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Paris fashion gala raises funds for AIDS

 French and American actress Karina Lombard arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
 French actress Emmanuelle Beart arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo / Thomas Padilla)
 French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier poses when he arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
 British model Poppy Delevigne arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
 Nadja Swarovski arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
 French actress Sylvie Testud arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
 CEO of Louis Vuitton Daniel Lalonde, left, and his wife, right, arrive at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)...

France Fashion

French and American actress Karina Lombard arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)

France Fashion

French actress Emmanuelle Beart arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo / Thomas Padilla)

France Fashion

French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier poses when he arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)

France Fashion

British model Poppy Delevigne arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)

France Fashion

Nadja Swarovski arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)

France Fashion

French actress Sylvie Testud arrives at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)

France Fashion

CEO of Louis Vuitton Daniel Lalonde, left, and his wife, right, arrive at a fashion gala in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)...

The often-catty world of fashion put its claws away for an evening and raised more than (EURO)752,000 ($1.03 million) for a good cause.
Fashion luminaries including Jean Paul Gaultier and Pucci designer Peter Dundas and fashionable people like actresses Diane Kruger and France's Melanie Thierry were among 720 well-heeled guests at Thursday's "Diner de la Mode" benefit dinner in support of AIDS charity Sidaction.
Luxury labels from Louis Vuitton to Christian Dior bought 10-person tables for (EURO)9,000 ($12,000) a pop, and their guests dined on lobster souffle and sea bass with morel mushrooms.
"I come every year because this is something that really makes a difference in people's lives, in treating people who hare ill and in trying to stop it (AIDS) from spreading," said Gaultier. "All of us here make clothing, but the most important item of clothing is the one that saves lives _ the condom."
Rising French designer Vanessa Bruno concurred.
"A lot of times, the fashion world is about frivolity and lightness," said Bruno, who just opened her first U.S. boutique in Los Angeles. "This is a chance to do something much more serious that has a real impact."
For Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche, the fight against AIDS is something personal.
"I think everyone in the fashion business knows people who are living with HIV, so this evening really hits home," said the 34-year-old menswear designer, who also has a women's line under his own name.
After the dessert _ meringue-covered chestnut ice cream _ guests drew for almost 200 lots donated by luxury labels and other high-end Paris businesses. Prizes ran the gamut from a selection of crocodile-emblazoned polo shirts by Lacoste to a cooking class by three Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse to a collection of what was billed as never-before-seen photos of Michael Jackson.
Plus handbags. Lots and lots of handbags.
The male model-of-the-moment, 19-year-old Andrej Pejic, said he won a red travel tote from the storied French bag-maker Goyard _ and then went on to win a series of three oxygenating facials from a Paris spa.
"I'm a lucky boy," said Pejic, an ethereal blond whose appearance a day earlier in Gaultier's women's haute couture runway show _ where he modeled the bridal gown _ made him the sensation of the season.
Sidaction president Pierre Berge _ the longtime partner of the late, great designer Yves Saint Laurent _ opened the evening with a speech outlining where the money raised goes: Less than a quarter of Sidaction's funds go organizational overhead, with half of the rest going to research and the other half to prevention and patient care. The total raised at Thursday's ninth annual dinner _ (EURO)752,160 _ was up from (EURO)728,000 in 2010.
The ninth annual dinner ended with a no-holds-barred dance party where star DJ Bob Sinclar spun and dancers in bustiers and teeny bikini bottoms undulated on raised podiums. Seven-foot-tall drag queens shared the dance floor with men in red Swarovski-crystal-encrusted masks that morphed into deer antlers and a women in a tuxedo where the entire back half had been replaced by black satin laces.
The "Diner de la Mode" marked the official end of Paris' haute couture displays, where designers showcase inventive and elaborate made-to-measure garments with price tags that start at the cost of a new car.
Earlier Thursday, 26-year-old Indonesian designer Didit Hediprasetyo delivered a spring-summer 2011 collection of elegant bustier dresses with elaborate origami folds. The show, held off the official couture calendar at the tony Crillon Hotel, was a promising start for the Paris-trained designer.
While the featherweight models could barely lug the elaborately draped dresses in heavy tweed down the catwalk, the high-rise skirts and short, strapless dresses in lighter materials _ like a pretty Indonesian fabric shot with metallic threads _ were simply beautiful.


Updated : 2020-12-02 12:28 GMT+08:00