Kate Beckinsale poses for photographers as she arrives at amfAR Cinemas Against AIDS at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, during the 76th Cannes International Film Festival, Cap d’Antibes, southern France, Ly Thursday, May 25, 2023. Vianney Le Caare/Invision/AP)
ANTIBES, France (AP) — With a guest list flaunting wealth, fame and glamour, amfAR returned to the French Riviera Thursday for a gala in Cannes to raise money for AIDS research.
Queen Latifah hosted the 29th edition with Eva Longoria, Fan Bingbing and Rebel Wilson among the stars who walked the red carpet. Models Elsa Hosk, Heidi Klum, Coco Rocha, and Wayne Harlow also attended. The gala draws many of the high-profile names attending the nearby Cannes Film Festival.
Participants arrived at the famous Hotel du Cap, Eden Rock, where the evening began with drinks and canapes at sunset with a view of a giant yacht moored in the bay.
This was followed by a dinner of asparagus and truffles and a main course of grilled salmon while guests enjoyed an evening of entertainment hosted by Gladys Knight.
It is also sung by Bebe Rexha and Adam Lambert.
“I am honored to be singing for this cause tonight and seeing amazing people on the carpet and… beautiful costumes, all in the name of raising money for HIV and AIDS and research,” Lambert said before the ceremony.
Halsey closed the show.
The auction featured a collection of fine art, diamond jewelry and expertise.
The centerpiece was a one-of-a-kind Aston Martin sports car, the world’s first car ever sold by Eva Longoria at auction and sold for €1.5 million ($1.6 million).
The bonnet has been signed by Formula One drivers Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso and the car will be presented at a Grand Prix of the buyer’s choice and then delivered anywhere in the world.
Among other pieces, a pair of Chopard earrings in white gold set with diamonds and emeralds sold for 275,000 euros ($295,000), and a Leonardo DiCaprio portrait of Damien Hirst sold for 1.2 million euros ($1.29 million).
DiCaprio, a regular amfAR player, slipped away undetected by the cameras to enjoy his entertainment, but never came on stage to present his award to the winning bar.
This year’s annual fashion show hosted by Carine Roitfeld was dedicated to designer Vivienne Westwood and saw a host of top models display a series of designs on a makeshift catwalk by diners. “Jewelry and accessories are not part of this collection,” says the catalog, with the entire collection auctioned to the highest bidder of €600,000 ($644,000) to the tune of Tina Turner’s hit “The Best.”
Guests ended the evening by dancing until the wee hours with the party held by the hotel’s pool.
amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and advocacy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $600 million in its programs and awarded more than 3,500 grants to research teams around the world.
Louise Dixon, Associated Press