SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Macy's Passport celebrated its 25th anniversary here with star power to spare, namely Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
The gala show and auction Thursday night featured music, dance and plenty of fashion, The event, along with another gala in San Francisco on Sept. 20, raised a total of $2 million for AIDS/HIV services, prevention and research. Since its inception, Macy's Passport has raised $25 million.
To kick things off in the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport, Hollywood icon Taylor received the first Macy's Passport Humanitarian Award from Macy's West chairman and chief executive officer Robert Mettler. Wearing a silver lamé Naeem Khan dress and more than 50 carats of House of Taylor diamonds, the 75-year-old Oscar winner, who has used a wheelchair in recent years, walked to a seat on the stage where she addressed the 2,000 guests.
"I'm so grateful for this award that I'm out of breath," she said, then paused, adding, "but the Teleprompter's not on, and for this I am not grateful."
Eventually, Taylor got back on track, telling the audience, "You don't need an award to be or not to be an activist and humanitarian. I was at the first Passport, I was here last year and I will continue to be here and join this fight until we defeat the enemy of HIV and AIDS. The most powerful weapon of all is hope."
Taylor stressed the importance of educating the younger generation about the disease. "Let them know this can and does happen to all people,'' she said. "Silence breeds shame."
Among the young stars in attendance was a Calvin Klein-clad Emmy Rossum, who is an ambassador for the Youth AIDS foundation.
"It's important for a younger generation to be involved,'' she said. "That's where AIDS is striking and that's scary that it's affecting girls my age. It could be me, so I think that's why it's so important to get involved."
MAC Cosmetics chief John Demsey presented a $30,000 check to the Empower African Children fund to benefit AIDS orphans in Uganda. "Macy's is a very important part of our business, and Bob [Mettler] has really taken Passport to another level,'' Demsey said. "In the nine years since MAC has been a part of Passport, we've donated almost $1 million to its organizations."After the accolades, Mettler declared, "Let's get this party started," and models paraded down the runway for nine segments, including collections from Mark Ecko, Calvin Klein, Via Spiga, Levi's and designs by students of San Francisco's Academy of Art. Previous Passport designers such as Tracy Reese, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Elie Tahari and Tommy Hilfiger also designed one-of-a-kind silver dresses to commemorate the silver anniversary.
For the evening's finale, MAC Viva Glam spokesmodel Dita Von Teese performed her signature Champagne glass routine with a new costume.
"It has about 300,000 Swarovski crystals and weighs about 70 pounds, which obviously gets lighter as the show goes on as I shed pieces," she said. "People love the Champagne glass so it's important for me to do what I can do to breathe life into these numbers."
Mettler said his secret to reinventing Passport after 25 years was passion. "We have people who love what they do and know that it is part entertainment, but that it's all for an important cause. They're so into it, and that drives them."
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty