The “Yellow Roses of Texas” were out in full bloom last week for the Dress 4 Yellow fashion show benefiting LIVESTRONG and Cook Children’s in Dallas. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this joyous and elegant event as a guest and contributing designer. Dress 4 Yellow, presented by Park Place Motorcars, included a luncheon and presentation by LIVESTRONG founder and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, and a runway show featuring designs by more than 20 of the world’s top designers. Each designer produced a custom-made yellow piece or select a yellow design from archived collections. Participating designers included Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, Carmen Marc Valvo, Elie Tahari, Thakoon, Zang Toi, Ruffian, Abi Ferrin, Sachin + Babi, David Meister, Rachel Roy, Chadwick Bell, Lela Rose and more. The event raised $165,000 through sponsorships, auction items, and raffle prizes.
It only took a hot minute for me to throw my shoes into the ring to participate in the Dress 4 Yellow benefit. Cancer doesn’t run in my family, it practically gallops. On June 6, 1990, my father was diagnosed with esophagus cancer; I was to be married in three months. I can still remember where I was and what I was wearing when my father delivered the news. Panic set in, and we began the fight of his life…with help from friends, clergy and our local cancer support groups. He is still alive today; we were lucky. My dear, dear friend Beth was not. Breast cancer stole her from us four years ago, and I still hold a grudge against cancer for robbing the world of such a fine woman.
I myself was diagnosed in 1998 with a pre-cancerous esophagus, and thanks to research and new medications on the market, those cells are gone.
Now, I will be completely honest with you: I was quite panicked about the “yellow” theme of Dress 4 Yellow…I NEVER wear color. I set aside my fear of color, donned one of my own designs…and added a YELLOW sweater and a pair of FIERCE houndstooth and yellow heels. Once I stepped off the elevator and tip-toed onto the yellow carpet (these women did not miss a trick) I was overjoyed to see I was not alone in my fashion choice. It was a magnificent sea of beauties dressed in the color of hope…the color for LIVESTRONG. My friend, Chef Tiffany Derry was my guest and arrived in the color de rigeur as well, happy to support a cause dear to her heart. Joy, champagne, and yellow roses for survivors lit up the lobby, as we headed into the Grand ballroom for the fashion show.
I designed and donated three looks for the show, my favorite being a black and white houndstooth one-sleeve dress. I added a band of yellow at the hem and wrist to represent the LIVESTRONG bracelet which Lance Armstrong created for his charity. The show was a collection of beautiful pieces, beautiful models…ending with a few words from a beautiful man: Lance Armstrong. Not only is he easy on the eyes (o.k., adorable) but he is a survivor who has dedicated his life to the fight against cancer, reminding us that the fight isn’t over until a cure is found.
My high school daughter, Molly ran cross country team and wore the LIVESTRONG yellow shirt during practice. Walking through the door after a hard run, sweating and grinning, she embodied what I see LIVESTRONG to be: The yellow shirt is hope… the sweat represents the struggles with cancer; from the patients to the caregivers to the researchers to the fundraisers…the smile from a fight well fought…and “LIVESTRONG” across her chest to remind us that together we can live strong.
I am so very grateful to have been involved in this wonderful, positive day. Thank you.