Photo courtesy MiMi Nguyen
For the past eight years or so, fashion designer and event producer MiMi Nguyen of House of Nguyen has been hosting a fashion drive to benefit Toys for Tots. This year, she has upped her game to a gala benefiting the local homeless community.
At the newer Belle Áme Lounge on the edge of North Loop, Nguyen is throwing her Fashion Drive Benefit Gala on Dec. 20. The night will evoke the glamor of a black-tie event and feature a runway show with Nguyen’s 25-piece holiday couture dress collection. To help get the coastal feel Nguyen is looking for, the hosts for the night are fashion guru Parker XL (flying in fresh from Los Angeles) and local professional Jess Von Bank.
“People can dress up, be elegant—be a celebrity yourself for one night. There will be a red carpet, a photographer will be there, someone will interview you,” Nguyen says. “There’s a celebrity inside everyone.”
Those who went to Northern Vogue on Nov. 29 got a sneak peek of some of Nguyen’s dresses, including her favorite of the collection, which paired a ruffle-tiered skirt with a ruby bodice to create a balance between fanciful, extravagant, and elegant. Many of the other pieces also pull in the garment and ruby hues of the season, and some lighten up to include some pinks. While she was not literal with her color choices, Nguyen says she was partially inspired by the thought that while everyday people are going through rough times, there is always light within the darkness.
Despite the term “gala,” tickets are only $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Plus, if you come with an item for the winter clothing and toys drive, tickets revert back to $10. Two of Nguyen’s dresses will be up for silent auction, the proceeds donated. Nguyen sees her fashion drives as a way to end the year on a good note and start the next one with good vibes, so she is also inviting people to deliver the night’s donations on Christmas Eve.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and the runway show will be at 7 p.m. Besides the open space and the more upscale atmosphere Belle Áme gives, guests can also benefit from the parking lot that is right behind the space.