A look from the runway show at the annual DIFFA Dallas gala.


DALLAS — A performance by Natasha Bedingfield gave a little star power to the runway show and gala of the Dallas chapter of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS last week.

Before a crowd of 1,550 at the Omni Dallas Hotel, Bedingfield sang “Take Me Away,” “Purple Rain” and “Unwritten,” accompanied by an acoustic guitarist.

“I am completely stunned,” the artist said. “There are so many beautiful people here. The costumes you have are filling my heart.”

DIFFA Dallas was founded in 1984 to support local AIDS service organizations. In 1988 it launched an auction of denim jackets embellished by designers and became known for the lavish runway productions in which they were paraded.

The show has been held every year since except 1993, 1999 and 2010. In recent years, the organization has simply asked designers for unique jackets to auction.

Giuliana Teso submitted one of this year’s best, a pieced camouflage fur cape trimmed in multicolor tassels. It was the fifth consecutive year that the Milan designer donated a fur to the fund-raiser.

“When I first called her to ask for a jacket, she said, ‘Why wouldn’t I?’” noted board member Carol Quist.

Among the 89 jackets and wraps were looks by Alexander Wang, Naeem Khan, Missoni, CH Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg and local designers including Binzario Couture, Nha Khanh, Geoffrey Henning, J.Hilburn, Finley Moll, Kelli Kouri and Tinsley Radix.

The show featured separate segments of styles from Forty Five Ten and the Dallas units of Traffic Los Angeles and Tenoversix. Event sponsor Headington Cos. holds interests in all of them.

The benefit also vends home furnishings, jewelry, accessories, beauty products, travel packages and other goods.

“The people in North Texas with HIV will be taken care of because of you,” board chair Chuck Steelman told the audience. “You can make a difference.”

Last year, the event grossed $1.4 million, but the 2017 total hasn’t been disclosed yet. DIFFA Dallas has granted more than $8 million to AIDS service organizations since its inception.

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