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Robin Thicke put his high-profile legal troubles behind him to entertain a Hong Kong crowd made up of the great and the good from the worlds of fashion, art and Hollywood. The stars all gathered together to celebrate leading AIDS research and awareness organization amfAR’s first-ever charity gala and auction in the city on Saturday.
Gwyneth Paltrow, honorary chair for the evening, dazzled in a navy Marc Jacobs gown on the black carpet and led a succession of glamorous women who had traveled to Hong Kong, some for the first time, including fashion designer Victoria Beckham, supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss and socialite Paris Hilton.
“This is the first amfAR gala in Hong Kong, and it’s long overdue,” said Paltrow in a speech to open the evening, adding: “A global epidemic requires a global response.”
Other notable figures to attend the event, which was held at Shaw Studios, included art impresario Larry Gagosian, designer and amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole, Wendi Murdoch, Swatch Group chairperson Nayla Hayek and a galaxy of local Hong Kong stars including legendary actress Carina Lau. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actress Michelle Yeoh was honored with an award for her longtime AIDS activism.
Celebrated auctioneer Simon de Pury held a rapid-fire and thoroughly entertaining charity auction, which included art pieces by Mr. Brainwash, Robert Rauschenberg, Alex Prager and Chinese artist Jia Aili. The most sought after lot, a surprise late edition that didn’t even make the catalogue, was a seat at Leonardo DiCaprio‘s table for the star’s upcoming fundraiser for his eponymous foundation in St. Tropez as well as spending some time with him on his yacht. The four tickets for the DiCaprio ‘experience’ went for a total of $1 million. Overall, the evening raised more than $4 million.
Thicke was the guest performer and ended the evening playing a short but energetic set that was predominantly covers of well-known Al Green and Michael Jackson songs before ending with full-throated performance of “Blurred Lines,” the song he wrote with Pharrell Williams that last week was adjudged to have improperly borrowed key elements from Marvin Gaye‘s hit “Got To Give It Up.”
The amfAR gala was held during Art Basel Hong Kong show, and the unusually high number of stars to descend on the city in recent days made the front page of the South China Morning Post. Other high-profile names to visit the city, but who did not attend the amfAR gala, include Susan Sarandon and Diesel founder Renzo Rosso.
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