This “FAB FIVE FAVS!” is in honor of DIFFA “DINING BY DESIGN” and their 30 years of commitment in bringing together our community in the fight against AIDS.


My first collaboration with DIFFA was in 1989 for The “Love Ball” at Roseland Ballroom which raised $400,000 for DIFFA. This was a very exciting moment for us all especially with my involvement with ACT-UP. I felt as if a victory for DIFFA was a victory for everyone.


After all it truly took a village to pull off “Dinner in le Boudoir de Madame”, our first dining room for the DIFFA 16th Annual “DINING BY DESIGN” and it will continue to take all of us coming together to win this fight!


“Dinner in le Boudoir de Madame” was a collaborative effort with my design partners and dear friends, Charlene Keogh of www.keoghdesign.com and Adeline Olmer of www.french-secrets.com. Our goal was to showcase a unique dining experience within an unconventional room that had lots of heart.


I fell in love with many of the dining rooms for this year’s DIFFA 17th Annual “DINING BY DESIGN”, but the following five captured my heart with their innovation and humorous wit.




Dining in the belly of a whale! What a statement and what creative imagination these young students displayed. Mentored by Shawn Henderson, they brought their vision to reality and showed us all the important of staying in touch with our inner child.

While setting up for #DBD2014 opening night cocktail party I discovered that #FIT my alumni WON the #ASIDNY #adhds2014 Top Pick! #LOVINIT @DIFFANational


*Marc Blackwell 

Marc nails it every time and in my opinion he is the master of self-contained dining room experience. His DBD tables are the perfect combination of ingenuity, originality, and seamless design.


*Tumay Gunaydin Design & Mee Tran Studio 

They showed us that once again less can be more in making a powerful statement. A noir envelope represents the darkness of the social stigma of HIV/AIDS, while a mirror casting endless reflections of plates and their guests, a symbol of limitless hope.


*HDR and Waldner’s

With a few materials and perfect calculations, HDR and Waldner shows us that technology, the great socio-cultural equalizer, is infinitely inclusive; transcending race, class, gender, education, and faith; and reminds us that we’re part of something bigger. #LOVINIT



*essie, designed by Robert Verdi

My hands and feet are two of my prized body features and always feature the Perfect Mani/Pedi! And as someone who grew up in the 70’s, loving every glitzy moment of it, Robert made me feel fabulously right at home in his mini penthouse dining room. I envisioned myself hosting one of my festive soirees in a stunning chiffon kaftan. My custom designed kaftan for this year’s gala was designed by Clark Sabbat & Lynn Levoy of “Friends With Benefits.”


See you at the gala!

And please, don’t forget to

*Sign the Memory Wall 


*Bid in advance on lots in the Silent Auction

One of my FAVS!


Harry Benson

“Halston & Staff in his Paul Rudolph-Designed Apartment”, New York, 1978
Edition 8/35
Archival Pigment Print
24″ x 30″ (60.96 x 76.2 cm)

Harry James Benson is a Scottish photographer whose pictures have appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair, People and The New Yorker. Benson was assigned to travel with The Beatles on their inaugural American tour in 1964. One of his most recognizable images shows the band in a gleeful pillow fight in a hotel room. Other celebrities Benson has photographed include Bobby Fischer, Michael Jackson, who allowed him access to his bedroom, and Elizabeth Taylor, whom Benson photographed before and after her brain surgery. He has also photographed political figures, including every US president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, and covered war zones.


This lot ships from New York, NY, US.

“Halston and Staff in His Paul Rudolph-Designed Apartment, New York, ” by Harry Benson
Courtesy of Harry Benson, Staley-Wise Gallery New York
Estimated Value $5,000

to register and start bidding, visit GavelandGrand.com

once registered for a bid number with a Gavel&Grand representative, visit http://gandg.com/diffa to monitor and place your bids

Have questions? Please contact hello@gavelandgrand.com

Bidding ends March 24 at 11 PM EST.

Be a part of the fun all weekend and join the DINING BY DESIGN Silent Auction on Gavel & Grand at: http://gavelandgrand.com/auctions/dbdny!

Bid to win exciting experiences including tickets to SNL and Kinky Boots and travel to the Mediterranean on Oceania Cruises. Beautify your space with photography and art from the likes of Paul Gerber, Marc Yankus, Robin Rice Gallery, Richard Phibbs and many more. Or, bring DBD home with you with packages and centerpieces inspired by the dining installations from our sponsors!



Mission Statement: "ELEMENTS of FIERCE!" is a celebration of artistic expression! The founder, Blane Charles, explores not what people wear, but who is wearing it? He feels that we all have a special style waiting to be shared with the world. Blane also wants to celebrate freedom of expression, uniqueness, individuality, and authenticity! Stay tuned to my "FAB FIVE FAVS!" where I feature five works of inspiration and beauty from my day to day travels.
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  1. Adeline says:

    Thanks Blane!! Can’t wait to see the show tomorrow. Love your comments!

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