"Dazzling artistry for a great cause"

A few years ago, when I was living in the mountains for a much needed personal break from the frenzy of the cityscape, I happened upon two amazing artists, who had been famous costume designers in Hollywood. Randy McLaughlin and Jerry Skeels were two of the sweetest gay men I’d met in years.  I found them because there they were, seated in the lobby of the luxurious Lake Arrowhead lodge, beside a mannequin dressed in a fabulous black velvet gown trailing into the other room and bedecked with sparkling rhinestone jeweled signatures of celebrities the likes of Liz Taylor, Bette Davis, Cate Blanchett, even Mother Teresa. I gasped at the beauty of the dress, but more at the intention of their art project. This was the very dress that was on a mission around the world to raise awareness and monies to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. I was on board instantly with their cause. I am so proud to now support the efforts of Randy, (Jerry passed away not too long ago), who is still pumping the message and showing their gorgeous handiwork and great vision…..If you happen to be in the area,  “Designing Glamour” will be in her full glory on display at the Art Institute of California in the Inland Empire. See it with your own eyes.  Inland Empire magazine writes about this touching project and the inspiration behind it, as Randy quips that after that run she will be moved to Hollywood,  “On display at the Hollywood Museum though November 28, it will be auctioned in early 2011 at a starting bid of $1 million…I’m hoping that whoever buys it will donate it to a museum, like the Smithsonian, for everyone to see.” Bravo!

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