Saturday, May 28, 2016

DIFFA Dallas 2016 Was a Circus Like None Other

Touch your mouse to the photo below to scroll through a gallery of photos from this event: DIFFA Dallas 2016
photos c/o Rhi Lee and Thomas Garza

One of my favorite events of the year is DIFFA/Dallas. It is always an amazing evening of glitz, glamour and unbelievable fashion with proceeds going to fund a very worthy cause. The event was sold-out with an impressive attendance count of nearly 1,550 guests - which is almost too large. It's nearly impossible to see everyone because there are just too many people to see! Next year I hope they start the reception earlier so there's more time before the dinner to mix and mingle. Because showing off your ensemble and looking at everyone else's outfit is really what it's all about! I had been so slammed at work that I hadn't had any time to think about what I was wearing until the day before, which is so unlike me! Thank goodness I had a fabulous find hanging in my closet. I had plucked a long black gown off the sale rack from Lion + Witch several weeks before the event. It had been on sale for $44 (YES, FORTY FOUR DOLLARS!) and it was too awesome to pass up. I am so happy I nabbed it, because it ended up being the perfect sort of thing to wear to DIFFA and I got tons of compliments on my look. Among those sipping and gawking at the Omni Dallas Hotel were DIFFA/Dallas’ Board Chair Justin Bundick, House of DIFFA Event Chair Clint Bradley, House of DIFFA: Circo Rouge presenting sponsor Nancy Rogers, Tim Headington, Jane McGarry, Simona Beal, Chuck Steelman, Scott Kehn, Shelby Wagner, Niven Morgan, Anne Stodghill, Darin Kunz, Don Gaiser, Brittanie and Jason Oleniczak, Ron Corning and Jeannette Chivvis. Real Housewives of Dallas stars Rich Emberlin and LeeAnne Locken, Aaron and Tiffany Hendra, and Dr. Mark & Cary Deuber were also on-hand to lend some excitement to the already high-energy room.

Proof that you do not have to spend a fortune to look
(and feel) like a million bucks. Dress $44 at Lion +
Witch, Earrings/Bracelets $9 ea. at Sam Moon.
Makeup: Blushington
The opulent gala featured a curated selection of one-of-a-kind tailored jackets by world-renown designers such as Alexander Wang, Alice + Olivia, Badgley Mischka, Billy Reid, Diane von Furstenberg, Edo Popken, Elie Tahari, Escada, Etro, Giuliana Teso, Gorski, J Mendel, Kay Unger, Lanvin, Lela Rose, Moschino, Missoni, Marc Jacobs, Naeem Khan, Sebastian, St John, Ted Baker London, Versace, Vince, Zac Posen, and many more.

This year's theme was House of DIFFA: Circo Rouge and the event began with a Big Top Cocktail party and Ebby Halliday Silent auction where guests sipped on cocktails, enjoyed live circus performances and browsed the selection of jackets in this year’s show.

Charitable patrons were then escorted into the ballroom by circus performances in the audience and asked to take their seats for dinner, a speech by DIFFA/Dallas Board Chair Justin Bundick and House of DIFFA Chair Clint Bradley, award presentation, Style Council Ambassadors walk, and the Ebby Halliday Live Auction featuring a Gas Monkey Garage Experience, a trip to Edinburgh, and a one-of-a-kind Vespa with a side car.

The "Circo Rouge" theme was more on the American Horror Story freak show side - but at least it was different! Following the program, patrons were dazzled by a runway show featuring TenOverSix, Forty Five Ten and Traffic LA, with circus performances interlaced between the shows including suspension hookers, a sword swallower and aerial artist and more.

The night ended with a fashion show featuring 87 jackets from this year’s House of DIFFA collection and a surprise performance by international pop star Viktoria Modesta. After the show, guests were taken to the Glazer’s After Party on the Midway where tunes by DJ Blake Ward had guests dancing all night. With event production by Rhonda Sargent Chambers of RSC Productions, Brian Brothers of Planet Productions, and Jeffrey Horn of Triad Event Solutions, the night was nothing short of unforgettable. DIFFA is one of the largest and most successful fundraising organizations aiding HIV/AIDS with chapters in Dallas, New York, Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco and Seattle. The Dallas chapter, formed in 1984, is one of the largest HIV/AIDS organizations in Texas that provides funding to local HIV/AIDS Service Organizations within our community. DIFFA/Dallas has granted more than $7.4 million to 25 front line HIV/AIDS Service Organizations in North Texas providing direct care to those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Highlighting the design community, DIFFA/Dallas hosts multiple events throughout the season. Through your support and generosity, DIFFA/Dallas is able to make a significant impact within our community. For more information about the organization or to get involved, please visit