HTX France 2013
Dressed to thrill

Who wore it best? Haute couture gowns and big jewels highlight Liaisons au Louvre gala

Who wore it best? Glam gowns and big jewels highlight Louvre gala

Louvre gowns Joyce Echols, Elizabeth Petersen in Reem Acra and Melissa Mithoff in Naeem Khan June 2013
Joyce Echols, from left, Elizabeth Petersen in a Elie Saab gown and Melissa Mithoff in a Naeem Khan gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Becca Cason Thrash in Jean-Paul Gautier haute couture June 2013
Becca Cason Thrash in a Jean-Paul Gaultier haute couture skirt with wide crocodile belt. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Gela Nash-Taylor in Alexander MacQueen June 2013
Gela Nash-Taylor in an Alexander McQueen gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Greggory Burk in Naeem Khan gown June 2013 back view
Greggory Burk in a Naeem Khan gown with open tulled back. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Diana Ross in Bob Mackie gown June 2013
Diana Ross in a vintage Bob Mackie gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Caroline Starry LeBlanc June 2013
Caroline Starry LeBlanc in a gown by Roland Nivelais. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Milla Jovovich in Saint Laurent
 Milla Jovovich in a Saint Laurent gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Irina Abramovich, Alfiya Kuanyshev, Joanna Przetakiewicz,Kim Heirston-Evans
Irinia Abramovich in a Jenny Packham gown, from left, Alfiya Kuanyshev in a Dolce and Gabbana gown, Joanna Przetakiewicz  in a dress by La Mania and Kim Heirston-Evans in Badgley-Mischka haute couture gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Charlotte Casiraghi and Juliette Maillot June 2013
Charlotte Casigrahi in a Giambattista Valli floral gown and Juliette Maillot in an Alexander Mabille gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Ana Pettus in Givenchy haute couture June 2013
Ana Pettus in a Givenchy haute couture gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Diane Lokey Farb in Armani Prive haute couture June 2013
Diane Lokey Farb in an Armanie Privé haute couture gown and Chopard jewels. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Harry Cooper and Valerie Cooer June 2013
Valerie Cooper posed in a Jenny Packham gown with husband San Diego businessman Harry Cooper. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Sallymoon Benz in Jovani June 2013
Sallymoon Benz in a Jovani gown and Bulgari jewels. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Renee Lewis Cary in Oscar de la Renta June 2013
Renée Lewis Cary in an Oscar de la Renta gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Hallie Vanderhider in Vera Wang June 2013
Hallie Vanderhider in a Vera Wang gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Olga Kurylenko in Azzedine Alila  June 2013
Olga Kurylenko in an Azzedine Alila gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Greggory Burk in Naeem Khan gown June 2013 front view
Greggory Burk in a Naeem Khan gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Tracey Amon in Dior June 2013
Tracey Amon in a Dior by Raf Simons gown with jeweled lobster pin. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Ann Wolf in vintage Oscar de la Renta June 2013
Ann Wolf wore vintage Oscar de la Renta. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Bianca Brandolini in Dolce and Gabbana June 2013
Bianca Brandolini in a Dolce and Gabbana dress. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Janna Bullock in Valentino June 2013
Janna Bullock in a Valentino gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Catherine Cary in Monique Lhuillier June 2013
Catherine Cary in a Monique Lhuillier gown. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Julia Macklowe in Alexander McQueen and Jill Bikoff June 2013
Julie Macklowe, left, in an Alexander McQueen gown and Jill Bikoff. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Susan Tolson and Ambassador Charles Rivkin June 2013
Susan Tolson and Ambassador Charles Rivkin. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe June 2013
Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Stephane Gerschel and Princess Marie Louise Zu Sayn Wittgenstein Berleburg
Princess Marie-Louise " Lilly" zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, right, with Stephane Gerschel. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Louvre gowns Joyce Echols, Elizabeth Petersen in Reem Acra and Melissa Mithoff in Naeem Khan June 2013
Louvre gowns Becca Cason Thrash in Jean-Paul Gautier haute couture June 2013
Louvre gowns Gela Nash-Taylor in Alexander MacQueen June 2013
Louvre gowns Greggory Burk in Naeem Khan gown June 2013 back view
Louvre gowns Diana Ross in Bob Mackie gown June 2013
Louvre gowns Caroline Starry LeBlanc June 2013
Louvre gowns Milla Jovovich in Saint Laurent
Louvre gowns Irina Abramovich, Alfiya Kuanyshev, Joanna Przetakiewicz,Kim Heirston-Evans
Louvre gowns Charlotte Casiraghi and Juliette Maillot June 2013
Louvre gowns Ana Pettus in Givenchy haute couture June 2013
Louvre gowns Diane Lokey Farb in Armani Prive haute couture June 2013
Louvre gowns Harry Cooper and Valerie Cooer June 2013
Louvre gowns Sallymoon Benz in Jovani June 2013
Louvre gowns Renee Lewis Cary in Oscar de la Renta June 2013
Louvre gowns Hallie Vanderhider in Vera Wang June 2013
Louvre gowns Olga Kurylenko in Azzedine Alila  June 2013
Louvre gowns Greggory Burk in Naeem Khan gown June 2013 front view
Louvre gowns Tracey Amon in Dior June 2013
Louvre gowns Ann Wolf in vintage Oscar de la Renta June 2013
Louvre gowns Bianca Brandolini in Dolce and Gabbana June 2013
Louvre gowns Janna Bullock in Valentino June 2013
Louvre gowns Catherine Cary in Monique Lhuillier June 2013
Louvre gowns Julia Macklowe in Alexander McQueen and Jill Bikoff June 2013
Louvre gowns Susan Tolson and Ambassador Charles Rivkin June 2013
Louvre gowns Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe June 2013
Louvre gowns Stephane Gerschel and Princess Marie Louise Zu Sayn Wittgenstein Berleburg

PARIS — For the Liaisons au Louvre Trois gala Tuesday night, host Becca Cason Thrash asked the ladies and gents to go all out — and they did. The invitation requested "extremely formal attire" and guests responded with glittery haute couture designs — some of which weighed more than a child — and impeccable tuxes.

Thrash, in a Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture sequined skirt that weighed 40 pounds, quipped, "I'm just going to stand here like the statues." Actress Milla Jovovich estimated her silver Saint Laurent gown with a thigh-high slit totaled "at least 30 pounds." While stunning, it weighed her down so much that she removed her stilettos after the first course was served to relax.

Models Olga Kurylenko, in a form-fitting pink Azzedine Alaïa fitted knit gown with a fishtail skirt, and Bianca Brandolini, in mid-calf-length blue silk and satin Dolce & Gabbana dress with white lace trim, drew the attention of European paparazzi, along with Caroline Casiraghi. The daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco wore a flowing pink and red floral off-the-shoulder gown by Giambattista Valli that fueled swirling rumors that she is pregnant. (She was seen drinking and smoking at the party, so we're guessing she's not.)

The invitation requested "extremely formal attire" and guests responded.

Gela Nash-Taylor made a high fashion statement in an Alexander McQueen gown with a tulle train that she expertly navigated through the crowd to avoid getting it stepped on too many times. "It's McQueen when McQueen was McQueen," she noted. (The designer died in 2010; Sarah Burton now designs the line.)

Others going for a high-fashion look were former Dallasite Ana Pettus in a black Givenchy haute couture gown and Tracey Amon, the stylish wife of Swiss tycoon Maurice Amon, in a navy dress by Raf Simons at Dior that rose above the knee in the front and trailed to the floor in the back. She accented the dress with an oversized jeweled pin in the shape of a lobster.

Diana Ross, who wowed the audience with a performance of her greatest hits, saw red for the occasion in a special gown. "When I saw this project, I just had to do it, so I pulled out my vintage Bob Mackie," the singer told a style.com reporter backstage after the show. "I just loved this energy here tonight."

Houston women ratcheted up the glamour quotient several notches in eye-catching gowns and stunning jewelry. Greggory Burk stood out in a deco-beaded high-neck gown from her close friend Naeem Khan's fall 2013 collection (Stacy Keibler wore a similar gown to the Oscars) while Melissa Mithoff drew admiring glances in a black-sequined gown with an exposed back, also by Khan.

Diane Lokey Farb looked red-carpet ready in an emerald Armani Privé haute couture gown accented with stunning Chopard jewels. Unlike most jewelry worn by notables at such events, her necklace and earrings weren't borrowed.

Elizabeth Petersen said she chose her contemporary coral gown with lace insets by Elie Saab for comfort. "I was going to wear a gown with a more editorial look, but I want to be able to dance."

Other Houstonians who stood out were Judith Oudt in a silver Oscar de la Renta gown, Joyce Echols in a gown of black lace (she couldn't recall the designer), Renée Lewis Cary in a bright fuchsia Oscar de la Renta gown, Sara Dodd in a J. Mendel goddess gown, Sallymoon Benz in a glittering Jovani gown accented with Bulgari jewels, Hallie Vanderhider in a burgundy Vera Wang gown, Ann Wolf in vintage Oscar de la Renta, Tami Dias in a navy Ralph Lauren gown and Caroline Starry LeBlanc in an aubergine Roland Nivelais gown.

As for the men, designers Valli and Andrew Gn both wore V-neck T-shirts under their tuxes — a much more casual look that stood out amid the impeccably cut tuxedos. Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson looked dashing in Lanvin and Gucci tuxes, respectively, while Fady Armanious, in a white-and-silver Dolce & Gabbana jacket, and Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes, who accessorized his white tux shirt with a large brooch in place of a tie, proved that men can also make a fashion statement.

To see Michelle Watson's fashion photos, click on "Enlarge Slideshow" in the main photo at the top of this story.