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Society / Profiles

Ball Gowns and Beer — This Dallas Real Estate Force Keeps It Real

A 1990s Bomb Girl Moment With Christy Berry

BY // 06.28.19

I contemplated making this my shortest Bomb Girl feature ever, as four simple words perfectly describe everything you need to know about PaperCity’s latest Bomb Girl: ball gowns and beer. Indeed, the woman in question is none other than one of Dallas’ most notable power realtors, Christy Berry.

Christy is the maestro of Dallas’ Monopoly board game. Instead of Park Place and Boardwalk, she runs listings on Armstrong Parkway, Beverly Drive and Strait Lane. This force of nature has long intrigued me from a distance, despite our paths having crossed on numerous occasions at several swellegant charity lunches, and fundraising galas.

Christy is, after all, often spotted wearing pink and scooting around town in a classic Carolina Herrera shirtdress or a suit she found on Moda Operandi. How could I not be compelled to meet her?

I entered a slight Christy Berry stalker mode after seeing an ad in the September 2016 issue of PaperCity. You may remember this out-of-the-box spread, which showed Christy from behind, walking down the sidewalk in some verdant spot (likely Highland Park), wearing a stunning navy ball gown, which I found out later was designed by Dallasite Nardos Imam.

It was as if this realtor had wandered out of one of my dreams. (My dreams, FYI, are often black tie.)

The dress’ massive bow trailed behind her, with a pair of shocking-pink heels winking from behind the slit. Christy’s name needn’t have been included, as anyone who knows her — and her signature ice-queen-white soigné bob haircut — immediately recognized her.

From Wall Street to Dallas

Born Christy Cozad in the Quad Cities of Iowa, she excelled in school and found her way to New York to attend Briarcliffe College. Upon completing her political science degree, Christy moved to Manhattan to work on Wall Street.

She is equal parts brains and style. Christy was raised with a keen eye for fashion, thanks to her impeccably dressed mother, who generally made it onto her hometown’s best-dressed list. During her New York City years, Christy was a fan of Albert Nipon, Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta.

As she ascended the corporate ranks in portfolio management at Paine Webber, she mastered the art of shopping sample sales. Long workdays meant dressing for a schedule that often started with high-powered meetings with financial gurus and ended with dinner at 21 Club and a pop into Studio 54.

She met and married Robby Berry in 1982, and they later relocated to Oklahoma City. A job transfer brought them to Dallas in the late ’80s, where they began a family — a big one — which was always the plan. Together they have five children: three boys and two girls ranging in age from 23 to 33. The Berry brood now also includes two grandchildren.

OK, back to the ball gowns and beer. Christy is known all over town for bringing her own beer to every event. She is open to most but prefers IPA [beers]. Restaurants and caterers know to have a chilled glass ready for her when she arrives.

I live for anything that is unexpected — call it a wild card — and there’s no better vision I can think of than a girl in a pink frock arriving at a soirée and whipping a beer out of her Birkin.

Approximate date of this photo.

Probably 1991 or 1992.

The occasion.

I was on the board of the Dallas Zoo, and I started the Zoo To Do fundraiser (still going strong today) with Ruth Andres. This picture was part of the announcement of that event. The new gorilla — not new to my family, but rather to the zoo’s family — of course, needed to be included in the shot. It’s me, Robby, and all of my children except my son Hampden, who was yet to be born.

What you were wearing.

This was not a fashion moment, but a great example of me in mom mode. That uniform was generally shorts and a top. Probably the most expensive item I’m wearing in this picture is the Rolex I’ve had since I was 21. It is a cherished gift given to me by my mother for my graduation from Briarcliffe. To this day, I have rarely taken it off.

What price fashion.

This is obviously not a fashion moment. Perhaps it’s best to share what I wore to the actual party. We had secured Jack Hanna (whom many remember as the animal guy who was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson) to host that first Zoo To Do.

It stands apart from many other Dallas fundraisers in that it is casual. I went to NYC to have a hat made by a woman whose shop I always passed on Madison Avenue. I had collected animal pins from all over and wanted her to use that as the inspiration for a hat, which I knew was to going be the focal point of my outfit. It was likely a simple dress and flats.

I think the hat cost around $350, which was a lot for me at the time since I had four children and the big bills that come with four children.

My wardrobe during that period, since we were living on a budget, were often appropriated from my elegant mother. She was a perfect size 2… and me, not so much. My talented tailor was able to give [my mother’s clothes] a little “give” for me to fit.

One outfit that I remember fondly was Bill Blass that I wore to a Christmas party. It was a beautiful green, red, and black plaid wool jacket with a taffeta skirt. It was a signature preppy suit of armor. I wore it with Yves Saint Laurent black shoes that tied with a ribbon. Shoes have always been my Kryptonite, and I was often willing to slightly splurge at Neiman’s (the downtown outpost, of course) for a pair.

Why is this a Bomb.com picture of you.

This was the calm before the storm as I was pregnant with child No. 5, Hampden. I tended to be the Silverback in our family (the zoo’s new Silverback gorilla was making its premiere around the upcoming event) who lead our tribe and always loved the chaos of our family of 7.

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