The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum played host Monday night to Jeffrey Fashion Cares with masses of fashionable fellas — and ladies — ascending the World War II battleship’s gangplank for the annual New York fund-raiser.
“Sometimes I wonder if I work too hard at spending as little money as possible on the production of the night,” explained retailer Jeffrey Kalinsky of his eponymous event, which benefits three select LGBT charities. “I love the Intrepid, but a lot of people find it mentally hard to come [so far west in Manhattan].”
However, guests delighted in the ship’s industrial setting as they sipped tequila cocktails, snacked on quesadillas and perused silent auction offerings placed beside Forties wartime relics.
“Sometimes you think, well, how much can an event like this make,” proposed famed nightlife hostess Susanne Bartsch, her matchstick-long false eyelashes fluttering with each sip of red wine. “But in the end it’s also to let people know that we’re united in something. It’s not all about raising money.”
But fund-raising was indeed the main focus of the event’s live auction, which came after a lengthy set of speeches from Kalinsky, stylist Brad Goreski, actor Gilles Marini and Kiehl’s president Chris Salgardo. Lots included a VIP trip to the Paris Men’s collections in June and a five-night stay in St. Lucia, among others, which raised $800,000 for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Elton John AIDS Foundation and Lambda Legal.
Somnolent guests — including Eric Rutherford, Sean O’Pry, Georgia Fowler, Devon Windsor and Joseph Altuzarra — patiently awaited the evening’s eagerly anticipated climax: an all-male runway show featuring chiseled adonises showcasing the latest in swimwear and casualwear.
“I go to a lot of the [charity] dinners in New York and I don’t like them,” continued Kalinsky. “I don’t like to hear people talk and I don’t like to sit at a dinner. I’d rather come to something like this where I can visit and then get to see these handsome guys walk down a runway and you’re done. I think that’s a good formula.”