Meet the 2014 Ten Best Dressed Nominees

Fashionistas With Heart
Left to right: Patty Leyendecker, Heather Esping, Lynn McBee, Mary Clare Finney, DeeDee Lee, Hall of Fame honoree Lee Ann White, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Ashley Hunt, Christi Urschel, Margaret Hancock, and Nancy Carlson. (Photo: Dana Driensky)

Nancy Carlson

Favorite designer? Marni, Balenciaga, and Dior — Marni makes great dresses, Balenciaga has the best shapes and fit, and anything Dior is always perfect. Favorite outfit in your closet? I’m really comfortable in a jacket, short skirt, black tights, and flat boots. Fashion era you miss? ‘60s and early ‘70s — designers like Pucci and Courregès; models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. Fashion faux pas? I’ve made a million. Favorite charity? Crystal Charity Ball helps so many children in Dallas each year. The arts are also essential — I love TACA and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Heather Esping

Favorite designer? Lanvin, Valentino, Celine, Zac Posen, and of course Nina Ricci. Favorite outfit in your closet? My sun-protected tennis top from SK Girl. I know that when I put that on I will get to exercise, have fun with my friends, and ward off any further sun damage. Fashion era you miss? ‘60s — I love how the women dress on Mad Men. It’s so feminine and put-together. Fashion faux pas? Wearing shoulder pads in everything in the ‘80s. Favorite charity? I feel drawn to organizations that give children a chance at a better education. It’s their perseverance and dedication that allows the program to succeed.

Mary Clare Finney

Favorite designer? There are too many greats to single out only one. Favorite outfit in your closet? A long, sleeveless, bohemian-style dress I can throw on and go to the grocery store or a meeting in. Fashion era you miss? Flapper era, because who doesn’t love fringe, feathers, and pearls? Fashion faux pas? The need to wear hosiery or socks with shoes. I’m getting a little less ridicule now that Kate Middleton has been wearing hose. Favorite charity? Through the agencies that CCB supports I feel like I learn more about the Dallas community and the range of needs of some of its citizens. It is fulfilling to see the children benefiting through a program that I helped to raise funds for.

Margaret Hancock

Favorite designer? Hadleigh’s in Highland Park Village. Gable and Ed are Dallas designers, and their clothes are beautiful, classic, and easy to wear day and night. Favorite outfit in your closet? I love to wear dresses. They are feminine and a complete outfit. Fashion era you miss? ‘60s — my favorite outfit was a pair of plaid, hip-hugger bell-bottoms when I was 6 years old. Fashion faux pas? I wear my sunglasses all the time. They keep my hair out of my face. Favorite charity? Crystal Charity Ball! The efforts of these amazing women with our community’s generous support is truly making a difference in the lives of Dallas children.

Ashley Hunt

Favorite designer? Raf Simons for Christian Dior. His designs are amazingly creative and wearable. Favorite outfit in your closet? A blue-and-white, brocade dress by Valentino. It fits me perfectly and the pattern is beautiful. Fashion era you miss? Early ‘60s — the tailoring and silhouettes really showed off a woman’s body, and the clothing was glamorous without being too overdone. Fashion faux pas? Wide-leg trousers are never good on a petite person! Favorite charity? Young Women’s Preparatory Network (formerly Foundation for the Education of Young Women). This group provides hope and fosters success with bright young women by providing exemplary teaching and experiences.

DeeDee Lee

Favorite designer? I honestly can’t name just one. My closet is a mixed collection of designers. Favorite outfit in your closet? I have several black dresses that are my favorites. I can dress them up or down with jewelry and accessories. Fashion era you miss? I’m not sure I miss any. I like classic styles from every era. Fashion faux pas? Hair bands with large bows. What was I thinking? Favorite charity? Ability Connection Texas. It is an amazing organization that is committed to improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

Patty Leyendecker

Favorite designer? Valentino. I appreciate the construction of the garments and how they are designed to fit a woman’s body. Their clothing is made to transcend fads. Favorite outfit in your closet? A black, Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress. It fits me perfectly and is made of a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle. Fashion era you miss? The 60s had elements I still like today — sheath dresses, minis (not for me anymore), boots, simple lines, and great use of color. Fashion faux pas? Wearing yoga pants any day I can get away with it! Favorite charity? If you want a job done, ask a Crystal Charity member! I consider it an honor to be a member of this wonderful organization. Another bonus is the incredible friendships I have made and the new skills I have developed in doing this important work for the children served by the beneficiaries.

Lynn McBee

Favorite designer? Christian Dior — timeless, elegant, feminine. Favorite outfit in your closet? A leather jacket I inherited from my grandmother from the 1970s. It’s so cool, chic, and reminds me of her incredible style. Fashion era you miss? 1940s and 1950s. Pencil skirts, elegant pants and blouses. Sharp, tailored lines and nothing sloppy. Fashion faux pas? Too many to name in the 1980s. Favorite charity? Young Women’s Preparatory Network (formerly Foundation for the Education of Young Women). This work is changing the course of these young women and their families forever!

Francie Moody-Dahlberg

Favorite designer? There are so many I love for different reasons. For example, I really like Oscar de la Renta for its great fabrics, Alexander McQueen for great lines, and Chanel for timeless elegance. Favorite outfit in your closet? Evening gowns. I love wearing a beautiful gown to a special event. I have a black-and-white Marchesa that’s always been a joy to wear. Fashion era you miss? Crazy as it may sound, I loved the 1980s’ over-the-top, Dynasty-esque style — big shoulders and big hair. Flashy and fun. Fashion faux pas? I try not to have them. I’m really big on my outfits being coordinated: the right shoes, purse, jewelry, and so forth to go with whatever I wear. But I do love my flip flops! Favorite charity? I feel especially drawn to nearly any cause that benefits women, children, or animals.

Christi Urschel

Favorite designer? Karl Lagerfeld for his unparalleled artistry. Favorite outfit in your closet? A Dolce and Gabbana long duster jacket, T-shirt, jeans, and boots. It’s casual yet finished, and the jacket reminds me of a special day shopping in New York with my mom. Fashion era you miss? Early 60s. I’m a fan of style icons Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. Fashion faux pas? I’d rather think of them as “lessons,” and let’s just say I’m always learning! Favorite charity? I am especially attracted to charities that focus on serving children with special needs and the wonderful people who care for them. They hold a special place in my heart.

Hall of Fame Honoree:

Lee Ann White

Favorite designer? Chanel — superb quality pieces, and their designs are always timeless and classic, but with an edge. Favorite outfit in your closet? A Chanel winter-white dress, and a fun, black, cocktail dress by Michael Faircloth. It has great style! Fashion era you miss? I loved the era of Jackie Kennedy. Her style was very couture and beautiful. Fashion faux pas? I don’t believe in fashion faux pas. Have fun and enjoy your style! Favorite charity? I chair the National Advisory Board for The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health within the Texas Tech University Health Science Center. The Institute provides health care services for women who could not afford health care in West Texas and the Permian Basin.

Compiled by Sarah Bennett

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