The Cannes Film Festival is somewhat of a two-week fashion show, with its legendary red carpet and grand staircase making for a dramatic entrance. The amfAR gala makes it official each year, with a runway curated by Carine Roitfeld.
This year’s theme was “Icons,” and celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Orlando Bloom, Kate Beckinsale, Alex Pettyfer, James Marsden, Troye Sivan, Teyana Taylor, Daphne Guinness and Eva Longoria hit the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc for the annual fundraiser.
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Designer Jeremy Scott emphasized the evening is not just about having cocktails against one of the most spectacular backdrops in the world.
Continuing the fight against AIDS is still at the heart of the event. “It’s a necessity for this just to be spoken about,” he said about raising awareness of HIV among the younger generation.
Scott had been enlisted by Roitfeld for the evening. “She’s very concerned about the youth not realizing that they can still be at risk. She’s spoken to me about it many times, and we need to get the message out,” he said.
He donated a Moschino dress for the collection, although he left the brand in March after a decade at the helm. As for what he is up to lately, he added: “I am listening to offers.”
Rebel Wilson was up for “shenanigans” as she posed alongside fiancé Ramona Agruma, both in Knauf jewels. “I’m more comfortable in a tracksuit and some sneakers, but this is so fun to be a part of,” she said. She worked with stylist Elizabeth Stewart on the look.
Comfort was also top of mind for Eva Longoria, who was searching for an assistant who was carrying her tennis shoes. She planned to slip off her red carpet heels for something more down to earth.
“I’ll put these back on [for presenting on stage], but amfAR has to be all about comfort because it is a long haul, as opposed to walking at the Palais, which is like 10 seconds, then you are done. So for that one I can be as uncomfortable as I need to be, but for this, I’m like no, I have to be comfortable,” she said of the gala that famously spans well after midnight.
Heidi Klum was having fun twirling in a Georges Hobeika gown so voluminous that it knocked over her chair later in the evening. She has been making the most of her Cannes experience. “You go fun or you might as well stay home. Here you can wear the most glittery, the more loud [dresses],” she said. She downplayed any controversy about the yellow Zuhair Murad gown she sported on the film festival’s red carpet that exposed quite a bit of underboob. “It wasn’t [controversial] to me. I’m a little bit more modern in that way.”
She’s been a longtime supporter of the cause. “I know people live with AIDS now, which is amazing, but people still die and it has to stop,” she said. Klum was auctioning off a trip to Iceland, and said it’s one of the few places in the world she has never visited. She joked that she was eyeing it for herself, but it eventually sold for 100,000 euros.
Coco Rocha was serving as one of the cohosts this year, after attending several amfAR events. “We keep saying that we almost have the cure, and I feel like these sorts of events where they raise a ton of money, [mean] we could just get over that threshold,” she said.
She was enjoying a date night with husband James Conran, and said coming to Cannes meant she’d had some downtime for the first time in ages. “I had a day off, and I went to get my nails done, which in like 10 years I’ve never done,” she said. “I don’t know how to just be in my own skin and be off. The one thing I should work on is self-care, and just learn to rest. One day I’ll retire and I hope to just not have to feel like I have to work all the time.” But now is not that time, she joked, as she’s heading home for the next edition of her model camp.
Alton Mason, who attended last year with his “Elvis” cast, just finished shooting “Dream Scenario” with Nicolas Cage. “He is such a cool guy, he’s an extraordinary person,” he said of working with the Hollywood legend.
Mason was in Berluti for the event. The former model is taking a new direction in the fashion world: He is dressing Lenny Kravitz for his upcoming performance as one of his first styling projects. Kravitz will be on stage for the “Power Our Planet” concert that will be held on the sidelines of French President Emmanuel Macron’s climate summit in Paris on June 22.
Ellen von Unwerth was posing with a gallery wall of her photos, including snaps of Claudia Schiffer and David Bowie, that were up for auction. “They wanted something very iconic and of course, the supermodels always fascinate everybody,” she said. The collection sold for 200,000 euros.
One of the biggest ticket items of the night was a Damien Hirst painting of DiCaprio, signed by both the artist and subject, which went for 1.2 million euros. He was in the crowd, seated with pals Maguire and Bloom.
Halima Aden was in a custom Valentino look, that the designer created with cultural sensitivity for the Somali-American in mind. The designer added sleeves and a slip that matched her tone, so the dress kept its nude effect without showing skin.
“I feel so incredibly honored. Never in a million years could I have imaged that such an iconic, stylish designer of that magnitude would do something so special for me,” she said. Designer Pierpaolo Piccioli worked with Aden’s stylist Jason Rembert to create the look. It was her second time attending. She was just as busy star-spotting as other guests and was there to enjoy the evening. “I’ll be sitting and cheering for all my girls,” she said of skipping the runway walk.
Jessica Stam was on the runway. She is getting back into work mode after taking time off for motherhood, and made her first trip to the amfAR gala all the way from her home in Hawaii. “It’s a trek, it took like two days to get here, but it’s worth it,” she said, adding that she has a newfound appreciation for the industry after stepping away for a bit. Living far away from the hustle helps, though. “I feel like as soon as I step off the plane in Hawaii, I am instantly grounded.”
Gladys Knight began the evening with a rendition of her hit “Midnight Train to Georgia,” before the crowd was wowed by Adam Lambert belting out a cover of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World.” Bebe Rexha and Halsey also performed.
Scott presented the collection old-school style, narrating each model and the designer she was wearing as they hit the runway, including Helena Christensen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Isabeli Fontana, Lily Aldridge, Stella Maxwell and Jourdan Dunn. Queen Latifah paid tribute to Tina Turner from the stage, and praised her for being a trailblazing performer. “She was simply the best,” said Latifah, as Turner’s song played while models danced on stage and bidding began.
The collection eventually sold for 600,000 euros.
A set of Chopard emerald and diamond drop earrings, presented by Petra Nemcová, went for 275,000 euros. The auction raised $8 million and the event brought in $17 million for the organization dedicated to AIDS research.
Launch Gallery: Inside the amfAR Cannes Gala 2023
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