Best Dressed honorees for 2020 (seated) Leigh Smith, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Joanna Marks, Hallie Vanderhider, Ann Ayre, (standing) Melissa Juneau, Estela Cockrell, Alice Mao Bram, Gaynell Drexler, (Photo by Johnny Than)
Best Dressed luncheon chair Brigitte Kalai, Sara McEown (Photo by Johnny Than)
March of Dimes' Kemah Blair, the Woman's Hospital of Texas CEO Elizabeth Ortega (Photo by Johnny Than)
Best Dress Hall of Famer Phyllis Williams, Bryce Kennard (Photo by Johnny Than)
Jessica Bertuccio, Luba Bigman, Laurie Krohn (Photo by Johnny Than)
At the 2019 Best Dressed announcement party: Ann Ayre, Marla Hurley, who dressed in true Astros spirit. Don't miss her socks. (Photo by Johnny Than)
Past Best Dressed honoree Vicki West in Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Burch (Photo by Johnny Than)
Kristy Bradshaw, Reggie Smith, Ting Bresnehan(Photo by Johnny Than)
Matthew Brams & Alice Mao Brams, who chose her Lela Rose dress because of the Astros orange. (Photo by Johnny Than)
Jana Arnoldy, headed home to don her Astros lucky pajamas and sit in her lucky chair, not so lucky on this night, and Shannon Alexander (Photo by Johnny Than)
Lauren Lazenby, Shawn Johnson sipping whiskey sours (Photo by Johnny Than)
Derick Mitchell & Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Ann & Jonathan Ayre (Photo by Johnny Than)
Adrian Dueñas, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl (Photo by Johnny Than)
Best Dressed honoree Estela & David Cockrell (Photo by Johnny Than)
Honoree Hallie Vanderhider, fashionista Fady Armanious in Safiyaa, Leisa Holland-Nelson (Photo by Johnny Than)
Best Dressed Hall of Famer Merle Yarborough, Heidi Smith (Photo by Johnny Than)
Stylistas take a break in shopping for the Best Dressed announcement party (Photo by Johnny Than)
Newly engaged and happily ever after Bob Bowman & Leisa Holland Nelson (Photo by Johnny Than)
Scarlett Juneau, 8, and Best Dressed Honoree Melissa Juneau, who gave up her Astros tickets for Best Dressed honors (Photo by Johnny Than)
Guest, Best Dressed Hall of Famer Cheryl Creuzot (Photo by Johnny Than)
March of Dimes state director Darcie Wells, luncheon chair Brigitte Kalai (Photo by Johnny Than)
Roosevelt Society leaders Dr. Sippi Khurana and Stephanie Tsuru (Photo by Johnny Than)
Singer Bob Luna, performing here with The Richard Brown Orchestra quartet at Neiman Marcus, is on schedule for the first Supper Club evening at The Annie. (Photo by Johnny Than)
Neiman Marcus general manager Stephen Brunelle flanked by the 2020 Best Dressed honorees (Photo by Johnny Than)
In the end, first-time Best Dressed honoree Melissa Juneau wasn’t so bummed that she had given up her primo World Series seats to be introduced in the designer salon at Neiman Marcus. She along with BBFs Laurie and Tracy Krohn had ditched their tickets for the event that is just as important in fashion land as the World Series is in baseball terrain.
After all, they had front row seats in Tilman Fertitta’s oh-so-private Oak Room at the billionaire’s Post Oak Hotel for viewing the Astros’ miserable loss in Game 6.
But it was win, win, win for the 10 ladies introduced into the fashion firmament. With visions of designers dancing in their heads, the high-style clutch was introduced by Houston Chronicle fashion and beauty editor Joy Sewing.
Entering the exclusive sorority as first-timers were Ann Ayre, Dr. Alice Mao Brams, Gaynell Drexler, Melissa Juneau, Joanna Hartland Marks, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Leigh Smith. Taking bows for the second time were Hallie Vanderhider and Estela Cockrell. And gliding into the rarified ranks of the Best Dressed Hall of Fame was Greggory Burk, unable to attend.
What were they wearing on this terribly important evening? Ayre in Lela Rose, Vanderhider in Azzedine Alaïa, Juneau in Dolce & Gabbana, Bazzelle Mitchell in Oscar de la Renta, Hartland Marks in Chiara Boni, Mao Brams in Lela Rose and living on the edge Cockrell, who selected her Chiara Boni/Derek Lam outfit at Neiman Marcus that morning.
Cockrell’s husband, David Cockrell, accompanied her to the announcement party but sped off to Minute Maid Park before the presentation. Best Dressed Hall of Famer Phyllis Williams dressed in a chic Donna Karan/Dior ensemble for the party only to rush home and change for the Astros game. Fan Marla Hurley stepped out in Astros chic — an Astros T-shirt worn with swooping skirt, jacket and Astros socks worn with high-heeled sandals.
The honorees will swan down the catwalk at the Post Oak Hotel on March 25 during the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon and Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation Benefiting March of Dimes. Stephen Brunelle, Neiman Marcus GM, announced to the gathering that the fashion presentation would be that of Oscar de la Renta.
Lots of players go into making this event the annual success that it is. Chairing the 38th Best Dressed luncheon are Brigitte Kalai and Alicia Smith. A first for the luncheon, Sue Smith will reign as honorary chair. Lindley Arnoldy and Kristina Somerville are already at work as raffle chairs.
Key players in the event are Elizabeth Ortega, CEO of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, presenting sponsor of the luncheon; Darcie Champagne Wells, March of Dimes state director; and Stephanie Tsuru and Dr. Sippi Khurana, chairs of the Roosevelt Society, which represents the top-tier of March of Dimes donors.
And, of course, the bottom line is all about raising funds for March of Dimes and its mission of supporting women’s health throughout pregnancy and the delivery of healthy babies.