Attending House of DIFFA is like going to the “gay Oscar’s of charity galas” – at least that’s how one of my friends described the soiree when I told him I was taking part in it this year.
He was not kidding – on May 12, the creme de la creme of Dallas gay society gathered at the Omni Hotel downtown for an evening filled with fashion, cocktails and over the top production.
As soon as I entered the hotel, a MET Gala liked-video booth was ready for partygoers to strike a pose. Once inside the lobby, guests and I, were sipping on cocktails while strolling through the luxurious silent auction.
This year’s theme “Alter Ego” allowed attendees to showcase their hidden personality. I saw a lot of bling, superhero-like makeup, and even wings. As for me, I turned into #GlamDom, the more confident, unapologetic, gender fluid and non-conforming part of me. Whose sole mission is to fight toxic masculinity, self-doubts, and internalized homophobia one skirt at a time.
Once inside the ballroom, we were greeted by dancers in LED light costumes, while models stood fiercely on the massive runway. Sidenote – I’ve gone to incredible events, let me tell you, DIFFA/Dallas production blew my mind.
The program kicked off with the Style Council Ambassadors runway walk followed by a speech by DIFFA/Dallas Board Chair Steve Weir and House of DIFFA co-Chairs Lee Borchert and Tim Garippa. America’s Got Talent finalist; Brian Justin Crum performed his now-famous rendition of Creep warming up the crowd for the live auction.
After that, it was all about fashion. With a runway show with curated collections from TenOverSix, Forty Five Ten and Traffic LA. The striking program ended featuring the extravagant jackets from the House of DIFFA collection, showcasing donations from designers including Zac Posen, Belvest, Frame. Robert Graham, Naeem Khan, Veronica Beard, Adam Lippes, Theory, Rodd & Gunn and many more.
However, the celebration didn’t end there. Since the crowd headed downstairs to Texas Spice for the after party, where DJ Blake Ward was on the turntables – which I didn’t stay for, as my after party plans were a bit different (#purpleparty)
DIFFA/Dallas is one of the largest HIV/AIDS fundraising organizations in North Texas providing preventative education and services for children, women, and men affected by HIV/AIDS. This incredible event is a representation of the passion and outstanding work they do for the community, which at the end of the day, it’s what matters the most.
Head over to diffadallas.org to learn more and DONATE.
Photos Chel Wardell
Not just a pretty face