amfAR inspires and awards icons

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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Last night at MoMA, for its second annual Inspiration New York Gala, amfAR payed tribute to James Franco and Michael Kors.

Models Heidi Klum, Alek Wek and Chanel Iman, and New York it girls Olivia Palermo and Fabiola Beracasa came out to support and celebrate Franco’s Piaget Award of Inspiration for his humanitarian work and contributions to men’s style, and Kors’s amfAR Award of Courage for his contribution for fight against AIDS.

Apparently, showing skin was the secret to a good seat: a bare-legged Ke$ha sat with Franco, and Klum (in a backless Michael Kors turquoise dress) sat with the designer himself. The stunning Jennifer Hudson opted to show off not her skin, but her shrinking body–also in a Michael Kors design.

The evening celebrated all aspects of men’s style with a Black Tie/Hot Metal theme. A runway show featured Wilhelmina models strutting to a Van Halen soundtrack in donated looks from of course Michael Kors and Piaget, but also Alexander McQueen and Wang, Elie Tahari, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein Collection. Studs, spikes and body glitter abound.

Studs off the catwalk also filled the room: Honorary Chairs Kenneth Cole and Cheyenne Jackson, Rufus Wainwright, Alex Lundqvist, Lorenzo Martone, Stefano Tonchi, Tim Morehouse, Lance Bass, Andrew Saffir, Daniel Benedict and Palermo’s model boyfriend Johannes Huebl, for example.

In addition to a fashion show, Josh Wood Productions produced an unforgettable night filled with a cocktail party with Grey Goose vodka, dinner, a live auction and special performances by the great Liza Minnelli and Hudson. Honorary Chair Courtney Love even belted it out on stage.

Minnelli also recalled bringing Rock Hudson (who was fighting the disease at that time) to Elizabeth Taylor’s house–which Minelli said prompted Taylor’s fight against HIV and AIDS.

The night successfully raised $750,000.


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by Ben DiamondPhotographed by Billy Farrall