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Houston's Best Dressed Revealed

2014 Best Dressed list includes 10 fashion-savvy honorees

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168 ladies at Best Dressed January 2014
Best Dressed honorees, front row from left: Phyllis Williams, Claire Cormier-Thielke, Vanessa Sendukas, Mandy Kao and Gina Bhatia. Back row, from left: Courtney Hill Fertitta, Estela Cockrell, Jana Arnoldy, Tatiana Massey and Divya Brown. Photo by © Gary Fountain
16 Bob Devlin with Best Dressed luncheon chairs Greggory Burke, left, and Allie Fields at Best Dressed January 2014
Bob Devlin with Greggory Burke, left, and Allie Fields at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
88 Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, with John Connally at Best Dressed January 2014
Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, with John Connally at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
95 Phyllis Williams, left, and Courtney Hill Fertitta at Best Dressed January 2014
Hall of Fame honorees Phyllis Williams, left, and Courtney Hill Fertitta at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
126 Divya Brown, from left, with Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia at Best Dressed
Divya Brown, from left, with Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
3 David and Estela Cockrell at Best Dressed January 2014
David and Estela Cockrell at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
80 Lora and Dr. John Clemmons at Best Dressed January 2014
Lora and Dr. John Clemmons at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
41 Jay Fields, from left, Pat Burke and Jason Stabell at Best Dressed January 2014
Jay Fields, from left, Pat Burke and Jason Stabell at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
53 Sue and Lester Smith at Best Dressed January 2014
Sue and Lester Smith at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
103 Sheridan Williams, left, and Chis Goins at Best Dressed January 2014
Sheridan Williams, left, and Chis Goins at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
138 Zhanna Johnson, Roy Johnson at Best Dressed January 2014
Zhanna Johnson and Roy Johnson at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
Karina Barbieri, from left, Ruchi Mukherjee and Yasmine Haddad at Best Dressed
Karina Barbieri, from left, Ruchi Mukherjee and Yasmine Haddad at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
113 Marc and Duyen Nguyen at Best Dressed January 2014
Marc and Duyen Nguyen at the Best Dressed announcement party. Photo by © Gary Fountain
168 ladies at Best Dressed January 2014
16 Bob Devlin with Best Dressed luncheon chairs Greggory Burke, left, and Allie Fields at Best Dressed January 2014
88 Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, with John Connally at Best Dressed January 2014
95 Phyllis Williams, left, and Courtney Hill Fertitta at Best Dressed January 2014
126 Divya Brown, from left, with Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia at Best Dressed
3 David and Estela Cockrell at Best Dressed January 2014
80 Lora and Dr. John Clemmons at Best Dressed January 2014
41 Jay Fields, from left, Pat Burke and Jason Stabell at Best Dressed January 2014
53 Sue and Lester Smith at Best Dressed January 2014
103 Sheridan Williams, left, and Chis Goins at Best Dressed January 2014
138 Zhanna Johnson, Roy Johnson at Best Dressed January 2014
Karina Barbieri, from left, Ruchi Mukherjee and Yasmine Haddad at Best Dressed
113 Marc and Duyen Nguyen at Best Dressed January 2014

From the line-up of Jags, BMWs and Bentley's in the Neiman Marcus parking lot Wednesday night, it was clear that something big was happening amid the designer labels of the luxe retailer. And, sure enough, it was the Best Dressed announcement party at which dreams come true for 10 fashion-focused community leaders.

It's a much-envied sorority not for the feint of heart nor the light of pocketbook just as those shiny luxury wheels in valet parking would suggest. For there are the designer cocktail dresses to buy for the heralded announcement party in Neiman's couture salon and the splashy runway ensembles for (take a breath) the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon and Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation Benefiting March of Dimes. And then there is the pressure to live up to the tony designation — for at least two years as that is how long it takes for an honoree to be recognized for the second and third time.

Courtney Hill Fertitta and Phyllis Williams earned the keys to fashionista nirvana — the Best Dressed Hall of Fame, that honor awarded to those who make the list three times.

 

Holding their own in this sartorial selection process, orchestrated by the newspaper's features department, were Courtney Hill Fertitta and Phyllis Williams, both of whom earned the keys to fashionista nirvana — the Best Dressed Hall of Fame, that honor awarded to those who make the list three times.

Well on her way toward that highest of fashion honors in H-Town was the only one in the class of 2014 making the list for the second time — Jana Arnoldy, who chaired the 2013 Best Dressed luncheon. She was beyond glamorous in an aubergene cocktail dress by Rena Lange.

Those already mentioned and a host of newcomers to Best Dressed ranks were introduced by Houston Chronicle chairman Jack Sweeney. Community leaders who know their way around designer salons and making the list for the first time were Gina Bhatia, Divya Brown, Estela Cockrell, Mandy Kao, Tatiana Massey, Vanessa Sendukas and Claire Cormier-Thielke. Applause, applause for this year's exceptional collection of honorees from the Hall of Famers to the first-timers.

Another first-timer to the Best Dressed experience was Houston Chronicle editor and executive vice president, Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Nancy Barnesa recent arrival at the helm of the Texas Avenue bastion of Houston newsprint. MIA was one-time society writer, and fashionista in her own right, Lindsey Love. Over New Year's she was telling friends at Ceron's wedding in New York that she is moving to London to work for Sotheby's in the jewelry division. Her name no longer appears on the Style section roster.

Neiman's GM the ever-handsome Bob Devlin welcomed the gathering, comprised of honoree friends and family, former honorees, March of Dimes supporters and those seeking to be noticed as contenders for 2015 honors. The luncheon, chaired by sisters-in-law Greggory Burke and Allie Fields, takes place March 28 at the Westin Galleria. Neiman's is bringing in designer Ralph Rucci who will present his latest collection. Ladies, get those credit cards ready!

Applauding the Best Dressed contingent were Lora and Dr. John Clemmons, Scotty Arnoldy, Sheridan Williams, Sue and Lester Smith, Phoebe Tudor, Ceron, Diane and John Connally, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Cindi and Dr. Franklin Rose, Danielle and John Ellis, Julia and Russell Frankel, Rosemary Schatzman, Lauren Randle, Bruce Padilla and Shelby Kibodeaux and Duyen and Marc Huynh.

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