For all the fabulous events we attend in Chicago, few have been as colorful as the first annual Chicago Red Dress Party. Not so much in the spectrum of color, (since there was really only one holding the spotlight), but in the overall timbre of the event which was as festive, free and jovial as anything we've seen. The color of passion and strength, red is the optimal hue for an event created to raise awareness and support for the HIV/AIDS movement. And that night, the support came out in droves. Official Publicist Ryan Beshel and CRDP Board President Kyler Powell did an amazing job of getting the word out on the event and its official beneficiaries, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Equality Project. In the final days leading up to the party, the words "red dress" were on everybody's lips.
Yet despite the buzz surrounding the event, few could have anticipated how much of a success it would turn out to be. More than 400 people flooded the event space at 525 W. Monroe, resplendent in their crimson ensembles. The incredible lighting sound and decor was all done by Event Creative, our particular fave of which was the sensual, moody lighting in the VIP area. Everywhere you looked a feathered headdress fluttered, the train of a gown sashayed or a bright red lip smiled. Elaborate costumes abounded and just as many men than women, if not more, got to spend the evening twirling in their gorgeous red dresses. Hosts Marcus Riley of NBC and Candace Jordan of Candid Candace emceed the festivities alongside the fabulous talents of Chicago's own Miss Foozie.
Notable guests included Jovie Calma with Via Times News Magazine, Bill Pritchard of Gopride.com Inc., Katie McLenaghan, Todd Armbruster, Julie Darling, and Elizabeth & Joel Brodsky, all of which got down to the stylings of musical guest Kristine W. when she broke out onto the stage. After a rousing set, Kristine noted, "Tonight was an amazing show of support for those living with HIV/AIDS. I am so honored to have been invited to participate in this amazing cause. I hope Chicago keeps fighting the fight."
The night was truly a success, seen in the sheer joy of all who attended. Two of the hardest workers for the cause, Powell and Beshel, seemed pleased in the aftermath. Powell said, "After nearly 2 years of planning and preparation, the Chicago Red Dress Party was a major success in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I definitely think we raised awareness of the diseases. I hope through this event and as it grows – that we bring HIV/AIDS back to the forefront of people's minds, especially younger generations." Beshel noted, "After months of blood, sweat and tears – nothing was better than standing in that room Saturday night and feeling the energy that the Chicago Red Dress Party created. I'm still buzzing from the adrenaline of such an amazing event."
Thank you to them and to all the planners and hosts for making it a truly memorable night. And we'll see you all next year!
Photo Source: Second City Style, Amie Photography
Tags: AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Alia Rajput, amazing, beneficiaries, Candace Jordan, cause, Chicago Red Dress Party, energy, Equality Project, event, Event Creative, HIV/AIDS, Kristine W., Kyler Powell, Marcus Riley, Miss Foozie, movement, music, red, Ryan Beshel, success