Fashion / Style

Houston’s Most Stunning Ball Gown Looks — the Fabulous Ladies of the Ballet Ball

A Flock of Princesses Come to Life on a Magical Night

BY // 02.28.20

From Houston Ballet Ball chair Beth Zdeblick‘s billowing Oscar de la Renta gown to Duyen Nguyen‘s sophisticated Balmain tuxedo dress, the fashion parade for the ballet’s 50th anniversary gala was nothing less than fabulous.

It was as if the Grand Foyer of Wortham Theater Center was suddenly populated with a flock of princesses, who swanned across the dance floor in splendiferous black-tie finery.

No gown could have been grander than that of the gala honoree, Margaret Alkek Williams. Her golden brocade gown, heavily-etched in shimmering beading, was truly fit for royalty and, after all, isn’t Miss Williams the doyenne of Houston philanthropy and fashion. She allowed that the stunning gown was the work of Ripetta of Rome, her favorite designer who visits her once or twice a year to create lavish frocks for her various philanthropic appearances.

The only thing missing in this regal attire was a tiara. But there were several spotted amid the crowd including past Ballet Ball chair Beth Muecke, who dressed in a voluminous gown of tulle covered in gold glitter, a find from the Dancing Queen in Los Angeles’ fashion district.

Then, of course, there was Phoebe Tudor, who served as honorary co-chair with her husband Bobby Tudor. She admitted to feeling like a princess as she glided through the Wortham in a lavish Monique Lhuillier gown created from layers of golden-studded tulle.

At every turn, another femme was a standout in a stunning gown — Hallie Vanderhider in a Pamella Roland gown which she allowed had been completely remade for the ball, Marcia Backus in billowing Oscar de La Renta, Houston Ballet board of trustees president Allison Thacker in a diaphanous Jenny Packham, and Karen Payne in a flowing pink confection by Monique Lhuillier. And who can forget the striking silhouette cut by Duyen Nguyen in her black tuxedo dress accessorized with a St. Laurent cocktail hat, black silk gloves and a Judith Leiber minaudiere in the shape of a top hat.

The always-fabulous Lynn Wyatt was a show-stopper not only because of her gown but also because of the necklace, a vast contemporary collar that might recall a knight’s shining armor. It was gift from her BFF Elton John, presented to her in advance of his namesake AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in Los Angeles. He told her that when he saw the fabulous piece, he knew there was only one woman in the world who could wear it and it was Lynn.

The ladies weren’t the only ones in fine feather on this night. Fashion peacock Fady Armanious, Tootsies creative director, stepped out in a white tux by Alexander McQueen which was accented with diamond studs,  diamond necklace and other amazing jewels from Tenenbaum Jewelers.

In fact, Fady and his Tootsies team dressed many of the ladies attending the ball including Zdeblick and Tudor.  Among them were Isabel David and Stephanie Fleck in Oscar, Kelley Lubanko in Pamlla Roland, Jennifer Allison and Julie Chen in Monique Lhuillier, Melissa Sugulas in Lela Rose, Amanda Boffone in Jovani, Mary Patton in Tom and Linda Platt, Eloise Brice in Fendi and Ann Bean in Reem Acra.

Click thru the photo gallery below to see more stunning Ballet ball gowns:

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