DESIGNERS CREATE LADIES IN RED FOR DIFFA

Byline: Holly Haber

DALLAS--Visualize an inspirational woman and dress her in red.
That was the assignment for 42 designers who volunteered to help the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS by creating an ensemble to be sold at a benefit auction.
The result, called Collection Rouge, premiered here last month in a theatrical runway show that will travel to six other cities, ending in New York on March 27. Sealed bids will be accepted for the pieces at each stop, and the top offers revealed in New York.
Among the showstoppers was Rebecca Moses' Gypsy Rose Lee. Moses draped the stripper in a sexy blush satin bustier gown that peeled away, piece by piece, to a matching bra and G-string.
Gianni Versace also knows how to thrill a crowd. His dress for Madonna was a clear plastic tank strategically dotted with glittering red crystals.
Old Hollywood glamour had its moment, too. Anne Klein's Patrick Robinson saw Greta Garbo in a wine velvet bathrobe coat and matching pants, and Richard Tyler put Audrey Hepburn in a satin sleeveless A-line dress.
"Some of the designers forgot the red thing, but we worked it out," said Steven Kolb, director of chapter relations for DIFFA. Red accessories tied the theme into Betsey Johnson's leopard-print dress for Pocahontas.
The red theme came from G.H. Mumm Champagne Cordon Rouge, which is sponsoring the tour.
The crowd of several hundred at the opening was almost as entertaining as the show. The Dallas chapter of DIFFA combined the show with a masquerade ball. The event was held at the Bomb Factory, a warehouse-like live-music spot in the Deep Ellum area of the city.
"The exciting thing about the tour is that it will range from the club atmosphere here to a hotel in Seattle and Universal Studios in Los Angeles," Kolb noted. Chicago, Atlanta and Miami are other stops on the tour.
The Dallas chapter of DIFFA netted more than $10,000. The goal for the national tour is $1 million, the bulk coming when the winning bids are accepted in New York. The tour is raising funds through ticket sales, a silent auction of donated merchandise in each city and a touring raffle of luxury goods.

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