I need to start this post on a bit of a sad note to fully tell the story of this event and why I was there. My father passed away after a fierce fight against cancer 11 years ago yesterday. Hospice played a huge role in helping us care for him during his last days and standing by my family's side as we dealt with the loss in the days after his death. It is an organization that I will always support.
It is an interesting coincidence that 11 years after his passing and on the date 11/11 Hospice Austin hosted a fundraising event. I simply had to be there so I invited my dear friend and neighbor, Kristy, who had a similar supportive experience with Hospice when her mother passed away, to come with me.
The event was a fashion show to raise money for Hospice Austin's Pet Peace of Mind, a program that helps take care of pets for people who are terminally ill. The program also helps place pets in loving homes so that no one has to worry about leaving their pets behind without someone to love and care for them.
The fashion show, held at Austin's historic and gorgeous Driskill hotel, was beautifully done. And for two suburban girls who spend more of our days in shorts and tennis shoes than rubbing elbows with the fashionable set, it was a bit magical to step into this chic world for a few hours.
Stephen MacMillan Moser, the featured designer, is battling an illness himself so it was touching that he debuted his collection to benefit Hospice. It's easy to see that he has a generous heart, and he is an extremely talented designer who creates elegant pieces like these:
MacMillan Moser also designs men's clothing. Here is a black-on-black look. In a sophisticated, big city scene, I can see it turning a few heads.
This smokey blue creation was my absolute favorite of the evening! The color makes me sigh, and I love that it has a lot of sass and flash but in a subdued rather than over-the-top way. The fabric drapes and moves with a lot of subtle, slinky drama.
Here is another men's look. Much of MacMillan Moser's men's collection features gossamer fabrics and details such as cording and embroidery. Some of the pants sport patterns such as gold-stamped paisley for a very metropolitan feel.
Another velvet dress, this one in black. The collar is so beautifully dramatic. The ruffle continues down the back of the dress, and the sheer fabric keeps the ruffle light in spite of its large size. Can you just see wearing something like this to your neighborhood Christmas party?
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a fashion designer and spent hours upon hours sketching clothing and envisioning a life full of glamorous runways, fabrics, work studios and big city living. This night was such a fun way to dust off that old dream and imagine what my life would have been had I pursued that path.
After the show was over, I came home to my hunky husband, kissed my children who were already angelically in bed, snuggled with my two cats and dog, and thanked God for my life just as it is. It may not be the most glamorous, but it's full of messy, wonderful love and precious little moments that are huge in their significance.
And I thanked God that Hospice was there during those last significant moments with my dad. I'm deeply grateful that we had time to say good-bye. We were able to sit with him and quietly realize as a family what love is when it's stripped of everything else but the simple blessing of a few more moments together. I believe that this clarity is a precious gift that God gives those of us who must watch a loved one suffer for a long time. Thank you Hospice for taking care of the difficult details so that we don't miss that gift.