Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIFFA/Dallas 2013 Delivers (Again)

Note the working chandelier inside her wig. Shut the front door!

DIFFA/Dallas is North Texas’ standout organization for raising funds for preventative education and services for men, women & children affected by HIV/ AIDS.  Now in its 23rd year, this year’s fundraising event, titled House of DIFFA, took place on March 23rd at The Hilton Anatole ballroom.  Rachel Abrams at CultureMap said of the event, "Marie Antoinette-inspired fashions, dynamic drag divas, priceless live auction experiences, burlesque dancers — over-the-top doesn’t even begin to describe House of DIFFA, the fashion and awards show presented by Joule Dallas, benefiting North Texas HIV/AIDS charities."  AMEN!  There are two events in Dallas that should be on your bucket list - and this is one of them (the Mad Hatter's Tea at the Dallas Arboretum is the other) and here's why:

Reason number one is that at any event where gays are the focus and in the majority, the level of fashion (ie, bling) is going to be off-the-chart fantastic.  The hair, the make-up, the accessories, the frocks.... it's like an eye candy explosion!  Think I'm exaggerating? Look at the photos in this post... and this is just a small sampling of what was in the room. I was pleased to see that our local design scene was duly represented by fashionistas at the event: Prashe was seen on Allison Volk, Dawn Mellon and Vivian Lombari.  Bri Crum donned IZAVEL by Isabel Varela and Dawn Neufeld shimmered in Watters.  Creations by couture jeweler, SHONA, adorned Jayne Chobot Harring, Dawn Mellon and LeeAnne Locken and Lisa Petty was spotted in Gehati.

Reason number two is that Jan Strimple is a friggin' genius and the fashion presentation is always jaw-droppingly amazing.   Along with Co-Director Brian Brothers, Strimple dreamed up a fashion show featuring designs from two new retailers: TenOverSix and Traffic Los Angeles, which are part of the new Joule Hotel and retail expansion in Downtown Dallas. Featured lines were DVF, Rag & Bone, Edo Popken, Tory Burch and locals such as Abi Ferrin and Prashe. There were two live music performances: a drag show with some of Dallas' finest performers (shout out to my girl Krystal Summers!) and a special appearance/performance by Kazaky (whom I had never heard of, but apparently they are a big deal)

DIFFA Style Council ambassadors help raise funds for the organization and this year's crop of fabulous folks included John Bobbitt, Marty Collins, Peter Dauterman, Stephen Giles, Tommy DeAlano, Deanna Dipizio-Johnson, Daniel Lewis, Malcolm Gage, Kandis Hutchinson, LeeAnne Locken, Simona Beal, Vivian Lombardi, Tom Mason, Lance Avery Morgan, James Shackelford, Troy Schiermeyer and Paige Westhoff.

(top left) Allison Volk and Dawn Mellon*   (top right) Kazaky*
(bottom) LeeAnne Locken, Phyllis Comu, Dawn Mellon, Shane Walker and Cathy Vieth**
(top left) Chuck Steelman and Linda Gray**  (top right) Alberto and Vivian Lombardi**
(bottom) Raya Ramsey, Courtney Kerr, Jennifer Miller, Birgit Keefer, Bri Crum and Halley Homan** 

And as the lights came up on the fashion show extravaganza.... a georgous creature in a bubble bath waived a'dieu as guests filed (okay, stumbled) out. Until next year, DIFFA!

*Quoc Cong - XO Photography   
**Bob Manzano