Artful Gentleman presented the second annual “SUIT UP for EQUALITY” charity fashion show, partnering up with Human Rights Campaign and collaborating with Cari Borja, Sounthavong, Mansoor Scott, and Evgenia Lingerie.

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, a few hours after my meeting with Asya of Girl in a Fashion World, I got to attend the SUIT UP for EQUALITY 2014, the second annual charity fashion show presented by Artful Gentleman to support San Francisco’s LGBT community. Following up the success of the inaugural event last year, SUIT UP for EQUALITY 2014 found Artful Gentleman partnering up with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and features high style creations by fellow Bay Area designers Cari Borja of CariBorja/Clothesmaker, Tony Sananikone of Sounthavong, Sabah Mansoor Husain and Bethany Scott Meuleners of Mansoor Scott, Stephanie Bodnar of Evgenia Lingerie (I last saw her mini collection at the grand finale of FOTS 2014) , and of course, Jake Wall of Artful Gentleman.

Truth be told, SUIT UP for EQUALITY 2014 was a great presentation of San Francisco fashion scene: stylish, exuberant, effective. The venue, grand attic loft at the McRoskey Mattress Factory Building, 1657 Market St. was transformed into a O-shaped runway – see the floor plan here – that provided a maximum viewing opportunity for all guests, with the VIP guests seated at the center of the runway. Prior to the event, the guests were treated to cocktails by Tito’s Handcrafted Vodka concocted by the master mixologist from Vigilante Hospitality and treats by Chef Janine Falvo of Top Chef Season 9 as DJs Carol C, Matthew J and Travis G provided music entertainment. Some guests participated in pres-show prix fixe dinner and/or after-party with designers and models at Daniel Patterson’s ALTA CA.

Fashionistas who made garment purchases that evening had their ticket price deducted from the clothing’s price. Moreover, all proceeds from fashion show tickets went to support the HRC’s ongoing work for equality, including a percentage from suit orders made that night. I did not get to stay long enough that evening, but I’m sure Jake had many suit orders that night; perhaps many were made in preparation of 30th Annual HRC San Francisco Bay Area Gala Dinner on October 11, 2014. All in all, I sincerely respected this great execution of fashion show celebration for an honorable cause! Go visit HRC website to know more about the organization and how you can support their movement.

Some of you already saw the pictures I took that evening, which I shared on Fafafoom Facebook page:

However, clearly the quality of these pictures suffered from not having Chris by my side. Nevertheless, thank you Jake for sending me these highlight pictures taken by Julie Engelmann for Kelly Puleio Photography. See them below!

Photos by Julie Engelmann for Kelly Puleio Photography

Behind the Scenes

There’s a great production team manning the execution of Suit Up 2014. From model groupings, dress rehearsals, feature designers’ team work to hair and makeup, everything was happening backstage. These pictures are glimpses to what happened before the curtain was lifted.
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Fashion Show Highlights

Right before the fashion show started, Jake said this as a closing food for thought, “The difference between ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ is like [comparing] just the word “love” and [actually] being in love.” With that, the stage was set to present the cultivation of heart, soul, spirit, hard work, and dedication these local designers poured into creating the garments modeled on the runway.

Models emerged in groups and walked the O-shaped runway one after another in suits by Artful Gentleman, some outfits incorporating Evgenia Lingerie pairing. It’s been a while since I last saw Cari Borja‘s creations, and her team did not disappoint: elegant, flowing cocktail dresses and tutu skirts ensemble for next spring season. Sounthavong presented architectural cut, color-blocked dresses for confident women, and Mansoor Scott presented laser cut leather crop top and A-line skirt ensemble in black and white.

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Congratulations again for all the designers! Aww, what a lovely group hug:
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Many thanks to Jake Wall for having me at SUIT UP for EQUALITY 2014, as well as Cari Borja for letting me know about this wonderful event. I hope to see the fashion show again next year, and I wish all the best for the talented group of Bay Area designers, the HRC, and the LGBT community! Cheers!

Thank you for reading, until next time,

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