Jeff Shell is always thinking of new ways to freshen up the iconic little black dress. In advance of the latest edition of the Little Black Dress Designer Competition, which Shell created six years ago, the Neal Hamil Agency director unveiled the names of 10 stylish Houston women who will serve as muses for the young fashion designers in advance of this year's contest.
Before a packed gathering of Houston's fashion faithful at Tootsies Wednesday night, Yasmine Haddad, Ursaline Hamilton, Lucinda Loya, Beth Muecke, Judy Nyquist, Theresa Roemer, Roseann Rogers, Jessica Rossman, Holly Waltrip and Donae Chramosta took runway bows to big applause.
Also joining in the fun were Jared Lang, general manager of Audi Central Houston, which sponsored the event, Tootsies owner Mickey Rosmarin, Maryam Afshari, Vivian Wise, Jeanne and James Ruberti, Karina Barbieri, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Hallie Vanderhider, Suzette Brimmer, Kay King, Todd Ramos, Monica Abney, Deborah Elias and Hershey Grace. Guests sampled hors d'oeuvres from Pondicheri and Corner Table and stopped by an unusual wine bar with a human Holly Golightly look-alike rising from the center of a round table.
The event also featured a runway show showcasing the season's hautest little black dresses from Azzedine Alaia, Lela Rose, BCBG and other top designers, assembled by Toosties fashion director Fady Armanious and available at the store.
A panel of celebrity judges will choose the 10 Texas designers who will create little black dresses for their muses. The fashion icons will select their favorite designs at a high tea party at Saks Fifth Avenue on April 2.
The Little Black Dress Designer Competition will take place at House of Blues on May 21, with $30,000 in scholarships awarded to the winners.