Society / The Seen

Kristin Chenoweth Headlined the Star-Studded DIFFA Dallas 2023

A Night of Disco Balls and Divas

BY // 06.16.23

Scene: The annual DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) Dallas creative black-tie gala House DIFFA The List at the Hilton Anatole.

Takeaway: The fundraiser, this year presented by The Louis L. Borick Foundation, welcomed over 1,400 attendees for an evening of fashion, musical performances, and the opportunity to bid on the legendary luxury jacket auction (70 were up for the bidding with pieces from Michael Bush, Joseff of Hollywood, Hive & Colony, Brandon Harris, Ese Azenabor, and palmer//harding.

DIFFA’s mission is to raise funds and grant money to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing preventative education programs targeted to populations at risk of infection, as well as those providing treatment and direct care services to people living with/impacted by HIV/AIDS. DIFFA also supports public policy initiatives that add resources to private sector funds.

David Yarrow auction item at DIFFA Dallas 2023
David Yarrow auction item (Photo By Danny Campbell)

High Point: This event is one of the largest events in North Texas and generally takes a cue for its themes from the likes of Studio 54, London punk, and those who cultishly follow EDM. Inevitably every year I attend the extravaganza that is DIFFA, my mind wanders to the ’90s dance anthem, “Divas to the Dance Floor Please.” This crowd adores the opportunity to be “creative” with their evening attire and they never disappoint.

Of course, there was a sizable number who went the old school route and pulled out their finest Tom Ford black tuxedo, but in equal parts were those wearing oversized blazers in myriad colors, flowing pants that would have had Marlene Dietrich swooning, and accessories that slayed. And I never feel alone in this scene since so many others believe that shorts can be appropriate eveningwear (quite a few boys and girls wanted to show off their gams as well). A few of the standouts that I made my way to bow in tribute to included Grange Hall’s Rajan Patel in Alexander McQueen, Ceron in Tom Ford jacket and Vetements boots, Amy Van Cleeve in Rick Owens, and Headington Co.’s (one of the evening’s sponsors) Jeny Bania in a Row blazer paired with AREA pants.

Studio 54 on the runway
Studio 54 on the runway (Photo by Lori Sapio)

DIFFA Dallas 2023 was a star-studded event with headliner Kristin Chenoweth. Awards were also handed out that evening with accolades going to Ken Downing, for the Excellence in Fashion Award; Lee Borchet, for the Excellence in Design Award; Justin Bundick, for the Donna Fishel Community Hero Award; Fern Mallis, for the Legend In The Fight Against AIDS Award and David White, the Legacy of Love Award. Following the awards, Chenoweth performed two more songs.

Spotted: Julie and Michael Tregoning, Joshua Rossignol, Todd Fiscus, Doniphan Moore, Tanner Moussa, Jessica Watts, Gregg Asher, Bret McKinney, Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum, Nikki St. George, Vodi Cook, and Tom Hanson.

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