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On the cusp of a week when free time is virtually nonexistent, it was quite something to see the turnout at Cipriani Thursday night for amfAR’s 10th annual gala dinner. “It’s an amazing list of people, isn’t it?” said Veronica Webb, staring out into the crowd of people that included honorees Carine Roitfeld, Bobby Shriver and Julian Schnabel; Marc Jacobs; Roberto Cavalli; Ashley Olsen; Liya Kebede; amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole, and Barry Manilow, who performed. Cole was clearly impressed with the turnout, though he admitted that raising money for the organization in the era of antiretrovirals and economic uncertainty is not easy. “These are very difficult times,” he said. “We’re going to convert tonight’s ticket price from dollars to euros and that way we can triple our budget.”
At the Cinema Society party for the documentary “Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton” downtown, the crowd was similarly A- to Z-list. There was Natasha Richardson, Jennifer Esposito, Anne Hathaway, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin (all of whom migrated there from the amfAR shindig), Josh Hartnett, Ellen Pompeo, Lil’ Kim, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Rachel Zoe, who’s parading around town with a Bravo camera crew filming her upcoming reality show, “The Rachel Zoe Project.”
“I think the shows are going to be packed” with celebrities, Pompeo predicted.
Jacobs, too, left amfAR for the W-sponsored affair, held at his New York home base, The Mercer. But he wasn’t concerned about any of the clock-watchers who may have preferred he toil away on the collection instead of party. “Come on, I’m out of the studio for two hours,” he said. “I’m going back and I’ll be there until two in the morning.” That said, moving his show to the end of the week still might not be enough to get him to finish on time. “I haven’t even gotten around to half the things I want to do,” he admitted.
Meanwhile, scruffy, skinny-jean-clad boys and artsy girls gathered at the Soho Grand for the opening of “Fragments,” an exhibit of body-conscious photos by Antwerp, Belgium, native Alex Salinas. Salinas’ longtime Belgian friend, Anouck Lepère, the evening’s co-host, grabbed a quick bite with fiancé Jefferson Hack. She seemed to be looking forward to the upcoming week. “It’s sort of like a high school reunion,” she said.