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Fashion / Style File

Dazzling Gowns of the Ballet Ball — a Look Back at Houston’s Most Stunning Women

These Truly Beautiful Dresses Live On

BY // 01.29.19

What will the swans be wearing when the curtain goes up on the Houston Ballet Ball in February? We know for certain that ball chairs Kelley Lubanko and Leigh Smith have long had their designer frocks primed for the spotlight. Gowns by Jenny Packham and Marchesa, respectively. Both dresses are trés sparkly in a nod to the ball theme, “Heroes, Gods and Stars.”

The Ballet Ball is one of the sartorial high points of each year along with the Houston Grand Opera Ball and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Gala Ball. The February 9 soirée promises to be true to form.

With ballgowns, ballet and beautiful evenings in mind, we offer you a look back at the dazzling fashions that doyennes of style have chosen for ballet balls through the years. The ballet’s archives were fairly limited, thus, their contribution goes back only to 2012. While PaperCity‘s resources go back beaucoup decades, those files are buried in vaults that will not be disturbed.

Nevertheless, we offer you an entertaining look at gowns from galas of the last nine years — the Oscar de la Rentas, the Valentinos, the Chanels, the Carolina Herreras, the haute couture, the couture and the off-the rack. All dazzling looks from the way back machine.

Making several appearances in our lineup are Diane Lokey Farb, Lynn Wyatt, Phoebe Tudor, Dominique Sachse, Elizabeth Petersen and Hallie Vanderhider. The latter, 2018 Ballet Ball chair, stunned the crowd by doing a costume change.

She first dressed in a dramatic couture gown, trailing a bushel of black feathers, by Naeem Khan. It was a nod to the ballet’s salute to Swan Lake, she in the Naeem gown representing the black swan, Odile. For her second act, Vanderhider donned an equally fabulous ostrich-plumed gown by Monique Lhuillier.

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You’ll also see what Smith and Lubanko wore to the 2018 ball. Expect even greater splendor on February 9.

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