VIENNA, May 2, 2012 (AFP) - Actress Milla Jovovich, former US president
Bill Clinton and models Lydia Hearst and Kiera Chaplin will up the star factor
at this year's Life Ball, Vienna's glitzy annual AIDS charity event, on May
Jovovich will be on hand to represent the US AIDS research foundation amfAR
at the milestone 20th edition of the event, while Clinton, a regular since
2007, will also attend for his Clinton Health Access Initiative project.
Some 40,000 people are expected at the Life Ball, where ballgowns and body
paint mix every year in a swirl of colour and glitter against the neo-gothic
backdrop of Vienna's City Hall.
Held on a red-ribbon-shaped catwalk, the traditional fashion show --
organised this year by Vogue Italia magazine -- will retrace 20 years of Life
Ball designs, with creations by such names as Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne
Westwood, Heatherette and Gianfranco Ferre.
In true Viennese form, the show will also open with 100 debutantes and
their partners dancing to a "polonaise" by Frederic Chopin and performed by
Australian pianist David Helfgott.
On the eve of the ball, a "Red Ribbon Celebration Concert" at the nearby
Burgtheater will feature the jazzy notes of Randy Crawford and Al Jarreau
among others, interspersed with short readings by actress Melanie Griffith and
writer Maya Angelou.
This year's Life Ball was themed "Fight the Flames of Ignorance", after
previous editions took the elements of water, air and earth for inspiration.
Last year, the event made 1.9 million euros ($2.5 million) for the fight
against HIV and AIDS.