Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Best Dressed Postponed by Coronavirus, So We Look Back at a Million Dollar Fashion Tradition

H-Town's Top Style Setters Through the Years

BY // 03.27.20

One of Houston’s most colorful luncheons for ladies (and gents) did not happen this week as had been planned, courtesy of COVID-19. So, in the spirit of providing an uplifting break from coronavirus news and blues, we look back at the past — while looking forward to the future when the luncheon is rescheduled.

The Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon and Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation benefiting the March of Dimes was set to raise $1 million on March 25 in the able hands of chairs Alicia Smith and Brigitte Kalai and inaugural honorary chair Sue Smith.

It’s one of the critical fashion events of the year where the ladies dress to be seen. Budgets are blown in the name of the guest designer. Stylists are at work before dawn orchestrating tresses, applying just the right touch of rouge, and selecting the perfect accessories for those who will walk the runway — and for those with dreams of entering that hallowed sorority.

The 2019 fundraiser, chaired by Sue Smith and Lester Smith (who passed away before the event), brought in a smashing record of more than $2 million and was attended by a high-style throng of 800 strutting their best fashion look. Carolina Herrera designer Wes Gordon was spotlighted.

In the absence of the runway presentation for 2020, we look back at ladies seen at the 2019 event and photos of this year’s honorees on the social scene throughout the years. We’ve scoured our photo library from years near and far to show you exactly why these ladies, whose commitment to enriching the community is a given, have been anointed with the mantle of Best Dressed.

We salute Ann Ayre, Dr. Alice Mao Brams, Greggory Burk, Estela Cockrell, Gaynell Drexler, Melissa Juneau, Joanna Hartland Marks, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Leigh Smith, and Hallie Vanderhider. While Burk enters the Hall of Fame for 2020, Vanderhider and Cockrell are making their second appearance on the list. The others are newbies.

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