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Sunday’s Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards proved a big night for Mario Testino. The celebrated photographer was being feted alongside the late Herb Ritts. “I don’t know where they found me a cosmo,” Testino mused, referring to news earlier that no cosmopolitans were being served at the party, “but I needed something to calm my nerves.” He seemed perfectly composed minutes later when Cameron Diaz, who was to present him with the Robert Graham-designed maquette, joined him in a spirited rendition of George Michael’s “Faith,” which was playing loudly at the outdoor event.
Some 500 guests, including Patrick Swayze (who presented Ritts’ trophy to the photographer’s mother, Shirley Ritts), Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Jacquetta Wheeler, came to honor Ritts and Testino. Though Tom Ford walked the red carpet, he sneakily slipped out a side exit once inside.
“I worked with Herb so often and had him up at the ranch all the time,” recalled Anjelica Huston, who arrived with husband Graham. “But I think the best picture he ever took was of my dog Minnie.” Lauren Bacall also had fond memories. “Herb was warm and friendly and made it all so easy. He was a very private person, but he would’ve appreciated this honor.”
This story first appeared in the March 22, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.