Society

Houston’s Women of Distinction Dazzle at Winter Ball With Gowns Worthy of Any Hollywood Red Carpet

When Substance Meets Style

BY // 01.27.20

With the dazzling gowns seen at the recent SAG Awards gala and Sunday night’s staggering fashions on parade at the Grammy’s, one could not help but think back to Saturday night’s Winter Ball and the stunning red carpet looks that the ABC13 Women of Distinction donned for their night of fame in Houston.

Take for instance honoree Mary Tere Perusquia, whose custom gown by Houston designer David Peck was a sensation with billowing off-the-shoulder sleeves and massive bows, or honoree Brigitte Kalai in a show-stopping beaded Pamella Roland gown featuring a trail of floating plumes.

While fashion was not the focus of the evening, rather the accomplishments of the 11 women in the spotlight, it was impossible not to be moved by the panoply of satins, silks and beading that filled the ballroom of the Hilton Americas-Houston.

In fact, in addition to the runway presentation of the class of 2020, as many as 45 previous honorees, dressed to the nines, strode the catwalk while the 550 guests wildly applauded and cheered. Fashionably taking their turn at the podium were Winter Ball chairs Lesha Elsenbrook in Oscar de la Renta from Tootsies and Bobbie Nau in Lourdes Chavez from Elizabeth Anthony. Sharing the fashionable spotlight were honorary chairs Sidney Faust and Cora Sue Mach.

Acquiring coveted membership on this night in the Women of Distinction sorority were Cheryl Byington, Zane Carruth, Theresa Chang, Elsie Eckert, Myrtle Jones, Kelley Lubanko, Joy McCormack, Hannah McNair, Kalai and Perusquia. Honored as 2020 Ambassador was Betty Hrncir.

They were introduced by the ever-popular Tom Koch of ABC13, who also introduced the young Honored Heroes Marni Goldman, Blake Hicks and Faith Stuchly and Ambassador Caitlin Rowley. The stories of their journeys with Crohn’s disease brought home the importance of the fundraising — $800,000 on this night — for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

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Among the many women displaying a formidable fashion prowess were Hallie Vanderhider in a show-stopping Monique Lhuillier gown featuring a beaded cage necklace, Elizabeth Anthony owner Julie Roberts in a glittering Jenny Packham, Tootsies’ Donna Lewis, belle of the ball in a sparkling Marchesa gown, and Stephanie Tsuru, a fashion forward diva in a shimmering jumpsuit, also by Jenny Packham.

PC Seen: Tony Bradfield, Wendy and John Granato, Fady Armanious and Bill Baldwin, Sima Ladjevardian, Cheryl and Percy Creuzot, Joanna and Brad Marks, Monica Hartland, Dr. Steve Hamilton and Tom LeCloux, Beth Madison, Ed McMahon, Hershey Grace, Gayla and Donald Gardner, Kelli and John Weinzierl, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Amanda and Terry Boffone, foundation board president Kevin Carter and wife Jaqulyn, and foundation executive director Leigh Ellen Key.

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