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It was raining buckets outside, but inside the Selfridges parking garage, it was as steamy as a summer day on the Amazon. More than a thousand Londoners gathered last week to celebrate the launch of Brasil 40°, a monthlong Brazilian-themed event with the South American country’s fashion, beauty, cinema, art, photography and furniture on show.

“Their style of partying is tiring me out,” said Jasmine Guinness, who was wearing a dress by the Brazilian designer Issa and who, incidentally, was one of the last guests to leave. And, despite a recent accident, Mario Testino raged on. “I have a broken foot, but it’s getting better,” explained Testino, who was walking with a cane.

This story first appeared in the May 11, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Leah Wood and Jade Parfitt joined a throng of bikini-clad Brazilian dancers for a boogie, while Matthew Williamson, Hilary and Alannah Weston, Serena Rees and Nicholas Coleridge snacked on watermelon slices, chicken drumsticks and corn on the cob. Saffron Aldridge was never far from the bar, a makeshift beach cabana that served caipirinhas and passion fruit cocktails.

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