House of DIFFA’s The List Theme Elevates Fashion And Philanthropy
THE SCENE: The Hilton Anatole in Dallas was the site this year of the annual House of DIFFA gala. Always one of Texas’ most fun and best produced galas, the event drew over 1,400 of the state’s most notable philanthropists, sociables, fashionistas, and community activists who look to make a positive impact on their community. This year’s theme: The List put an inclusive twist on some of the world’s most legendary cultural events and destinations including Studio 54™, London Punk and Coachella.
THE VIBE: The artful, black tie crowd could feel the robust energy from the moment they walked up to the Don Julio and Ketel One lounge for the VIP cocktail party. Before entering, guests took a moment to take an image on the step and repeat to commemorate the evening. After grabbing their favorite signature cocktail, guests then mingled about the lounge where they only thing livelier than the conversation was the mix of cutting-edge, avant-garde, and luxe fashion.
As patrons made their way toward the Gilead cocktail reception, they were stopped in their tracks in one of the Hilton Anatole solariums by the 70 stunning jackets on display for the event’s legendary silent auction. One of the most fun things about DIFFA is that many jackets won by winning bidders from previous years can be seen on them in future years. This year was no exception, and not to be outdone, several of the most coveted jackets were donned by models to help drive bidding interest.
Next, the action then turned to the main ballroom, where upon entering, patrons were dazzled by several live models strategically placed on the 50-yard-long runway, each of whom were painted in iconic pop art images including Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can. Upon finding their seats, guests were treated to the main program. While partygoers dined on their meals, they were treated to a kickoff runway show featuring members of the 2022/2023 DIFFA Style Council. Next, Broadway legend and emcee Kristin Chenowith took to the stage and sang a beautiful rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow that brought tears.
The evening continued with recognition of the various award recipients at this year’s event which included honorees Ken Downing, Gilead, Lee Borchet, Justin Bundick, David White, and Fern Mallis, who was awarded with the Legend in the Fight Against AIDS Award. Following the award recognition ceremony came a spirited live auction where guests bid on several luxury, experiential, and travel packages.
Then came the main event, the DIFFA fashion shows which are the story of social legend. Over the course of 90 minutes, three different dazzling fashion collections honored the past, present and future of fashion. Presented by JSX with looks from Neiman Marcus and Halston, the show kept fashion lovers on the edge of their seats with a series of fashion collections with accompanying music soundtracks including Studio 54, 80’s Glam Rock, London’s punk rock, EDM, and was capped off with a Metaverse collection. The show featured hundreds of looks, many of which had musical performances and dances built in to please any and every fashion (and music) aesthetic. Ending the show on a high, revelers headed next door for an after party where the partygoers danced well into the night to the tunes of DJ Adante.
THE NON PROFIT: House of DIFFA: The List, co-chaired by Haley Clark and Richard Rivas, raised funds for DIFFA Dallas. Proceeds raised from the DIFFA, which stands for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, will go towards providing funds and grants to organizations that provide HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention education services throughout Texas.