2016 Give a Damn! Fashion Show & Pre-Caucus Party

Early 2016 rang in the best way possible: in an over-caffeinated flurry of excitement, champagne, and pre-caucus hustle. The Iowa Caucus media cycle was in full effect, along with political events, campaign rallies, and so many parties and fundraisers. I found myself in the middle of a quick-and-dirty fashion show planning cycle right up until the day before the caucuses — Give a Damn DSM: The Final Pre-Caucus Party, co-hosted by The Des Moines Register and The Des Moines Social Club. What I really loved about this fashion show was the unique challenge of combining fashion with politics.

Event Coverage

“Models strutted down the runway wearing outfits inspired by various former presidents or periods of political history. Women with their heads half-shaved modeled dresses in the style of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, followed by bearded and mohawked men showing off a Teddy Roosevelt-inspired menswear collection. The finale consisted of models carrying masks featuring each of the 2016 presidential candidates. Ted Cruz’s model twerked on the platform.” – Olivia Becker, Vice News, “Here’s How Young Voters in Des Moines Are Getting Ready for the Iowa Caucuses”

Plus… The Des Moines Register, “ICYMI: ‘Give a Damn’ models hit the runway in politically inspired attire”

and… Yahoo! Politics, “On the eve of the caucuses, a political catwalk”

Special Thank You’s

While a fashion show’s lifespan is fleeting it takes an enormous amount of time and energy to put together a high quality production. Cheers to the wonderful team involved in making this happen!

  • Jeff Naples for being the best-husband-ever // creative and co-producer
  • Zach Mannheimer for always bringing everyone together at the right time
  • Bethany Arganbright and the Des Moines Social Club crew for endless, obsessive hours
  • Libby Crimmings: GAD boss lady, enough said
  • Amalie Nash and The Des Moines Register for their vision and support
  • Mayim Yael, our Lead Stylist, plus the styling team that got everyone dressed and runway ready
  • Joelle Blanchard for exceptional model/talent recruitment
  • Amanda Snell and Lauren Elizabeth, the show’s official hair stylists (and for flawless execution of Jackie Kennedy-volume)
  • Dominique Braun, the show’s official MUA
  • Mike Draper, Taylor Frame and Lauren Pearson from RAYGUN
  • Renee from Atomic Garage
  • Sarah Dornink from Dornink Couture
  • Aaron and Joel Clutts from b.vander
  • Van Holmgren and Anna Frederick for their infinite creative abilities
  • Jeff Eaton for creating an ambiance through exceptional music
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