Best red carpet gowns

Best red carpet gowns: 34 distinctive, stylish looks that livened up Houston's social scene in 2016

Hallie Vanderhider at Museum of Fine Arts Grand Gala
© Michelle Watson/
Houston, Opera Ball Gowns, April 2016, Lynn Wyatt in Gucci.
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Ballet Ball, Feb. 2016,  Vivian Wise in Stephen Yearick
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston, Opera Ball Gowns, April 2016, Kelli Cohen Fein in Carolina Herrera.
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Ballet Ball, Feb. 2016, Karen Payne
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Asia Society Tiger Ball, March 2016, Renu Khator, Suresh Khator
Photo by Jenny Antill
Houston Ballet Ball, Feb. 2016,  Lauren Anderson
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Van Cleef & Arpels party, April 2016, Becca Cason Thrash
© Michelle Watson/
Houston, Opera Ball Gowns, April 2016,  Suzanne Saperstein in Armani Haute Couture.
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Ballet Ball, Feb. 2016,  Diane Lokey Farb
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
For the Sake of Art, Yvonne Cormier, Rufus Cormier
© Michelle Watson/
Lucinda Loya, Javier Loya Fashion X Houston
Photo by Leah Wilson
Red Cross Ball, Feb. 2016, Bobby Tudor, Phoebe Tudor
© Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Mercury Gala April 2016, Elizabeth Abraham Colombowala, Lindley Arnoldy
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Star of Hope luncheon 5/16 Dominique Sachse
Courtesy of Star of Hope
Houston, Opera Ball Gowns, April 2016,  Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl in Yves Saint Laurent
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Know Autism Gala, Feb. 2016, Sippi Khurana, Ajay Khurana
Photo by Quy Tran
Houston, Opera Ball Gowns, April 2016, Kendall Hanno in Juvanni.
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
SPA, Gala April 2016, Carlos Barbieri, Karina Barbieri
Photo by Killy
Van Cleef & Arpels party, April 2016, Steve Wyatt, Joyce Echols, Gary Petersen
© Michelle Watson/
Tootsies Love's In Fashion, Feb. 2016, Max Bullough, Bailee Beachy
© Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Zoo Ball 4/2016 Raj Natarajan, Tamar Mendelssohn
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, Opera Ball Gowns, April 2016, Kristina Somerville in Oscar De La Renta.
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Fresh Faces of Fashion 8/16, Lindsey Amiralai
© Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
SPA Gala, April 2016, Kase Lawal, Eileen Lawal
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ceron, Isabel David, Todd Fiscus at Museum of Fine Arts Grand Gala
© Michelle Watson/
Houston Ballet Ball, Feb. 2016,  Hannah McNair in Miles David
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
SPA Gala, April 2016, Richard Mithoff, Ginni MIthoff
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
For the Sake of Art, Matt Probus, Joi Maria Probus
© Michelle Watson/
TUTS Gala 4/2016, David Oelman, Claudia Oelman
Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston, Virtuosi of Houston, May 2016, Hasti Taghi, Stacey Andell
Photo by Fulton Davenport/PWL Studio
SPA gala, April 2016, Jeff Smith, Kathryn Smith
Photo by Priscilla Dickson

Houston may not be Hollywood, but the penchant for red carpet gowns is just as pronounced in the Bayou City as it is in Tinseltown. That's one reason why big-name designers always make Houston a prime stop because they know that women here still like to dress up.

"They buy evening and cocktail," Christian Siriano noted when he made a recent personal appearance at Elizabeth Anthony. "They have stuff to do, which is very different from other cities where the social calendar is not heavy like it is here."

As 2016 draws to an end, we look at some of the most distinctive red carpet looks in Houston this year.


Hallie Vanderhider made a grand entrance at the Museum of Fine Arts Grand Gala Ball with this show-stopping gown designed by Monique Lhuillier.

At the Houston Grand Opera Ball, Lynn Wyatt drew admiring glances in a yellow Gucci flora- and fauna-embroidered gown. A few months earlier, Wyatt had worn the gown to the exclusive Vanity Fair Oscar dinner and party in Los Angeles, where Gucci designer Alessandro Michele, who has revived the high-fashion Italian brand and taken the fashion world by storm, complimented her on the gown.


At the Houston Ballet Ball, Heart of Fashion founder Vivian Wise channeled a snow princess in this voluminous white gown by Stephen Yearich. The only catch, noted CultureMap at the time: it's not so great for dancing as she estimated the gown weighs at least 10 pounds.

Kelli Cohen Fein wowed onlookers at the Opera Ball in a striking Carolina Herrera gown with a distinctive cracked floral print skirt 

Karen Payne looked elegant in a red, off-the-shoulder gown by Roland Mouret at the Ballet Ball.

University of Houston chancellor Renu Khator brushed off the stuffy image that many academicians exhibit by wearing a sexy light blue gown at the Asia Society Tiger Ball.

At the Ballet Ball, former prima ballerina Lauren Anderson still rocks a killer body in a striking gown featuring a cut-out top and illusion skirt.

Becca Cason Thrash chose a golden Naeem Khan Art Deco-inspired gown for a black-tie dinner party she and hubby, John Thrash, hosted at their home to toast the opening of the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in River Oaks District.

Suzanne Saperstein exuded powerful sophistication in a black form-fitting Armani Privé Haute Couture gown with bright yellow jack at the Opera Ball.

At the Ballet Ball, Diane Lokey Farb sparkled in a strapless beaded Armani Privé Haute Couture with feather detail.

At the For the Sake of Art Gala, Yvonne Cormier was a glamorous lady in red.

Lucinda Loya exhibited her cutting-edge style at Fashion X, where she was an honoree.

At the American Red Cross' "Wrapped in Red" Gala, Phoebe Tudor celebrated the Houston chapter's 100th anniversary with red-hot style in a body-hugging velvet halter gown.

Lindley Arnoldy, right, livened up the Mercury Gala in a orange, black and gray print gown while Elizabeth Abraham Colombowala also added a touch of color with a coral jacket that contrasted with her black gown.

Channel 2 anchor Dominique Sachse looked like a princess as a celebrity model at the Star of Hope 18th annual Fashion Show and Luncheon.

Wearing black is Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl's trademark, but she always does it in a stylish way. For the Opera Ball, she chose a distinctive black Yves Saint Lauren gown with cut-outs at the hip.

Sippi Khurana looked regal in a purple gown with shoulder detail at the KNOW Autism Gala.

For the Opera Ball, Kendall Hanno chose a striking gown by Juvanni featuring a black-and-white striped skirt with asymmetrical hem.

For the Society for the Performing Arts Gala, Karina Barbieri chose a Roberto Cavalli print gown in shades of purple with a matching turban.

Joyce Echols looked chic in a patterned black sleeveless gown that ended just about the ankle at the Van Cleef & Arpels dinner party.

At Tootsies Love's in Fashion, Bailee Beachy's floral gown was made for dancing.

For the Houston Zoo Ball, Tamar Mendelsson chose an etheral light purple gown that was fresh and fun.

For the Opera Ball, Kristina Somerville chose a stylish halter gown by Oscar de la Renta that featured colorful embroidered flowers.

At Fresh Faces of Fashion, Lindsey Amiralai worked the fringe theme on the runway.

 Eileen Lawal's jeweled caftan captured the spirit of the "Shimmering Sands, A Night at the Oasis" theme at the Society for the Performing Arts Gala.

Isabel David looked effortlessly elegant in a red Valentino gown with high neck and long sleeves to the Museum of Fine Arts Grand Gala.

For the Ballet Ball, Hannah Hartland McNair borrowed this distinctive Miles David strapless gown with an illusion skirt from her identical twin sister, Joanna Hartland Marks. It was created by Houston designer David Peck.

At the Society for the Performing Arts Gala, Ginni Mithoff captured the spirit of the occasion in a red gown and matching jacket.

At the For the Sake of Art Gala, Joi Maria Probus rocked a more casual arty vibe in a sleeveless gown in an eye-catching shade of orange, accesorized with a multi-colored headscarf.

For the Theatre Under The Stars Gala, Claudia Oelman accessorized her chic black gown with stylish white opera gloves.

At the Virtuosi of Houston 20th Anniversary Gala, Stacey Andell and Hasta Taghi each wore body-hugging strapless gowns; Andell in orange, and Taghi, in black.

It's not a gown, but Kathryn Smith pulled off a perfect alternative nighttime look with a light blue beaded tunic jacket over darker blue slacks at the Society for the Performing Arts Gala.