Lynn Wyatt

As fashion icon, BFF with Elton John and international swan, this lady is Houston's best ambassador

As fashion icon, Elton John BFF & international swan, Lynn Wyatt rules

4 Shelby The Influentials Houston Lynn Wyatt May 2013
Photo by © Michelle Watson/

Just home from New York where she attended the Princess Grace Foundation board meeting as a founding trustee, she was able to catch a performance of Tristan & Isolde at Houston Grand Opera for which she has served as executive committee vice chair for more than 25 years. And today she's finalizing plans for two summer visits with Sir Elton John (her best friend) at his home in England. There are so many reasons why Lynn Wyatt can't think of being anyone else other than Lynn Wyatt.

We asked.

"I love my life," she responded, declining to even consider being anyone else.

Lynn is on a first name basis with Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld and Carolina Herrera, no surprise for this International Best Dressed honoree and fashion icon. Her houseguests have included Placido Domingo, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli and Elton (who composed a song just for her). She counts among her close friends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Renee Fleming. Through her years as Houston's leading hostess, Wyatt has entertained these big names as well as presidents, stars and numerous European royals.

In fact, Houston could not have a better ambassador. The French long ago recognized her cultural and philanthropic leadership and her international savoir faire, naming her an officier of the French Legion of Honor.

While Wyatt travels frequently, this third generation Houstonian has never faltered in her appreciation of the city or her participation in its cultural milieu. Among her active involvements, she serves on the executive committees of the Alley Theatre and Houston Ballet. She is a lifetime trustee of Star of Hope and a founding trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts Film Department.

Lynn is a glamorous fixture on the social scene, her mere presence contributing an enviable status to every event.

What is your chief characteristic?

My chief characteristic is my attitude. That old adage that a glass is half empty or half full, if I see a glass that's half empty, I think of it as brimming over the top.

Your idea of happiness.

That is a philosophical question. There are fleeting moments of happiness . . . . I've been in certain moments in my life when I stop and think, why am I so happy? And I think that I've made a recording of it in my mind's eye. I describe what I'm seeing. I describe what I am hearing and I describe mostly what I'm feeling. And then it's recorded in my mind and I feel like many times I can just conjure up that mind's eye element and it makes you feel happy because you were so impressed by that feeling. Happiness comes in bursts. It's fleeting.

Your idea of misery?

My idea of misery is seeing someone that I love having to suffer. That would kill me.

Your personal motto?

Live a lot, laugh a lot and love a lot.

Who are your heroes?

First of all the men and women who are serving our country to keep us safe every day and the everyday person who sees when someone is in need and stops what they are doing and helps them out of the goodness of their heart. I find that real heroes don't think of themselves as heroes, which makes them even more heroic.

Your favorite pastime?

Eating popcorn and going to the movies. And eating popcorn and drinking champagne is my favorite combination. 

Something about you that people would be surprised to learn?

People are surprised when they find out that I am a first degree black belt in taekwondo. You have to be very disciplined. I was so proud of myself when he put that black belt with the gold medal on it around me, I burst into tears. I've never taken a test that was so nerve-wracking.

The best advice you've received?

Be yourself. But the best advice that I would give to myself is: Your friends are your friends no matter what and those that aren't don't really matter. I think it's important not to expect friends to be loyal even though you are loyal to them. I learned that early on.

Your favorite aspect of Houston?

I think that Houston exudes energy. You can feel it in the people. I love the generous, welcoming spirit. And the diversity of Houston is attractive and the high quality of the arts. It's a great city and it's a great base. 

What would you change about the city?

The weather.

What is it like to be Elton John's best friend?

Elton is the most caring, compassionate friend. He personifies the words "best friend." He can sense when I need to talk to him and all of a sudden he will call me. You can just feel his love. He's so witty and smart and being a genius doesn't hurt.

What's your favorite place to eat in the world?

The best restaurant in the world, in my opinion, is La Petite Maison, which is in Nice in the South of France. I mean everything they serve is incredible and the food keeps coming out. But my favorite thing they serve are hot buttered truffle sandwiches. It's like nothing you've ever, ever tasted. The bread is so crisp, the butter is just dripping and lots of truffles, lots of truffles.  Ahhhh!