Hollywood, Bollywood Star Power Shines at First amfAR India Gala
Hollywood and Bollywood came together for the star-studded inaugural amfAR India charity event Sunday night at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai. Sharon Stone co-hosted the evening along with actor Abhishek Bachchan and his actress wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a major Bollywood power couple. Also present were Hilary Swank and amfAR chairman and designer Kenneth Cole; pop artist Ke$ha gave a live performance.
“It is very kind of Aishwarya and Abhishek to support this cause. It all started in Cannes two years ago when [Aishwarya] came up to me. It's wonderful to be here with her. More people should come forward to lend a helping hand,” Stone said at a press conference before the event, adding, “I love gold, especially bracelets. I am going to auction some of my gold tonight.”
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“This is the first event of amfAR in India, and I am confident we will have several more to come in our country. I hope we all collectively raise funds, spread awareness and strengthen the force,” added Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
“We are honored to be here today and we both feel strongly about the disease [AIDS]. It's a matter of pride to raise funds for this cause and spread the awareness,” said Abhishek Bachchan.
The exclusive guest list of about 300 included leading Indian celebrities such as Nita Ambani (wife of India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries), actresses Dimple Kapadia, Nargis Fakhri and Sophie Choudry, actor Dino Morea and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar, among others.
A major highlight of the evening was "The Gold Fashion Show" presented by amfAR India in collaboration with LoveGold, an initiative of the World Gold Council. The show was presented by some of India's leading designers -- duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal -- who showcased their collections accessorized with gold. The pieces were then auctioned, with proceeds going toward AIDS research.
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The celebrities also made their own style statements: Stone showed off a black one-shoulder gown with a thigh-high slit; Swank shined in a shimmery floor-length black evening gown with a standout bodice; Ke$ha heated it up in a little black dress while carrying off an eye-catching gold headpiece. Indian celebrities chose opulent outfits accessorized with gold: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore a cream and gold outfit by her favorite designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, who also decked Nargis Fakhri in a glittering gold and black dress; Nita Ambani sported a beautifully embroidered black and gold outfit; Dimple Kapadia wore a multi-colored traditional Indian sari.
As for her other plans while in India, Stone said, “I will go to see the Taj Mahal. I will go to Jaipur. I will go to the Ganges river. We will do a sort of prayer thing there. I am like a kid, and I'm so excited. I am here to see much more of this place that’s changing me so profoundly.”