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Oh, what a night. Gwyneth Paltrow — in a Tom Ford-designed tuxedo jumpsuit with an open back — presided over the designer-filmmaker receiving a huge annual honor from amfAR, the organization that’s been raising money for years to cure AIDS. The star-studded crowd to celebrate Ford included Justin Timberlake, Rita Wilson, January Jones (in a flesh colored Tom Ford beaded column dress she feared was “see through”), new face of MAC’s Viva Glam lipstick Miley Cyrus (in a Tom Ford designed S & M futuristic strappy barely there look she collaborated on), Patricia Arquette, Sharon Stone (as amfAR auctioneer, a role she often plays), Ryan Murphy, Kristen Davis (in red lace Monique Lhuillier), Lea Michele, Kelly Osbourne, Dan and Dean Caten of Milan’s Dsquared2 brand — and that’s just for starters. The event raised $3 million for the fight to find a cure for the Foundation for Aids Research, with help from MAC Viva Glam, Wells Fargo and Belvedere Vodka.
The event was set up with long long tables like the Copacabana back in the day — fitting since the performers were all of major A-list calibre. CAA’s Bryan Lourd got the evening underway on stage by admitting: “To be honored at these things is a huge pain in the ass, because it takes so much time and effort on the behalf of the honoree and his staff.” Lucky for Tom Ford, he has friend in very high places. Mistress of ceremonies Paltrow was able to coax the “father of the year,” her soon-to-be ex-husband Chris Martin (talk about conscious uncoupling), to come out and play with Jonny Buckland, one half of Coldplay, as proceedings got under way for them to perform two songs. “We’re half of Coldplay,” said Martin. “so Tom gave each one of us half a suit. I got the jacket, and Johnny got the pants.” They also announced themselves as Justin Timberlake (at Ford’s table) and Justin Bieber, just there to perform “Coldplay covers for money.”
Lisa Kudrow got the auction part of the evening underway by telling the crowd: “Now’s not the time to worry about money. That’s why we have credit cards — and husbands and alimony.” Money was certainly not the concern of Rihanna, who actually presented the award to Ford while wearing one of his sexy designs, as she dropped $35,000 on Harry Winston diamond earrings, or Miley Cyrus, who went into a bidding war with Rihanna and Ford before winning with the $500,000 bid on a portrait by photographer Ryan McGinley.
“Miley Cyrus has more money than me!” Paltrow announced, after coming back to the stage post-auction. “Oops, now I’m drunk,” she added. Stone gave one of more impassioned cries for donations: “I’ve sold the clothes off my back. Then I’ve worn a table cloth, had it signed, and sold that too. I’ve gone home barefoot. But never ashamed.” That got a rousing round of applause.
Rihanna then introduced Ford by stating the obvious: “Everyone looks good in Tom Ford. We honor him for doing good, while making us look good.” Ford went on to speak about losing many friends to AIDS in the ’80s in New York before concluding, “Now I’m here, lucky enough to be in a bidding war with Miley Cyrus.”
The end of the night saw Ford’s favorite singer in the world take to the stage: Miss Diana Ross, who belted out her hits in a medley and had the well-dressed crowd dancing in the aisles of Milk Studios on Cahuenga Boulevard.
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