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The third annual L.A. amFAR Inspiration Gala, supporting the nonprofit AIDS Research organization and presented by MAC’s Viva Glam, had a lot of different and equally compelling elements going on Thursday evening: Sarah Jessica Parker presenting the Piaget Inspiration Award to Kevin Huvane for all he’s done for amFAR, Katy Perry performing, Chelsea Handler hosting, Kate Hudson vamping, Kristin Davis and her Sex and the City co-star SJP in the same room, an auction to raise major funds for amFAR (with Steve Tisch bidding on — and almost winning — everything), sponsor Fiji water on every table and Grey Goose’s new Cherry Noir cocktails that are a long, long way from the Cosmo.
Did we mention all the stylists, photographers, fashion and makeup folks in attendance? It was a feast for the ears and eyes.
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And then there were those Huvane tribute videos…
Host Handler — a Huvane client, natch — started off the simultaneously irreverent and highly reverent evening (amFAR being the AIDS charity org founded by Dr. Mathilde Krim and Elizabeth Taylor) by telling the A-list crowd (producer Alan Poul, photographer Douglas Friedman, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Octavia Spencer, stylists Petra Flannery and George Kotsiopoulos, and many high level agents and producers) to “sit the F— down!” and “don’t be cheap Jews!” when it came to the live auction, which included Catherine Opie photos and a Warhol.
The event then launched into videos from Huvane’s adoring clients who couldn’t be present: Keanu Reeves (“When I think of Kevin, I think of passion, intelligence, heart”), Nicole Kidman (“I first met Kevin when we went to Toscanova in Brentwood — that’s when we still ate pasta), director Rob Marshall (“Kevin came on the set of Chicago and told everyone, ‘Give this guy what he wants!'”), Michael Patrick King (“We’re both Irish. We both have extreme artistic sides, and of course, the self-hate side”) and Glenn Close, who told the story of calling Huvane with an early disappointment in her career, she in N.Y., he in L.A. “Fifteen minutes later, yellow tulips were delivered to my door, and the note said, ‘Yellow is the color of hope — don’t let the bastards get you down.'”
Handler quipped, “When I was starting out, I first met Ari Emanuel and then Kevin Huvane. It was like drinking zinfandel and then Veuve Cliquot.”
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The Thursday night event raised a whopping $1.3 million for the charity, which amounts to more money than the last two L.A. amFAR’s combined.
Parker introduced Huvane by informing the crowd that she was his very first client twenty six years ago. “I love it when people tell me Kevin’s their agent so proudly,” she laughed, in a strapless black Chanel jumpsuit that only SJP could get away with. “I just smile and say, ‘Oh, you know Kevin?'”
Huvane thanked his family — most of whom were present, including manager brother Chris and Slate PR partner brother Stephen, as well as son Declan — and then went on to talk about when he met the iconic Taylor years ago and told her he was getting involved with amFAR. “This is the most important thing in my life right now,” she told him. “You have to do everything in your power to cure AIDS.” Those words, he said, never left him.
At last year’s gala, Huvane made headlines when he and Bryan Lourd purchased a $14,000 Warhol print as a gift for Sandra Bullock‘s 1-year-old son, Louis. “I want to thank Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd for not being cheap f—s and gifting my son with his first Warhol,” Bullock joked.
Then there were more videos from Ellen Barkin, Julianne Moore and Tom Cruise, all praising Huvane for his loyalty, heart and constant championing of amFAR. “If I had my way,” Close pronounced, “Kevin, you’d get every award in town.”
The last video had to be the best: Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in dark wigs, on the set of a movie they’re shooting, with Dermot Mulroney accompanying them on acoustic guitar and singing a song about Huvane keeping them on hold while he deals with “Sarah Jessica and Nicole.”
“Kevin, I want to hear your voice on the phone,” sang Streep. At the end, with the crowd in stitches, Roberts pulled off her wig, while Streep was unable to detach hers. “It’s not fair!” she cried, cracking up the crowd even more.
One of the great attractions of the evening was the fashion: SJP in her Chanel, Hudson in a ridiculously sexy, stunning, poppy red Prabal Gurung clingy gown that made her body look even more insane, Davis in a vintage Lanvin fit n’ flare from Decades, and model Alessandra Ambrosio in a black illusion Zuhair Murad body hugging/revealing gown.
When Perry and her band took to the stage, she asked the crowd, “Can I just be myself tonight?” She jumped around the stage so much less than usual and really belted out the tunes — more chanteuse than pop star, for a change. “I’m missing the Madonna concert tonight, Kevin,” she laughed. “But for you, it’s totally worth it.”
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