Evelyn Lauder's annual Hot Pink Party may have gone "cool" this season, but her charity's proceeds were tallied to a very hot number: $4.5 million.
Lauder, who is senior corporate vice president of the Estée Lauder Cos. and the founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, hosted a crowd of more than 1,000 Tuesday night at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, raising funds for breast cancer research. To date, Lauder's foundation has raised more than $160 million for the cause.
And she had a host of high-profilers there, including Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley, Sheryl Crow, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Minnillo and Elizabeth Berkley. For the seventh year, Sir Elton was in charge of the evening's entertainment, this year tapping Crow, a breast cancer survivor. After a few awkward issues with the sound system were solved — "I'm starting to feel like the wedding band.…Talk amongst yourselves," Crow joked as technicians scrambled to fix the problem — the singer rocked the room as the likes of Leonard Lauder and Blackstone Group's Steven Schwartzman found their inner funk. Crow included hits such as "My Favorite Mistake," which she cheekily dedicated to Karl Rove — after a much reported spat earlier in the week over global warming — and "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which she and John tackled together.
"Last Sunday marked a year since my last radiation treatment — breasts intact," said Crow. "I am so happy that I was one of the cases caught by early detection."
In addition to supporting the cause, several celebrities revealed details of upcoming projects.
Dawson has produced her first film, which will premiere Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival. "It's called Descent, and it's about sexual violence and what one goes through when that happens," she said. She also stars in the film.
"Married life is fabulous," said Hurley, just back from her honeymoon and clad in a couture Dior pink gown designed for her wedding by John Galliano. (Following the theme, Lauder wore a pink Angel Sanchez gown, which she wore to Hurley's wedding celebration in India.) Hurley's line of beachwear is expanding. "Our sell-through has been great," she said. "We've had 100 percent sell-through at Harrods with our girls' line." She will add men's and boys' swimwear for spring/summer 2008. Hurley is also working on her organic food line. "Right now, we have about 20 pregnant cows and in two months' time, we should have 65 little pigs," she said. And she's got plenty planned for the summer. "I'm going to spend a month in the country, in Gloucestershire, in August; go to Saint-Tropez with my son [five-year-old Damian] and there's one week when my son goes away and Arun [Nayar, her new husband] and I are going to a health spa to try and eat healthy and inspire ourselves."Vera Wang, in addition to readying her Simply Vera line for Kohl's Department Stores, has started work on a new women's fragrance, which she described as "very rock 'n' roll, mixed with red carpet and Park Avenue."
Margherita Missoni, whose family's beauty license is held by Lauder, is trying her hand at a new venture: "I'm going to design a line of jewelry for [British jeweler] Goldsmiths," said the Giambattista Valli-clad Missoni. She'll also be the face of Aqua, the new Missoni women's fragrance, due out this fall.
Minnillo, who was wearing Monique Lhuillier and was scheduled to unveil her Flirt color cosmetics collection for Lauder's BeautyBank division Wednesday night, noted that her life lately has been "all about Lauder." She claimed not to be interested in doing a celebrity fragrance. "I seriously don't know how I could improve upon Pleasures, which I have been wearing since before high school."
Three generations of Lauders were represented: Leonard, chairman of the board of the Estée Lauder Cos., who escorted wife Evelyn, and their son William Lauder, president and chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos., who squired his 16-year-old daughter, Rachel. Rachel, clad in a pink Michael Kors gown, will intern for the designer this summer, said her proud father. "I take her to one fashion show a season," Lauder said of his aspiring-designer daughter. "She isn't allowed to skip school for it, so it's a different show each season. This past season, it was Zac Posen. And she doesn't get to sit in the front row."
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