This is almost my last ‘must-do’ item on my FGI checklist, only two weeks after the event.  After a year of planning, I can finally relinquish my responsibilities as co-chair for the Fashion and Lifestyle Awards ‘Night of Stars’ gala and reminisce on the extraordinary evening of November 16 at the Dallas Market Center Trade Pavilion.

Lela Rose, Chuck Steelman and Maxine Trowbridge

Lela Rose, Chuck Steelman and Maxine Trowbridge

My co-chair Chuck Steelman, decked out in bright red velvet skinny pants, looked impeccable as my partner in crime—and I wore a delicious red lace gown by honoree Nha Khanh. Our emcee for the evening Victoria Snee, endearingly proclaimed the evening as the “Chuck and Max Show.”

So where do I being—with so many people to thank, and so much to share? For 2012, Fashion Group International of Dallas honoured five amazing Rising Stars, two Career Achievement awards, one Lifetime Achievement award, and we announced the first winner of the Shelly Musselman Design Award.

During the cocktail reception and silent auction, I mingled with guests before the on-stage jitters kicked-in—for the record, speaking in front of 400+ guests, petrifies me, but a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do.

Scott Kehn, Victoria Snee and Chuck Steelman.

Scott Kehn, Victoria Snee and Chuck Steelman.

 It was an honor to see so many fashion enthusiasts at one event enjoying the Cadillac and Equinox Fitness Lounge areas, sipping Voveti Prosecco and Texas-based NUE Vodka cocktails: Abi Ferrin,Rhonda Sargent ChambersJanet FresquezMina ChangHeidi, Bill and Dallas DillonKaty Messersmith MattoxLeesa SmithJudy AldridgeLady Halina von Kempski-Behrendt,D’Andra SimmonsJim AndersonHolly QuartaroRenee RouleauShelly and Barry RosenbergElisa and Stephen SummersPhillip CottoneBret McKinneyJohn ConteAngie Milton, and our emcee for the evening Victoria Snee with husband Jeff Crilley.

Victoria commenced the show with our philanthropic Fashion Police who strutted the runway wearing fashion from NorthPark Center.  The first award, Rising Star for Fashion Design: Nha Khanh, showcased her Spring 2013 collection—stunning, to say the least. Followed by Rising Star for Fine Art: Bret Slater, Rising Star for Interior Design: Pulp Design Studio accepted by Beth Dotolo and Carolina Gentry, Rising Star in Accessories: The Office of Angela Scott—the jet-setting Angela Scott took the stage, and Rising Star in Fine Art Photography: Alex Remington.

Nha Khanh Spring 2013

Nha Khanh: A gown from the Spring 2013 Collection

 This year’s Career Achievements honoured Terri Provencal for Media and Lela Rose for Fashion Design. The Lifetime Achievement award honoured the amazing Sue Wade, founder of Wade College. Truly an amazing line-up of talent, hard work and dedication created from Dallas.

Cassie B. Spring 2013 Collection.

Cassie B. Spring 2013 Collection.

The heart of the award gala recognised the Shelly Musselman Design Award, a poignant moment and a celebration of a legacy dedicated to the generous Musselman family.  Susanne Taylor, President and Treasurer of FGI Dallas, The Foundation, introduced Brian Bolke and Meredith Musselman to award the first lucky student, Cassandra Bumpous to receive the $10,000 award which includes mentorship from Mr Bolke. In preparation for the big night, Cassie spent the last few months, mentored by Brian to present her Spring 2013 collection, sponsored by Forty Five Ten on the runway that evening.

Lela Rose Fall 2012 Collection.

Lela Rose Fall 2012 Collection.

This year’s grand finale absolutely shined, what an honour for FGI Dallas to honour, Dallas’ very own Lela Rose. The runway show began with Fall 2012, a collection that inspired me in February when I watched it on the runway at New York Fashion Week—inspired by Santiago Calatrava—our honoree for Fine Art Photography, Alex Remington featured his Margaret Hunt Hill bridge photography as the backdrop. Perfect! Ending with the Resort and Spring 2013 collections, the ensemble of beautiful gowns showcased a glamorous end to a spectacular evening.

Special thanks from Fashion Group International to all the sponsors: NorthPark Center, Cadillac, Equinox Fitness, Dallas Market Center, Neiman Marcus, Forty Five Ten, Toni & Guy, Jan Strimple Productions, Voveti Prosecco, Smartwater, NUE Vodka, Hilton Anatole, Gossip Bar, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Power PR, Patron Magazine, PinkMemo, The Hart Agency, She Reigns, Events by Nelo, Ashley Mattocks Design, Plan B PR and Creative Kick Graphics.

Special thanks to the Host Committee: Judy Aldridge, Brian Bolke, Serena Cole, Tina Craig, Bri Crum, Heidi Dillon, Dera Enochson, Abi Ferrin, Farah Fleurima, Jennifer Galliher, Dana Kale, Scott Kehn, Meghan Looney, Pamela Martin Duarte, Katy Messersmith Mattox, Brian Moos, Jennifer Murray, Meredith Musselman, Lauren Musselman, Tia Pettijohn, Susan Posnick, Shelly Rosenberg, Renee Rouleau, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, D’andra Simmons, Leesa Smith, Susie Straubmueller, Amy Vanderoef, Debra Varden, Cathy Veith, Alison Volk, Cathy Williamson.

Special thanks to the Event Committee: Sharon Adams, Donna Bender, Jennifer Burns, Apryl Churchill, Marie Connors-Lavigne, Jennifer de Soccaraz, Patti Frenette, Rosanne Hart, Terry Houser, Veronica LeBougeois, Ashley Mattocks, Esther Morales, Amy Power, Kristen Radakovich, Ann Schults, Jenny Seide, Jason Stanford, Angie Strange, Susanne Taylor, Beth Wallace.

Photo Credit: Kristina Bowman.