Not every great fashion moment requires a designer gown, but then again those billowing frocks embedded with beads, wispy feathers and the like do make for dramatic visions. So it should be no surprise that the bulk of our Great Looks for 2013 are ball gowns.
However, we've thrown in enough street chic and luncheon wear to balance the glam factor.
We begin in Paris at the Liaisons au Louvre III gala, held at the Louvre where several scores of Houstonians partied. Here, we spotlight three stunners — Joyce Echols, from left, Elizabeth Petersen in Reem Acra and Melissa Mithoff in Naeem Khan.
Martin Fein and Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein chaired the Houston Ballet Ball, for which she went to great lengths to secure this Carolina Herrera gown.
The designer was a special guest on the evening that honored her close friend Lynn Wyatt.
Brian Teichman and Andrew Cordes were eye-catchers at the CancerForward spring gala at Houston Country Club. The dapper duo chairs the 2014 Alley Ball.
Chairing the Best Dressed Luncheon and Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation benefiting the March of Dimes requires close attention to the mirror. Here, luncheon chairs Stephanie Cockrell, left, and Greggory Burk scored 10s for their ladylike approach.
Long after the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is over there is yet another good reason for dressing western — the American Cancer Society's annual Cattle Baron's Ball. Here Nick Florescu and KPRC Channel 2 news anchor Dominique Sachse give western wear a stylish feel.
Phoebe Tudor's gown by J. Mendel reflected the opulent decor of the white-tie-and-tails Houston Symphony Ball, which she chaired with husband Bobby Tudor.
For the Liaison au Louvre III in Paris, Diane Lokey Farb chose this dramatic haute couture gown by Armani Privé.
If you can't pull out the haute couture in Paris, where else?
The invitation to Joyce Echol's party saluting actor turned artist Richard Grieco called for rocker chic attire and no one did it better than DeVille Fine Jewelry owner Liz Glanville, here accompanied by her husband Tom Glanville.
Cutting striking images in their chapeaux, honoree Ursaline Hamilton, left, and Gina Gaston were part of the crowd at the annual Hats Off to Mothers Luncheon benefiting Easter Seals.
Lynn Wyatt stepped out in her signature grand glamour style for the Trees of Hope gala, the deliciously holiday-themed evening.
The ever-fashionable Isabel David claimed the runway as her own when she served as emcee for the Fresh Faces of Fashion evening at Tootsies.
For the Liaisons au Louvre III dinner at the Palais du Luxembourg, Becca Cason Thrash, who showcased major designers throughout the three days and nights of parties, wore Prabal Gurung. The open-necked gown was perfect for displaying the Bulgari necklace. Bulgari was sponsor of the elegant dinner.
Costume parties are all the rage in H-Town and few do the costuming better than Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, and Kim and Dan Tutcher. For the Bayou Preservation Association's "Born on the Bayou" bash, they took motorcycle chic to a new level. And as chairs of the event, what else would we expect?
At the white-tie-and-tails Houston Grand Opera Ball, Celina Hellmund was a standout in her red ruffled gown by Oscar de la Renta.
The Woodrow Wilson Awards dinner at River Oaks Country Club was occasion for this always glam couple — Lucinda and Javier Loya — to step out in sophisticated style.
For every special occasion, Margaret Alkek Williams has a special gown, here a beaded one-shoulder dress made especially for her by Rome-based designer Rippetta. She is escorted to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Gala Ball by Jim Daniel.
For a Nini Ricci event in the couture salon of Neiman Marcus, Vivian Wise, self-proclaimed curator of the divine, wore a leather dress by L'Agence accessorized with rockstud boots and handbag by Valentino. Watch for Vivian in January when she launches Velvet Slipper Divine, her new retail concept.
The ladies weren't the only ones totally styled for the Hermann Park Conservancy "Hats in the Park" luncheon. Todd Fiscus and Ceron contributed a high note of sartorial splendor to the gathering that was held in a party tent overlooking the Hermann Park golf course.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Gala Ball with its Indian theme inspired creative dressing as in the beaded caftan worn by Gracie Cavnar, left, and the elegantly beaded gown worn by Sultana Mangalji. They shared the photo opp with museum director Gary Tinterow.
Displaying a savvy casual look at the Fresh Faces of Fashion evening at Tootsies are Kathleen Jennings, from left, Ting Bresnahan, Audrey Cochran and Kristy Bradshaw.
A little leather, a little Hermes and dress shorts reveal their youthful sense of style.