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Unforgettable Houston Best Dressed Moments — The Best Photos From a Buzzy Philanthropy in Fashion

The Most Important See and Be Seen Luncheon of The Year

BY // 09.25.23

While stylist Ceron and his team were busy at work backstage, beginning early in the day to make sure that the Neiman Marcus models at the PaperCity Philanthropy in Fashion Houston Best Dressed luncheon were in perfect form, a throng 650 strong was gearing up for the most important see-and-be-seen luncheon of the year.

It was a task that Ceron had been handling masterfully for two decades while for many of the attendants were relatively new to the event that for the past several years had raised $1 million for March of Dimes. That thanks in no small part to the generous sponsorship of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

From the early days beginning 41 years ago, the Houston Best Dressed luncheon has been held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown hotel, at the Westin Galleria Hotel, on the ice at The Galleria and, for the 30th anniversary, in the Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center.

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Whitley Nagel, Gia Cisneros at the PaperCity Philanthropy in Fashion Best Dressed luncheon (Photo by Michelle Watson)

In recent years, the swank ballroom at billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel has been the setting. And over the years fashion has changed from the lock step looks of Chanel and Oscar de la Renta to a more rounded fashion approach just as the fundraiser has evolved as a more inclusive gathering in terms of both honorees and guests.

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Iraida Brown, Nicole Lassiter at the PaperCity Philanthropy in Fashion Best Dressed luncheon (Photo by Michelle Watson)

The Houston Best Dressed class of 2023 included Sneha Merchant from Mombai, India; Duyen Nguyen, a native of Saigon, Vietnam; Tatiana Massey from Russia; plus Julie Longoria Chen, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Kristina Hornberger Somerville, Kathryn Smith, Kelli Weinzierl, Zane Carruth and Hall of Fame honoree Hallie Vanderhider.

For this 41st Best Dressed luncheon, the ballroom was also filled with Hall of Fame honorees including Lynn Wyatt, Rose Cullen, Merele Yarborough, Janet Gurwitch, Dancie Ware, Cynthia Allshouse, Patsy Fourticq, Karen Mayell, Rosemary Schatzman, Linda McReynolds, Gayla Gardner, Phyllis Williams and more.

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Raffle chairs Elia Gabbanelli, Kristen Collins, Bethany Buchanan at the PaperCity Philanthropy in Fashion Best Dressed luncheon (Photo by Michelle Watson)

Look through the photo slideshow above this story for many more never-before-seen images from one of Houston’s most fashionable events.

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