Best Dressed

10 stylish women — and two dynamic men — are center of attention at Best Dressed Luncheon

10 stylish women, two dynamic men draw attention at Best Dressed fete

Ken Downing, Kristy Bradshaw, Isabel David, Bob Devlin at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Ken Downing, Kristy Bradshaw, Isabel David, Bob Devlin. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Sue Smith, Lester Smith, Lynn Wyatt at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sue Smith, Lester Smith, Lynn Wyatt. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Mary D'Andrea, Jennifer Gammel, Stacey Stewart, Gina Bhatia at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Mary D'Andrea, Jennifer Gammel, Stacey Stewart, Gina Bhatia. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Sneha Merchant, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Gina Gaston at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sneha Merchant, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Gina Gaston Elie. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Sippi Khurana, Vivian Wise at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sippi Khurana, Vivian Wise. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Katie Arnoldy, Scotty Arnoldy, Jana Arnoldy, Lindley Arnoldy at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Katie Arnoldy, Scotty Arnoldy, Jana Arnoldy, Lindley Arnoldy. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Brunello Cucinelli runway show at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
A look from the Bruno Cucinelli runway show. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Best Dressed Luncheon 2017, Lucinda Loya, Gina Gasto Elie, Shelly Hendry, Kafi Slaughter,Tiffany Smith
Lucinda Loya, Gina Gaston Elie, Shelly Hendry, Kafi Slaughter, Tiffany Smith. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Alissa Maples, Christie Sullivan, Unidentified guest at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Alissa Maples, Christie Sullivan, guest. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Susan Plank, Unidentified, Laura Greenberg at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Susan Plank, guest, Laura Greenberg. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Sneha Merchant at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sneha Merchant, escorted on the runway. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Barbara Van Postman, Diane Lokey Farb, Dana Kervin at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Barbara van Postman, Diane Lokey Farb, Dana Kervin. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Brunello Cucinelli runway show at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
An evening gown from the Brunello Cucinelli runway show. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Best Dressed Luncheon 2017 honorees
Best Dressed honorees pose with March of Dimes president Stacey Stewart, Neiman Marcus general manager Bob Devlin, and chairs Kristy Bradshaw and Isabel David. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Michelle Smith, Millette Sherman, Rachel Regan at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Michelle Smith, Millette Sherman, Rachel Regan. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Rosemary Schatzman, Ken Downing, Sippi Khurana at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Rosemary Schatzman, Ken Downing, Sippi Khurana. Priscilla Dickson Photography
Ken Downing, Kristy Bradshaw, Isabel David, Bob Devlin at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sue Smith, Lester Smith, Lynn Wyatt at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Mary D'Andrea, Jennifer Gammel, Stacey Stewart, Gina Bhatia at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sneha Merchant, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Gina Gaston at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sippi Khurana, Vivian Wise at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Katie Arnoldy, Scotty Arnoldy, Jana Arnoldy, Lindley Arnoldy at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Brunello Cucinelli runway show at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Best Dressed Luncheon 2017, Lucinda Loya, Gina Gasto Elie, Shelly Hendry, Kafi Slaughter,Tiffany Smith
Alissa Maples, Christie Sullivan, Unidentified guest at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Susan Plank, Unidentified, Laura Greenberg at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Sneha Merchant at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Barbara Van Postman, Diane Lokey Farb, Dana Kervin at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Brunello Cucinelli runway show at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Best Dressed Luncheon 2017 honorees
Michelle Smith, Millette Sherman, Rachel Regan at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017
Rosemary Schatzman, Ken Downing, Sippi Khurana at Best Dressed Luncheon 2017

Ten Houston women were honored for their philanthropy and personal style before an enthusiastic crowd of 600 at the 35th annual Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon in the ballroom of the new Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown Houston. The much-anticipated event also found two dynamic men in the spotlight as well.

Neiman Marcus fashion director and senior vice president Ken Downing jetted in after a month viewing the latest styles in New York, Paris, and Milan to introduce the Brunello Cucinelli fall collection, which was showcased in a glittery runway show. Downing, who has been a blonde for as long as anyone can remember, sported new brown locks.

And philanthropist Lester Smith, looking hale and hearty after recuperating from a double lung transplant, attended with his wife, Sue Smith, and received a warm reception.

Carol Linn, who entered the Best Dressed Hall of Fame reserved for those who have have been named to the list three times, and first-timer Jessica Rossman, were each greeted with noisemakers from enthusiastic friends and significant others as they strolled the runway. Linn wore a floral Naeem Khan dress while Rossman chose a pale pink Cushnie et Ochs dress.

Other Hall of Famers were Jana Arnoldy, in a colorful Dolce & Gabbana dress evocative of one of her favorite vacation spots, St. Barth's; Gina Gaston Elie in a Prada feathered skirt and two-tone blouse; and Lisa Holthouse, in a Brunello Cucinelli pants ensemble. Other first timers on the Best Dressed runway were Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Mary D’Andrea, Carolyn Dorros, CleRenda McGrady, and Sneha Merchant.

Houston Chronicle chairman Jack Sweeney and fashion writer Joy Sewing peppered their commentary on each recipient with some humorous asides. They noted that Holthouse loves dancing on tables, McGrady boxes three times a week (so don't mess with her), and Rossman calls her Jimmy Choos "the new power suit."

Chairs Kristy Bradshaw and Isabel David, who greeted the crowd, were thrilled that the luncheon raised over $500,000 for the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The luncheon also had a poignant moment as Laura Ryan, with husband Michael Ryan, shared the story of how she went into premature labor at 24 weeks, giving birth to twins weighing only 1 lbs 5 oz. and 1 lb 9 oz. They lost their daughter but their son survived and is now 2.

March of Dimes national president Stacey Stewart noted that the nonprofit has invested $16 million in research dollars in the Texas Medical Center over the past decade. "Today the biggest enemy of infant mortality is preterm birth: Babies who are born too early, too soon," Stewart said. "Our strategy is simple: to prevent the preventable and discover the unknown causes."

Raffle chairs Ting Bresnahan and Sippi Khurana rounded up such prizes as a $5,000 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus, The Georgetti Experience trip to Milan, dinner for 10 at La Table, and a two one-night weekend stays at the Marriott Marquis. Laura Greenberg and Susan Plank were the winning bidders on a live auction item of an exclusive trip to Milan Fashion Week.

Seen in the well-dressed throng (who endured up to a 45-minute wait to get their cars from the valet at the end of the luncheon) were Leisa Holland-Nelson, Divya Brown, Sheridan Williams, Lynn Wyatt, Vivian Wise, Rosemary Schatzman, Neiman Marcus general manager Bob Devlin, Diane Lokey Farb, Mario Elie, Scotty Arnoldy, Lindley Arnoldy, Katie Arnoldy, Gordon Bethune, Michael Holthouse, Merele Yarborough, Phoebe Tudor, Renu Khator, Claire Cormier-Thielke, Duyen Nguyen, Lucinda Loya, and Tiffany Smith.