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DALLAS — Even a herd of Longhorn cattle couldn’t stop 550 stylish women from arriving at Neiman Marcus’ flagship in downtown Dallas for a Valentino fall fashion show on Thursday. In a purely Texan coincidence, the annual Crystal Charity Ball luncheon introducing the “10 best dressed” women of Dallas took place a block away from a cattle drive promoting a rodeo, causing a bit of gridlock.

“Todd Okerstrom asked me, ‘Did you get pooped on?”’ laughed Elizabeth Showers, who had to detour around the cattle and arrived late.

This story first appeared in the September 10, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Where else but in Dallas would a cattle drive and the ‘10 best dressed’ happen at the same hour?” asked Okerstrom, who manages the designer salon for Neiman’s.

But cattle tales were laughed away as the ladies sipped kir royales and inspected the main floor, which was decked out Eighties style with fur throws, zebra-striped rugs and velvet furniture as an homage to Valentino’s lavish fall collection. Shelby Marcus peered through the buzzing crowd for Valentino himself, hoping to deliver a message from her husband, Lawrence.

“Lawrie sold him a Botero before they were a million dollars, and he wanted me to ask him, ‘Are you still enjoying my painting?’” Marcus said.

Valentino did not attend, but Frédéric Fekkai was backstage supervising the models’ big hair and personally styling the tresses of Wanda Webb, one of the women dubbed most stylish by the charity. The runway — a parade of fur, feathers and gold glitter — was well received by the ladies, who deemed the collection glamorous and wearable.

“I’m glad I saved my gold from the early Eighties,” mused Lizzie Routman.

Everyone walked away with a free pair of Valentino aviator gold metal sunglasses in a red leather case. Lezlie Noble inspected hers.

“They’re so out they’re in,” she declared.

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