Vancouver Sun (05.24.2013)
On May 23, the 20th amfAR gala took place at the Cap D'Antibes, France, near the Cannes Film Festival. This year’s gala raised an estimated $25 million for AIDS research. Actress Sharon Stone hosted the event, taking over for amfAR Founder Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away in 2011. The gala featured a gold-themed auction at the French Riviera’s Hotel Du Cap. Shirley Bassey, celebrated “Goldfinger” singer, and Duran Duran both performed gold-themed tunes.
The gala auctioned a trip to space, a chance to have a family portrait taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz, an Andy Warhol lithograph of Taylor, a 53-carat diamond necklace, and a week at fashion designer Donna Karan's Caribbean hide-away. The gala is one of the world's biggest fundraisers in the fight against AIDS, a disease that still affects some 34 million people worldwide.
Stylist Carine Roitfeld created a fashion show featuring 38 gold and black looks by designers such as Chanel, Dior, Prada, Lanvin, Valentino, and Givenchy. Karolina Kurkova, Karlie Kloss, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Angela Lindvall modeled the clothes. A single bidder bought the clothing for $1.56 million. An unsettling occurrence at the gala involved the theft of a necklace worth 2 million euros ($2.6 million), which was the second such jewelry heist during this year's Cannes Film Festival.
The amfAR organization has raised $80 million since its inception. Harvey Weinstein emphasized to the crowd that two decades ago, the illness was a "looming plague" that now might be curable within "our lifetime."