known as solicitors, meet with clients outside the courtroom and don’t wear wigs.

A Desire for Uniformity
Like the robes the lawyers wear, the wigs are worn as a symbol of anonymity, Newton said. The wigs are part of a uniform that create a visual separation between the law and those being brought up before it. Wigs are so much a part of British criminal courts that if a barrister doesn’t wear one, it’s seen as an insult to the court.

Barrister wigs are curled at the crown, with horizontal curls on the sides and back. Judges’ wigs — also called bench wigs — look similar, but are typically more ornate. They’re fuller at the top and transition into tight curls that fall just below the shoulders.

Most are handmade from 100 percent horsehair, though there are synthetic versions available today, too. Horsehair wigs aren’t cheap, either, especially when they’re handmade and combine an ages-old craft of styling, sewing and gluing. A judge’s full-length wig can cost more than $3,000, while the shorter ones worn by barristers cost more than $600.

Wigs may have fallen out of fashion over the centuries, but when they first made their appearance in a courtroom around 1685, they were part and parcel of being a well-dressed professional.

In the 17th century, only the elite wore powdered wigs made of horsehair. Those who couldn’t afford the best garb but wanted to look the part wore wigs made of hair from goats, spooled cotton or from the hair of human corpses. There was also a steady trade that involved living people who sold their long hair for wigs, though horsehair remained the ideal.

But why did powdered wigs come on the fashion scene in the first place? Why top one’s head with an itchy, sweat-inducing mass of artificial curls? Blame it on syphilis.

Historical Hair
Wigs began to catch on in the late 16th century when an increasing number of people in Europe were contracting the STI. Without widespread treatment with antibiotics (Sir Alexander Fleming didn’t discover penicillin, the treatment for syphilis until 1928), people with syphilis were plagued by rashes, blindness, dementia, open sores and hair loss. The hair loss was particularly problematic in social circles. Long hair was all the rage, and premature balding was a dead giveaway that someone had contracted syphilis.

Wigs, when not used to cover syphilis-related hair loss, were also a helpful for those who had lice. After all, it was much more difficult to treat and pick through the hair on one’s head than it was to sanitize a wig.

When it comes to trend-starters, no one had a bigger influence on British wigs than Louis XIV of France. During his reign from 1643 to 1715, the Sun King disguised his prematurely balding scalp — historians believe it was caused by syphilis — by wearing a wig. In doing so, he started a trend that was widely followed by the European upper- and middle-class, including his cousin, Charles II, the King of England (also rumored to have contracted syphilis), who reigned from 1660 to 1685.

Although aristocrats and those who wished to remain in good social standing were quick to adopt the practice of wearing wigs, English courtrooms were slower to act. In the early 1680s, judicial portraits still showed a natural, no-wig look. By 1685, however, full, shoulder-length wigs had become part of the proper court dress.

A Persistent Legacy
Over time, wigs fell out of fashion with society as a whole. During the reign of England’s King George III, from 1760 to 1820, wigs were worn by only a few — namely bishops, coachmen and those in the legal profession. And bishops were permitted to stop wearing them in the 1830s. But the courts kept wigs for hundreds of years more.

In 2007, though, new dress rules did away with barrister wigs — for the most part. Wigs were no longer required during family or civil court appearances, or when appearing before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Wigs, however, remain in use in criminal cases.

And in Ireland, judges continued to wear wigs until 2011, until the practice was discontinued. In England, and other former English and British colonies — like Canada, for instance, whose provinces abandoned the wigs throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, or Jamaica, which removed the wigs in 2013 — lawyers and judges now only wear wigs for ceremonies.

Yet, wearing wigs still enjoys popularity among British lawyers, the Guardian reported in 2021. “If you don’t meet the physical stereotypes of a barrister — male, white, perhaps older — it is helpful to wear the uniform because it stops any awkward conversations,” barrister Zoe Chapman told the publication.

Now That’s Interesting
Before the adoption of wigs in the 17th century, British lawyers had a dress code that would seem positively modern. They were expected to appear in court with short hair and neatly trimmed beards.


Is Induction Cooking Better Than Gas or Electric?

Skillet on induction stove top

Boil a pan of water in under three minutes? Melt butter or chocolate quickly, yet without scorching? It’s all possible with an induction cooktop.

While cooktops powered by induction heating have been favored across Europe for decades, they are now steadily gaining traction in the United States, where the National Kitchen + Bath Association expects them to eventually replace electric cooktops altogether, and market-watcher Technavio anticipates the induction cookware market will blossom to $1.38 billion by 2025.

Gas, Electric or Induction?
There are three main types of cooktops: gas, electric and induction.

If a cooktop is powered by gas or electricity, it relies on thermal conduction, either via gas flames or an electric coil. The heat source conducts heat to the burner itself and then to the pot or pan atop the burner. Whether the burner is an exposed circular heating element, or is covered by a glass or ceramic surface, it requires thermal conduction.

An induction cooktop, however, eliminates the need for anything to conduct the heat. There is not a heating coil, nor are there gas flames. This is because an induction cooktop does not rely on thermal conduction. An induction cooktop sends heat straight from the source to the item you intend to heat, eliminating the need for conduction — and this direct heat transfer is becoming a preferred method among chefs and home cooks alike.

How Does Induction Cooking Work?
An induction cooktop has a heat-resistant glass or ceramic surface that may look like an ordinary electric cooktop, but the similarities stop there. Underneath this smooth surface lies an electromagnetic copper coil and, when the heating surface is turned on, an electric current passes through this electromagnetic coil. This results in the creation of a multidirectional magnetic field, which radiates outward from the coil in all directions but which does not produce any heat.

And therein lies the kicker: an induction cooktop doesn’t produce heat through its underlying electromagnetic coil until — and only until — a cooking pan is placed atop the burner.

When a pan or pot is placed on an induction cooktop, the fluctuating magnetic field interacts with the bottom of the pan, causing an electric current to flow through it. A fluctuating (or looping) magnetic field is known as an eddy current or a Foucault current, the latter named for the French physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault who discovered it in 1851. An induction cooktop creates a magnetic field between a cooking pot and the induction coil beneath the cooking surface, which then releases some of its energy as heat and heats the contents of the pot.

Benefits of Induction Cooking
Induction cooktops are more energy-efficient than other cooktop options primarily because they draw less energy to create heat. During induction cooking there is little heat loss, with up to 90 percent of the generated heat energy used to heat the contents of a pan instead of the atmosphere around it. A gas or electric stovetop, in comparison, loses up to 35 percent of the heat it generates during cooking.

An induction cooktop heats faster — and at more precise temperatures — than a gas or electric cooktop, making it a preferred method for professional chefs.

“Electric cooktops are generally known for hot spots on pans, and induction does not get hot spots like electric cooktops, while also allowing the same precision cooking experience usually associated with gas cooking,” says Jessica Randhawa, head chef and recipe creator at The Forked Spoon, in an email interview. “I find that the precision is much more consistent [with induction cooktops] than gas cooktops, allowing for much better overall temperature control of the food being cooked.”

Induction cooktops also have the potential to reduce burns and other-related injuries, in large part because the surface of an induction cooktop stays cool to the touch, even when the heating element is turned on.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S., as well as a leading cause of home fire death.” Even more prevalent? Non-fire cooking burns caused by “contact with hot equipment, hot cooking liquids or hot food.” Of these injuries, making contact with a hot range is the most common source of non-fire cooking burns treated at emergency departments from 2015 to 2019.

“Gas is highly flammable, and the misalignment of a burner on low can create a situation where the flame goes out, and gas floods the kitchen or house; this has happened to me before,” Randhawa says. “Both gas and electric cooktops get very hot when started and tend to hold their heat long after the cooking is done,” she says, “whereas induction cooktops heat up only when the pot or pan is placed directly on the induction zone, and it also cools off quite a bit faster.”

Downsides to Induction Cooking
Cost is one of the chief drawbacks of induction cooking, particularly for home cooks, with induction cooktop ranges averaging anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 — several times the approximately $500 cost of an average electric range.

And you may need to purchase a different set of pots and pans made specifically for an induction cooktop. Induction works only if a pot or pan is comprised of ferromagnetic metals, such as cast iron, enameled cast iron and some stainless steel pots and pans. Some stainless steel will not work with an induction stove if its composition is high in nickel, which can block the magnetic field necessary for heating its contents with an induction stove. In addition, older types of aluminum, copper or glass cookware are not compatible with an induction cooktop, although some manufacturers are now adding a magnetic layer to the bottom of these items.

“Induction cookware is also well known for its temperature acceleration, reducing the cooking times for simple tasks like water boiling by half,” Randhawa says, which may help turn the tide for consumers who are wary of induction cooking.

If you’re unsure whether your cookware will work with an induction cooktop, you can test it by holding a magnet near the bottom of the pan. If it adheres, it is magnetic and — as long as it has a flat bottom surface — will work well with an induction cooktop.

New cookware aside, induction may well be the cooktop of the future. Induction cooktops have long been employed in professional kitchens throughout Europe and have been gaining ground among professionals and enthusiasts alike throughout the United States as concerns about climate change move kitchen cookery from natural gas to all-electric — prompting city zoning ordinances in some locations to deny the use of natural gas lines in newly constructed homes.

Now That’s Interesting
When compared to gas cooktops, induction cooktops may help reduce indoor air pollutants such as methane. A Stanford University study found the methane byproduct of natural gas-burning stoves in U.S. homes has the equivalent climate impact as the carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 gas-powered cars.

How Long Should You Really Go Without Washing Your Jeans?

small white daisy in woman's jean pocket

Those jeans you’re wearing? They’re part of a decades-old debate about whether — and when — you should wash denim. It’s a contested topic filled with pseudoscience and conjecture, one centered around an Odyssean journey designed to coax a legendary article of clothing into the perfectly worn pair of jeans.

How often jeans should be laundered is dependent on a number of factors, including fabric, dye and your personal feelings on bacteria. But first, Ben Bowlin, host of our accompanying BrainStuff video, lets you in on some surprising information. Denim is only partially dyed, so if you prefer a deep indigo color, think long and hard before putting those pants in the washing machine and definitely turn them inside out. (Actually, you may want to think long and hard about how attached you are to that indigo color anyway, considering how water-intensive and toxic the process of dyeing denim can be. But that’s a separate article.)

Denim is created when cotton fibers are made into a twill weave. In a twill weave, a yarn called the weft is woven crosswise, passing over and under vertically placed warp fibers. Typically, only the warp threads are dyed. This means the weft threads remain white, a quality that gives the inside of blue jeans its lighter color.

Plus, the blue shade on the warp threads comes from an indigo dye — a dye that doesn’t penetrate cotton fibers. Indigo sits atop the surface of each thread that makes up the yarn, its molecules chipping away over time and causing the fabric to fade.

This fade pattern is so unique that the FBI can analyze denim fade patterns to track criminals, identifying telltale whisker patterns on the front and honeycomb patterns behind the knees.

Washed and artificially distressed denim has already been broken in, allowing you to see its particular fade right away.

Raw denim — you’ll know it by its stiff feel — will fade naturally over time in a pattern based on your activities. The longer you go without washing raw denim, the more personalized the jeans will become, displaying a customized set of fading patterns. If you can wait to wash, you’ll also preserve the indigo and stiff texture of the denim. You can take care of any odors by spritzing your jeans with some fabric spray, too.

But what about the bacteria colonizing the denim on your lower hemisphere? In 2011, a microbiology student at the University of Alberta put it to the test. He went 15 months without washing his jeans, then tested the denim’s bacterial content. He compared the findings to another pair of jeans that had been washed a mere two weeks earlier. The bacteria content on both pairs of jeans was nearly identical. No less a denim authority than Levi’s recommends washing your jeans once every 10 wears, at most, adding that some Levi’s staffers have jeans they’ve never washed. Ever.

So if you don’t want to wash your jeans, how do you keep them clean? Levi’s used to recommend freezing jeans to kill bacteria and odor, something that was later proven to be a myth.

Most of the bacteria on our jeans comes from our skin, and these germs are adapted to living at low temperatures. Stephen Cary, a frozen microbe expert at the University of Delaware, says you’d be better off heating the jeans to 121 degrees Celsius (249 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes. Or, he adds, you could just, y’know … wash them.

Now That’s Interesting
Since 1999, a Denim Day campaign has encouraged people to wear jeans on a Wednesday in April to raise awareness about sexual violence. It started after the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction of driving instructor who raped a female student, citing the tightness of her jeans. This year Denim Day falls on April 27, 2022.

The Atlas Moth Is a Behe-moth, Plus 5 Other Facts

Atlas Moth on green leaves

Among the 160,000 Lepidoptera species of moths, the Atlas moth stands out as one of the largest in size and one of the shortest in life span. The Atlas moth also has a striking appearance, with large and colorful wings that could easily rival any beautiful butterfly.

Although the Atlas moth life cycle may seem simple, this giant moth plays a complex role in its natural habitat, where its adult life is driven by a primary reproductive urge as soon as the sun sets. What other secrets does the Atlas moth carry? Check out these surprising facts about the Atlas moth.

1. The Atlas Is a Massive Moth
The Atlas moth is probably best known for its size. The Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) is a species of moth in the giant silkworm family Saturniidae and it has one of the largest wing spans — and wing surface areas — among its kind. The average female Atlas moth is usually larger than the male Atlas moth, and has a wingspan up to 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) with a total surface area up to 62 inches (1.5 meters).

2. The Wings Come With a Warning
An Atlas moth that is perched on a branch with its wings closed may seem like an easy target to any of its natural predators, but by making just one move — opening its wings — the Atlas moth can flip the script. The upper corner of each Atlas moth wing mimics the distinctive profile of a cobra’s head, acting as an immediate deterrent (times two!) to the birds or lizards that would otherwise consider it a readily available meal.

When the Atlas moth becomes frightened, it opens its wings and shakes them to imitate the movements of a snake, and in doing so, may fend off its attacker. In addition, the pattern on the wings of the Atlas moth will sometimes resemble the pupils of watching eyes. These “eyes” may also deter predators.

3. The Atlas Is Fond of Forests
The Atlas moth lives in forested areas of Asia, ranging from India to the Philippines and south to Indonesia. It has adapted to life in a variety of forested climates, from tropical and lowland to upper mountain forests. The female Atlas moth lays eggs on the underside of a leaf and after seven to 14 days, the eggs hatch into large caterpillars.

4. The Atlas Has an Underdeveloped Mouth and Does Not Eat
The caterpillar that eventually emerges from a cocoon as an Atlas moth has gotten to this point by storing up food reserves. As an adult, it won’t taste another bite. “The adult form of the Atlas moth no longer eats food because it has an underdeveloped mouth with a tiny and non-functioning proboscis,” says Craig Miller, co-founder of Academia Labs, in an email. He has taught courses about the Atlas moth, collaborated with Atlas moth researchers and witnessed the moth in its natural habitat during a visit to Southeast Asia. “The adult Atlas moth mainly relies on the reserves it stored when it was still in the caterpillar stage.” These reserves are designed to offer about a week of energy to an Atlas moth, allowing it to survive long enough to mate.

5. The Male Has Mating on the Mind
If these giants-among-moths were starring in a new reality series, it would probably be titled “Atlas Moths: After Dark.” The male Atlas moth waits until the sun goes down to seek out a female and will locate her, not by sight, but by following the heady scent of the mating pheromones she releases. Once united, male and female Atlas moths will mate (sometimes for up to 24 hours) and then the female will lay more than 100 eggs on the underside of a leaf. This life cycle — from moth to mate to mother — will take place in a single week and will end in death. Likewise, the male Atlas moth dies after mating.

6. Atlas Cocoon Silk Is Used to Make Coats
The cocoons of the Atlas moth caterpillar are composed of broken strands of light brown fagara silk, a durable silk spun by the caterpillar as it prepares to pupate. Cocoons of the Atlas moth are typically about 2 inches (6 centimeters) in length. The name for the silk, ‘fagara silk,’ is believed to have originated from an archaic generic name for a genus of trees upon which Atlas caterpillars are known to feed, the Zanthoxylum genus. When harvested commercially, the silk of the Atlas moth is used to make purses, light coats, shirts, scarves and other wearable items.

Now That’s Interesting
The impressive wings of an Atlas moth are not only large, but they’re also colorful, with deep shades of red and brown outlined at times by black, yellow or eggplant. By contrast, the cocoon from which an Atlas moth hatches is a monochrome and muted light brown. Once abandoned by the Atlas moth, the tightly woven and durable cocoons are sometimes collected and repurposed as small coin purses.

Price for Malibu Movie Director’s House Chopped by $4M

Headshot of man with Oscar Award and mansion background

Beachfront enclave has seen prices spike up overall recently
While residential home prices in Malibu have been on a hot streak lately, at least one property—where the late George Roy Hill, director of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” once lived—is cooling off.

The price tag on an 11-acre property in the exclusive beachside community dropped to $13.95 million, a $4 million discount from earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reported. The 2,139-square-foot home, a ranch-style property built in the 1950s, is less than a mile from the ocean.

The Agency has the listing. Denise Snanoudj and Craig Knizek are the lead agents.

Hill, who died in 2002 at age 81, won a best director Oscar for “The Sting,” and was nominated for an Oscar for directing “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

The accolades don’t seem to be drawing big-money buyers to the Malibu property, even though the wealthy coastal neighborhood has scored some big-ticket sales recently.

A Malibu home built into a cliffside, named Il Pelicano, recently listed for $57.5 million. Its owners, L.A. attorney Dale F. Kinsells and Radical Skincare founder Liz Edlich, bought the property for $2 million in 2000 and carved the mansion into its rockface.

Earlier this year, the beachfront estate of Hard Rock Café founder Peter Morton traded for $110 million, and Kurt Rappaport sold his home for $85 million to Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz.

Compared to other luxury home markets of L.A., Malibu showed the greatest gains in the last quarter. Median sales prices in the enclave rose nearly 33 percent to $3.4 million from the second quarter of 2017,and homes spent about 105 days on the market—a 32 percent drop from the previous year.

Swell Forever Creates Customized Blankets That Give Back

Swell Forever garment tag

Searching for a corporate gift that will truly be appreciated? Order a custom, cozy blanket from Swell Forever and have it embroidered with a logo or a CEO’s handwritten message, or add a message tag to create a lasting impression. Swell Forever blankets are proudly made in American mills, come in a variety of patterns and have become a go-to for several Texas-based companies. The company offers bulk discounts. And, for every purchase, Swell Forever makes a donation to its sister nonprofit, Foster Swell, which offers grants to children in foster care and to adoptive families.

Room with a View: Montesino Ranch

Elegant canvas tent accommodations

The newest Collective Retreats property, Collective Hill Country, a Retreat & Mountain Ranch, is located on the Montesino Ranch along the Blanco River in the heart of Texas Hill Country outside of Wimberley. The ranch is about 45 minutes from Austin and an hour from San Antonio. Collective Hill Country features 12 luxury canvas tents equipped with high-end amenities that include soft beds with 1,500-thread count linens, a French press coffee bar, an in-tent bathroom, in-tent dining and private decks. Meals at the retreat are prepared by executive chef William Howell, who offers a menu of “farm to flame” items, including Hill Country breakfast tacos, Wimberly smoked chicken, wild boar osso bucco, BBQ shrimp and grits, and Gulf-caught redfish. Meals are offered alfresco or guests can customize their own fajitas for a BBQ-in-a-box option. The retreat site is nestled on a ridge overlooking a sprawling valley on the 225-acre working ranch and organic farm. Collective Hill Country is the brand’s first winter retreat and offers a variety of both onand off-site activities, including swimming, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding and many others. Collective Retreats currently operates locations in Big Sky, Montana; Vail, Colorado; and Hudson, New York.


Spending Spree: Hedge Fund Mogul, Ex-wife, Spent $150M in a Month on Laguna Beach Homes

headshot of man with animated house background

Bill and Sue Gross tried to outbid each other on homes in gated enclave of Irvine Cove
Sometimes divorce can spur the competitive juices.

Although billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Gross divorced wife Sue Gross last year, the couple is still divided over pricey property—but not any the two ever owned together.

In a case of dueling home purchases, the couple spent nearly $150 million in separate transactions on four homes in Laguna Beach in the span of about a month, The Real Deal has learned. Between the two of them, the Grosses now own seven residential properties there.

As part of her divorce settlement, Sue Gross was awarded a $70 million package of three homes the couple owned during their 30-year marriage, according to court papers obtained by TRD. The judgement was filed at the close of the couple’s divorce proceedings last October.

The homes are located on three adjoining properties within the gated Irvine Cove enclave in Laguna Beach.

When they were married, Sue Gross was responsible for the investment decisions related to the couple’s Laguna Beach homes, as well as managing the homes’ building and renovation projects, according to a source close to the couple.

And when it came to buying homes she also showed a strong competitive streak.

Despite a restraining order filed against him in June, Bill Gross, who runs the Janus hedge fund, entered the gated community in Orange County that month to purchase a property. After learning of his plans, his ex-wife also bid on the property. Although higher, her bid was rejected in favor of his bid, according to Kathryn White, an agent at Compass, Newport Beach, who acted as Sue Gross’ realtor on the negotiation, according to court papers.

Ultimately, Bill Gross paid $36 million for the property, which is four houses away from her main residence, near another home she owns on the same street, and across from the house she had just purchased for her sister and brother-in-law.

When his ex-wife learned her former husband was considering the purchase of another Irvine Cove home, she outbid him and paid $37.8 million for the property. He went on to buy a $32 million house on Pacific Coast Highway, just about a mile away from his previous purchase.

An attorney for Bill Gross did not respond to requests for comment.

Laguna Beach is no stranger to financial execs, celebrities or eccentrics. In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett put his modest Laguna Beach house on the market for $11 million.

Some details of the Gross’ transactions were first reported on Yolanda’s Little Black Book, the real estate blog.

HGTV Has Big Plans for the “Brady Bunch” House in Studio City

Exterior of home used in Brady Bunch television series

Home improvement channel wants to restore, re-air iconic TV backdrop

The “Brady Bunch” house may just stay in syndication forever—if Discovery execs have their way.

Discovery, which owns cable network HGTV, was the winner in a bidding war to buy the iconic “Brady Bunch” home in Studio City. Discovery CEO David Zaslav shared the news this morning on an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, according to the L.A. Times.

Discovery beat out “Brady Bunch” hopeful Lance Bass. The ‘N Sync singer waved “bye, bye, bye” to his bid, just a day after he tweeted that it had been accepted. Ernie Carswell, an agent at Douglas Elliman, said the home’s sellers—the children of the late couple who bought it in 1973 for $61,000—listed it for $1.89 million.

While the amount of the winning bid hasn’t been revealed, Bass tweeted that he was “heartbroken” that a corporate buyer wanted the house “at any cost.” On Tuesday Bass tweeted that he was pleased that HGTV had won the bidding war, saying, “kudos HGTV, I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again.”

HGTV will restore the 2,500-square-foot, two-story home, which backs up to the L.A. River, to the height of its 1970s appeal and will be used in future televised shows, Zaslav said.

The three-bedroom, three-bath home was used in exterior shots on “The Brady Bunch” television show, which aired from 1969 to 1974 before going into syndication.

Lush Dessert Bar Makes a Splash at Party Fest

Three smiling people with display of cupcakes

Lush Dessert Bar offers a wide variety of grown-up cupcakes made with wine, liqueur and other spirits. The company was originally established as Crav Alcohol Infused Desserts in Wichita, Kansas in 2010. Company founder Nichole Kinchion relocated to Dallas and opened as Lush Dessert Bar in 2017. “Dallas is such a great foodie city, the move has been a real success,” says Kinchion.

Recently Lush was one of 200 suppliers featured at Party Fest 2018 held at Dallas Market Hall on April 4. The invitation-only event brought together event suppliers, planners and industry affiliated organizations for a single day of networking and updates on the newest trends in the industry. “Party Fest was an amazing event,” says Kinchion. “We had a return on our investment within days of the event. I have been very impressed.”

Lush Dessert Bar offers alcohol-infused treats as regular cupcakes, cupcakes in a jar or in bite-sized mini Cupcake Shotz. Cupcake flavors include Hot Buttered Rum featuring butter cake, rum, butterscotch schnapps frosting and a wafer crumble, and The Red Vixen made with chocolate cake and red wine.

For the younger crowd, Lush offers virgin or non-alcoholic desserts inspired by nostalgic beverages like the Dream Cream Soda made with French vanilla cake, cream soda frosting and Heath topping, or the Hot Mama Hot Chocolate cupcake made with chocolate cake, hot cocoa and marshmallow frosting.

The company serves personal events such as wedding receptions and graduations, but does most of their business in the meetings and events industry. “We offer a unique spin on alcohol-infused events with our desserts that are not only novelty treats but great-tasting high quality cupcakes as well,” says Kinchion.

The cupcakes in a jar are completely customizable with top labels, wrap-around labels or individual note cards. The company caters local events, but for planners outside the Dallas area, Lush Dessert Bar cupcakes in a jar are easy to ship and have a shelf life of up to two weeks.