Dame Vivienne Westwood, Andreas Kronthaler Imagine Heaven for Art of Elysium Gala
Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Jaime King turned out for the climate revolution-inspired fundraiser.
Never one to shy away from making a political statement, Dame Vivienne Westwood was true to form Saturday night at the ninth annual Art of Elysium Heaven Gala in Culver City. Together with her husband, design partner and creative director Andreas Kronthaler, the British fashion designer and godmother of punk brought to life an alternate vision of heaven inspired by the couple’s shared philosophy on stopping climate change.
Event venue 3Labs set the stage for the experience, which was split into two parts: an industrialized modern-art installation by Andrew Ondrejcak, and a "post-apocalyptic" rainforest setting, complete with protest placards and leafy tablescapes, which served as the backdrop for dinner and the fundraising portion of the evening benefiting the non-profit that brings art to children battling medical conditions.
"We divided it into heaven and hell because we want to highlight the environmental crisis and problems there are in this world," Kronthaler told Pret-a-Reporter.
"One way of simply putting it, is that we are entering into hell on earth and we have to transfer to a green economy — it’s the only chance to survive — because the rotten economy is what’s killing us," said Westwood, who wore a sequined dress sewn by Kronthaler for the evening, draped over one of her signature graphic tee-shirts — this time proclaiming the innocence of jailed Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
"[Fashion] just gives me an excuse to open my mouth. I have credibility from it, and I do use it," she added. "I don’t even talk about the fashion. Mass extinction, only one billion people left by the end of this century — how can you talk about fashion? You’ve got to talk about what we’re going to do."
Stars in attendance included Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Christina Hendricks, Juliette Lewis, Zendaya, Camilla Belle, Topher Grace, Jaime King and Kelly Osbourne. Also on hand was Malin Ackerman, dressed head-to-toe in Monique Lhuillier, with an edgy new curly 'do inspired by Westwood. "It’s an ode to her," she said. "A lot of her campaigns and models have crazy hair and cool makeup, and it’s something different."
GUESTS OF THE GALA: Topher Grace and Malin Ackerman at the Art of Elysium Heaven Gala. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dressed in Vivienne Westwood, Osbourne, who has known the designer since she was 12, also sang her praises, calling her one of the most incredible fashion designers and human beings she knows.
During dinner, the creative visionaries and designers took the stage, where Kronthaler expressed the importance of art for children and Westwood furthered hammered home the message of taking action for climate change. "It’s a matter of life and death," she said, stressing the importance of switching over to green energy as one of the things we can all do to make a difference.
Following the presentation of the Spirit of Elysium award to Finola Hughes and her husband, Russell Young, for their work with the organization, Justin Bartha and Osbourne spearheaded a live auction. A performance by Shara Worden and ballet dancers wearing Vivienne Westwood rounded out the evening.
VA-VA-VOOM: Christina Hendricks (left) and Kelly Osbourne with the evening's host, Vivienne Westwood. (Photo: Getty Images)