For a not insubstantial percentage of Houston women, the arrival of fall means just one thing: the chance to get dolled up in a glamorous gown. Some opt for traditional formalwear, à la Valentino’s striking red dress (center, $4,390)—a “bombshell gown” that’s breathtakingly simple, according to Veronica Guerra, couture fashion stylist for Neiman Marcus, yet revealing in all the right places, proving once again that traditional doesn’t have to mean boring.
Other fans of the formal will want to go in a different direction, and this season they can. Patterns, always a no-brainer during the day, are now officially sanctioned eveningwear. A strapless Zac Posen gown (right, $4,990), elegant and feminine, sports an eye-catching python pattern that feels current and young. And a sleeved Carolina Herrera gown (left, $5,990) features a surprise menswear staple—a houndstooth print—that adds an element of boldness and surprise to what is otherwise a classic, conservative cut. “That pattern creates more of the modern feel, especially because it’s an abstract version of a traditional pattern,” Guerra says. “There’s more play when it comes to elegant dress now.”
Photo shoot styled by Veronica Guerra of Neiman Marcus. All dresses available at Neiman Marcus, The Galleria, neimanmarcus.com.