DALLAS — “Long live the little black dress!” could have been the rallying cry at a party last month for patrons of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) Dallas chapter.
Sleeveless black above-the-knee numbers were the order of the cocktail hour, as women flouted the stereotype of Dallasites in colorful clothes.
But the scene at the Contemporary Arts on McKinney gallery and theater didn’t lack chrome. Since Absolut Vodka provided the libations, each room was lit with a single hue that matched a flavored vodka — yellow for Citron, red for Peppar and purple-blue for Kurant. Plus, the walls were hung with big, bright paintings with Absolut as the theme by such contemporary artists as Keith Haring.
Potent Citron martinis and Kurant with cranberry juice served in dainty liqueur glasses kept things lively. “They wanted to use these big glasses, and I said, ‘Oh no!”‘ quipped Steve Burrus, former executive director of DIFFA.
Guests included employees of principal sponsors Levi Strauss, Absolut and Neiman Marcus, plus other supporters.
The fete fell five days before DIFFA’s big annual fund-raiser — the auction of Levi’s denim jackets that have been embellished by designers and celebrities. Models showed off some of this year’s crop, including Rifat Ozbek’s glowing iridescent paillette-paveed piece. “I feel like a giant CD,” said Judith Brewer, as she posed in the jacket.
DIFFA Dallas plans to launch other fund-raising activities this year while maintaining the flagship auction, which netted about $250,000 this year, noted Al James, who succeeded Burrus last month as executive director. “AIDS fund-raising has somewhat peaked, and it’s getting harder and harder to get those dollars,” James said. His targets: the interior design community; the International Apparel Mart and cosmetics companies.