The Houston Chronicle Best Dressed winners haven’t let the pandemic stave off their style. They swapped ball gowns for chic comfort clothing at home or on socially distant vacations. Here’s a little bit of them and what they’ve done.


Estela Cockrell, Twice winner, founder of Switch2Pure, a clean beauty brand, and passionate about holistic well-being. She has an international network of dedicated fans, whom she affectionately calls “purists,” who adore her body and skin care treatments. During the pandemic, she was make well-being a priority and help people live their best lives in its spa, the Wellery. “I also watched baseball games and traveled to the Rockies,” she says.


Leigh Smith, Winner for the first time, she cooks at home, does a lot of puzzles, gardens and spends time with her young adult children. She also had a COVID puppy. Smith is a former lawyer turned community volunteer who supports a number of arts organizations including Houston Arts Alliance, Asia Society Texas, Art League Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is also chair of the board of directors of the Houston Ballet.

“My life really didn’t change much, I worked in the office everyday, I went to church, I spent time with friends,” says Joanna Hartland Marques, once honored. “Most importantly, I made some great memories with my family. I have learned that they really are the most important people on this Earth to me. She and her husband Brad Marks, owner of IW Marks Jewelers, share four children: Kennedy, Garrison, Bradley and Hannah. Marks works as a paralegal at Lynne James Hudson, PLLC, and supports organizations such as Dec My Room, the Women’s Fund, Project 88, Mission of Yahweh, Bo’s Place, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Hallie Vanderhider, The two-time winner says she’s over-watched a bunch of TV shows, from “Ozark” to “Bridgerton” and everything in between. “I have eliminated books that have been on my reading list for a while, cleaned cupboards and donated to some of the wonderful organizations we have in Houston that are desperate to serve the needs of our community. Finally, I got a head start on continuing education for my CPA license with a million Zoom / Webex / Teams meetings in between. Vanderhider is an industry leader in the oil and gas industry’s private equity and the Houston philanthropic community. She has served on the board of directors of the Houston Ballet, the Holocaust Museum of Houston Foundation, and TEACH (To Educate All Children), among other organizations.


Gaynell Drexler, winner for the first time, hung out with her yellow-breasted Amazon parrot named Max. Drexler, who can wear a kaftan and has been a proud Houstonian for 25 years, has four grown children and two rescue dogs, in addition to Max. She co-chaired the Houston Habitat for Humanity Building at Dream Luncheon and the Ensemble Theater Gala. She sits on the boards of the Lawndale Arts Center, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Houston Habitat for Humanity Endowment. She is the auction chair for the 2021 Big Brothers Big Sisters Gala.


that of Ann Ayre the style of the house is relaxed elegance. The The first winner is a former cellist passionate about classical music and the arts. She co-chaired the Houston Symphony Ball auction and the Society for Performing Arts Ball afterparty with her husband. Ayre also supports the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. She started her own law firm, PTO Legal Search, in 2006. She is married to Jonathan Ayre, an oil and gas lawyer.

Bohemian style costumes Alice Mao Brams, a winner for the first time. The accomplished psychiatrist previously worked as a model for Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. She is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. She co-chaired the KNOWAutism Gala, the Miss Chinatown Pageant, and sponsored a lecture series at the Asia Society Texas Center. Her husband, Matthew Brams, is a psychiatrist and the couple have 21-year-old son Evan.


Gregory Burk, Hall of Fame inductee, has a flair for jeans and t-shirts. Her charitable passions include the March of Dimes and she serves on the board of trustees of the Meadows School of Arts at her alma mater, Southern Methodist University. She attended Texas Children’s Hospital and chaired the River Oaks Baptist School and Hermann Park Conservancy Hats in the Park Luncheon Gala. Seventh-generation Texan Burk has two children, Virginia “Fields” Burk and Evelyn “Evie” James Burk.


Melissa Juneau spent time with her daughter Scarlette and their two puppies. Juneau is a former elementary school teacher and has a passion for service. The prestigious first-time winner is a board member of the Houston Ballet, sits on the board of directors of the Houston Children’s Charity and chaired the Easter Seals Hats Off to Mothers Luncheon and Freedom Place’s Freedom to Fly Luncheon .


Roslyn Bazelle Mitchell, a first-time winner, enjoyed spending more time with her husband Derrick Mitchell; their son, also Derrick; and their border collie, Zeus. “I learned to appreciate the little things, as well as to prioritize what is important to my life, my health and my well-being,” she says. Mitchell is a senior lawyer at Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber by day and at night she practices Piyolet, the Pilates / yoga / ballet hybrid she created. Its RoKi Design line offers personalized scarves and masks.


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