Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Dallas President Jennifer Dix looked a bit startled at the turnout for the SAWA Fashion Show And Luncheon sneak preview on Tuesday, January 10. She admitted that sine January was typically a month lacking of events, the crowd like Claire Emanuelson, DeeDee Lee, Christie Carter, Amber Cohen, Shannon Graham, Shelle Sills, Victoria Snee, Katy Leyendecker, Candace Winslow, Ciara Biggers and Kerry McStay spilling into all parts of Vanessa and Steve Sloan‘s home amazed her.
But husband Richard Dix wasn’t surprised. In fact he looked relieved at the last few months that had thrown the Dix household into non-stop activity. Just following Jennifer’s chairing the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show, she had had emergency gall bladder surgery and their daughter Gracie Dix had started being part of the 2023 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante collection. Adding to the activity, Jennifer had been working with SAWA Fashion Show Chair Kim Quinn to create the 30th anniversary of the fashion favorite that includes gently experienced clothes and accessories.
Speaking of accessories, Jennifer’s Judith Leiber and SAWA Fashion Show Honorary Co-Chair Lisa Cooley‘s Chanel minaudieres topped off their looks for the evening of fashionable fundraising. Let’s face it— handbags are to an outfit what lipstick is to the face.
When asked about 2020-2021 SAWA Fashion Show Chair Kim Hext‘s missing zipper for her CCB Balmain gown, she admitted that even if her tailor hadn’t been able to save the day, she would have put thread and needle to work herself. As Kim put it, “Others may come packing. I carry a sewing kit.”
As the guests like longtime SAWA supporters Ramona Jones, Carol Seay, Carole Ann Brown and Barbara Sypult gathered to hear fashion show plans announced on the outdoor terrace in 70-degree temperatures, it wasn’t strictly a ladies-only get together. In addition to Richard and Clay, there was a tall gentleman smiling as the plans were announced. One was that the inaugural Legacy Award would be presented to fashion producer extraordinaire Jan Strimple.
The grinning gent was Jan’s husband, golf-loving Dan Strimple. When asked how Jan had adapted to living part-time on their Ohio farm, Dan admitted that he had wondered whether the fashion icon would make the transition. But his concerns were for naught. According to Dan, Jan wakes up each day enjoying the surroundings while still keeping a few Dallas productions on her calendar, like Equest and KidneyTexas.
Luckily, Jan has had Robyn Chauvin taking on some of her clients including the SAWA Fashion Show. But on this night Robyn was delayed to hear the announcements by Major Dawn McFarland, Jennifer and Kim. It seems she was tending to her her son, who had just broken his arm.
After that were announcements that the Margot Perot Service Award recipient would be Michal Powell and Clay Cooley would be joining Lisa as honorary co-chair and daughter-in-law Bela Cooley would be in charge of the Couture Committee for the event at the Meyerson on Tuesday, May 16.
Among the perks added this year was the creation of a silk scarf by local artist Liana Yarckin who “took her inspiration from the Salvation Army flower, the poppy.”
Before closing the program, Kim Q. put out the call for closets to be examined for possible donations for the fundraiser.
As guests picked up their cars from the valets, Elizabeth Gambrell doffed her shoes for a walk home.