The trouble with hosting the Enduring Vision/Elton John Aids Foundation gala at the Waldorf-Astoria this year was that President George W. Bush was staying there after speaking at the United Nations, and a few of the guests seemed to go through the wrong entrance.
“Little did we know he was here,” said Sharon Osbourne of the president . “We went down his red carpet. There was all this military with nice shiny badges—“
“Nice guns,” said Ozzy.
“I thought, ‘Oh, this is posh.”
Fortunately the couple made it to the correct side of the hotel, where they, along with Harry Slatkin and Chopard’s Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele were honored for their support of the EJAF (“All we do is buy a table every year and have a f—ing good time,” Sharon said modestly).? The rest of the crowd, including Deeda Blair, Vera Wang, Blaine Trump and Steve Schwarzman was treated to a powerful performance by K.D. Lang, who nearly brought the house to tears with her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” John belted out his hit “Levon” in tribute to Uma Thurman’s son of the same name, and the actress sang along from her seat where she nuzzled new beau Arki Busson.
Of course, you do have to love a host who can acknowledge when the evening is not exactly perfect. “I’d like to announce that the first course is on its way to the Federal Drug Administration to figure out what it was,” John said to the crowd in reference to the gelatinous tomato and mozzarella starter. “My sincere apologies. That qualifies as the worst thing I’ve ever eaten at one of these events.”
Further uptown, Rachel Roy, Tory Burch and Lance Armstrong filed into the Metropolitan Museum of Art to fete the opening of the Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography. Guests swilled cocktails in the great hall before heading upstairs to the exhibit. Olivier Theyskins, the evening’s guest of honor, did not let impending Paris fashion week put a damper on his revelry. “My people must not be very happy that I am here. There’s so much work to do this week,” he admitted.