Shelby About Town

Best Dressed luncheon takes a cultural turn as Lynn Wyatt suggests artful approach to fashion

Best Dressed luncheon takes a cultural turn as Lynn Wyatt suggests artful approach to fashion

News004_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Kelli Blanton_Gilles Mendel_Lynn Wyatt
Kelli Blanton , Gilles Mendel , Lynn Wyatt Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_007_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Phyllis Williams_Gina Gaston Elie_Mary Tere Perusquia
Phyllis Williams , Gina Gaston Elie , Mary Tere Perusquia Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_005_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Lucinda Loya_Millette Sherman_Jana Arnoldy
Lucinda Loya , Millette Sherman , Jana Arnoldy Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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The J.Mendel fashions from Neiman Marcus had the ladies applauding. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_006_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Carol Linn_Paige Fertitta
Carol Linn , Paige Fertitta Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_015_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Sheridan Williams_Kristen Nix_Janet Gurwitch
Sheridan Williams , Kristen Nix , Janet Gurwitch Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Housotn Ballet II dancers whirled down the runway. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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J. Mendel evening wear Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_025_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Valerie Salembier_Ceron
Valerie Salembier , Cerón Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_002_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Sue Smith_Dr. Kelli Cohen-Fein
Sue Smith , Dr. Kelli Cohen-Fein Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_016_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Kaylin Constantiner_Anita Smith_Merele Yarborough
Kaylin Constantiner , Anita Smith , Merele Yarborough Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_014_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Kim Petersen_Jill Faucetta_Bethany Hughes
Kim Petersen , Jill Faucetta , Bethany Hughes Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_017_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Lauren Randle_Lora Clemmons
Lauren Randle , Lora Clemmons Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_023_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Ileana Trevino_Alina Garcia_Cindy Garza
Ileana Trevino , Alina Garcia , Cindy Garza Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Estella Cockrell , Stephanie Cockrell Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_018_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Amy Lee_Gina Bhatia_Tonya Riner_Mary D'Andrea
Amy Lee , Gina Bhatia , Tonya Riner , Mary D'Andrea Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Elena Loya , Javier Loya , Ana Luca Loya Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_036_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Carol Linn
Carol Linn Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_009_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Brittany Bean_Heather Hill_Stephanie Boles_Jessica Fontenot
Brittany Bean , Heather Hill , Stephanie Boles , Jessica Fontenot Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Anamaria Arboleda , Marisol Leiva Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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After the luncheon, these J. Mendel fashions went back to Neiman's where they were on display at a cocktail reception. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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News_007_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Phyllis Williams_Gina Gaston Elie_Mary Tere Perusquia
News_005_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Lucinda Loya_Millette Sherman_Jana Arnoldy
News_040_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_J. Mendel fashions_model_runway
News_006_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Carol Linn_Paige Fertitta
News_015_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Sheridan Williams_Kristen Nix_Janet Gurwitch
News_032_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_dancers
News_039_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_J. Mendel fashions_model_runway
News_025_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Valerie Salembier_Ceron
News_002_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Sue Smith_Dr. Kelli Cohen-Fein
News_016_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Kaylin Constantiner_Anita Smith_Merele Yarborough
News_014_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Kim Petersen_Jill Faucetta_Bethany Hughes
News_017_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Lauren Randle_Lora Clemmons
News_023_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Ileana Trevino_Alina Garcia_Cindy Garza
News_020_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Estella Cockrell_Stephanie Cockrell
News_018_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Amy Lee_Gina Bhatia_Tonya Riner_Mary D'Andrea
News_012_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Elena Loya_Javier Loya_Ana Luca Loya
News_036_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Carol Linn
News_009_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Brittany Bean_Heather Hill_Stephanie Boles_Jessica Fontenot
News_001_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_Anamaria Arboleda_Marisol Leiva
News_026_Houston Best Dressed luncheon_March 2012_crowd_venue

The 30th anniversary Best Dressed luncheon enjoyed a sophisticated step up on Wednesday as the catwalk, traditionally the domain of the honorees and a Neiman Marcus fashion presentation, was deliciously commandeered by a trio of cultural arts groups. And that was just one of several firsts for the March of Dimes fundraiser, held in the ballroom of the Westin Galleria Hotel. 

With Kelli Blanton serving as chair, Lynn Wyatt stepped elegantly into her role as the luncheon's first-ever honorary chair. It was a fitting distinction as Lynn was also the first to enter the Best Dressed Hall of Fame. She brought with her not only her signature glamour but also her bold creative bent. It was Lynn who proposed the marriage between fashion and the arts — a suggestion readily embraced by Houston Grand Opera, the Alley Theatre and Houston Ballet.

The Alley's Todd Waite commenced the luncheon with a poetic ode to fashion. HGO's Catherine Martin entertained with the "Habanera" from Carmen. And the ballet provided some two dozen youthful dancers in full costume, a few channeling The Black Swan, who floated down the catwalk to classical and then rock music.

Another first — two designers of international renowned were in the house, featured designer Gilles Mendel and Tooties' guest Andrew Gn, in town for the previous days' Passion for Fashion luncheon. Also, it was Town & Country editor Jay Fielden's first visit to the Best Dressed benefit. Joining him from New York was T&C publisher Valerie Salembier, who assisted Jeff Cohen in presentation of the honorees.

Taking their turn in the spotlight were first-time honorees Jana Arnoldy, Gina Gaston Elie, Carol Linn and Millette Sherman. Making their second runway sashay were Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein, Paige Fertitta, Mary Tere Perusquia and Phyllis Williams. Applause, applause for Best Dressed Hall of Fame honorees Lucinda Loya and Sue Smith, having entered the highest realm of Houston fashion for appearing on the list for the third time.

Among the 600 guests helping raise $400,000 for March of Dimes were a number of Best Dressed Hall of Famers including Melinda Berkman, Anita Webber Smith, Sheridan Willliams, Karen Johnson, Karen Mayell, Dancie Ware, Diane Lokey Farb, Phoebe Tudor, Lora Clemmons, Mary Lynn Marks, Danielle Ellis, Becca Cason Thrash and more.

Beyond the high-style femmes in attendance there were plenty of men in the room including a number of husbands of the honorees — Scotty Arnoldy, Lester Smith, Haag Sherman, Javier Loya, Ricardo Perusquia. Add Cerón, Fady Armanious, Dick Hansen, Jackson Hicks, Milton Townsend and Neiman Marcus GM Bob Devlin, who introduced the stunning J. Mendel fashion presentation.

The honorees are selected by staff of the Houston Chronicle, luncheon sponsor.