Fashion was foremost at Dallas' annual denim jacket auction benefiting the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.
At its runway show Saturday night, the charity showed 135 Levi's jackets embellished by various designers over spring fashions supplied by Neiman Marcus, Escada, Michael Faircloth, Daniel Swarovski and Forty-Five Ten.
The style differed from DIFFA shows in recent years, when the jackets have been modeled with theatrical costumes and headdresses in themed runway scenes.
"It took up the wearability of what we sell, because it made it look more like fashion and less like costume," said Todd Fiscus, who chaired and produced the show and also runs a local event production firm called Two Design Group. "But we did do the 'Moulin Rouge' scene and a heavy rock scene."
The sale of the jackets has proven an effective fund-raiser for the charity, and this year's DIFFA Dallas Collection is expected to net about $400,000 to support AIDS service organizations in North Texas.
True to its organizers' passion for a lively production, the show was no less dramatic than previous extravaganzas, highlighted this year by a 50-piece on-stage orchestra, indoor fireworks and closing songs performed by R&B singer Martha Wash. Hosted by TV personality Leeza Gibbons, the event's theme was "Pure," representing DIFFA's focus on helping people living with HIV and AIDS.
The festive show and dinner drew more than 1,300 people to the Great Hall of the International Apparel Mart, including Allen Questrom, chairman and chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co., and his wife, Kelli, the event's honorary chairs.
Kelli Questrom told the crowd she had been unable to persuade her husband to join her at the podium.
"He said this was a bigger boardroom than he was used to," she joked.
For the second year running, local designer Michael Faircloth styled the top-dollar jacket. He sewed a black leather jacket with denim trim adorned with glittering pave-diamond white gold buttons supplied by Vivid Collection. He sewed that jacket overnight, to replace a similar style in seal fur that generated controversy when it was shown on local television last week in a preview of the DIFFA auction."I thought the seal would be luxurious and contrast with the pave diamond buttons," Faircloth reflected, "but we had some concerns with PETA. They were very displeased that a charity had chosen to use seal, although what I had used was perfectly legal. But I didn't want to have negative attention brought to the charity that is so dear to me."
Tiffany Mullen, a regular Faircloth customer, bought the leather jacket for $12,000.
As one of three people who came up with the idea to auction decorated denim jackets to raise money for DIFFA, Faircloth was honored at the gala this year for having styled DIFFA jackets that have earned more than $100,000 for the charity since the auction started in 1989.
The number-two jacket sold for $9,000 and was covered in Italian souvenir patches by Lucy Reeves Wrubel. Its big draw was a trip to Italy including a private tour of the Ferragamo shoe museum.
Other brands who restyled jackets included Diesel, Emporio Armani, DKNY, Philippe Starck, Kenneth Cole New York, Giuliana Teso and Todd Oldham.
The charity also bestowed its Legend in the Fight Against AIDS award to the Kim Dawson Agency, whose models have donated their time and talent to the auction since its inception. Jon and Michael Galluccio, a couple from New Jersey, were honored with the 2002 Profile Award recognizing their work with children living with AIDS and their adoption of four children infected with HIV.
Key underwriters of the show were MAC Cosmetics' MAC AIDS Fund, the presenting sponsor, as well as Absolut Vodka, Terry K. Watanabe Charitable Trust and the Clutts Agency. The five fashion companies who supplied accompanying clothing for the show, who had paid to participate, also showed their looks without the jackets.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast