A cloud of Juul smoke suspended in the air as celebrities in tuxedos and gowns shoved chairs out of their way while they greeted friends — much to the delight of the flashes from cameras everywhere. This was the scene inside Cipriani Wall Street at the amfAR gala, which is usually known as the official kick-off to New York Fashion Week, but this year occurred at the same time as the Tom Ford runway show. Still, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Karen Elson, Milla Jovovich, Mert Alas, Marcus Piggott and Simon de Pury gathered at amfAR for another reason entirely: to raise money and awareness in the fight for a cure for AIDS and HIV — and OK, to have a glam night out. De Pury, Alas, Piggott and Jovovich all received awards for their work within the community and for the organization.
Before the crowd — which leaned on the model-heavy side, but also included Brandon Thomas Lee and performing group The Chainsmokers — went inside for dinner and an auction, they walked the red carpet out front. Michelle Rodriguez, tasked with presenting Jovovich’s award for the night, said she was “super mellow.” She paused to talked about a post Vin Diesel put on Instagram, claiming not-so-subtly that there was an all-women reboot of “The Fast and the Furious” in the works.
“I can’t wait to read a script. Once I read a script, I’ll know,” she said. “I’m glad that it sounds like I’ve been listened to. I’ve been part of the franchise for 16 years. Fourteen years into it, I made a little statement about my direction in life, specifically how I’m gearing my life toward discovering femininity. Where I gear my life, that’s where my career’s going to go.”
Jovovich, not even two months into 2019, already has a packed year. She debuted her film “Paradise Hills” at Sundance over the weekend and was signed to The Society Management in January. But her goals for the remainder of the year follow a more simple track.
“Spend as much time with my kids as possible,” she said. “Help my daughter with her homework, that’s number one. There’s quite a lot of stuff that I’m still doing — some modeling things, getting ready to potentially start another independent movie. It’s always busy; there’s always something going on.”
The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall both wore diamond brooches on their lapels.
“We’re from New York originally, and I remember all these great people and friends coming out in support of this,” Pall said. “To be able to actually help out in that process and entertain and hopefully bring more money to the cause is amazing. Hopefully we just don’t blow it.”
The electro-pop bro-tastic duo is releasing a new album soon, and Taggart detailed his list of collaborators with whom he’s most itching to get into the studio.
“Sigur Rós, which is one of my favorites. I’ve actually done a couple of sessions with Jonsi, who’s the singer in the band. But we haven’t figured out exactly what to make yet,” he said. “We pretty much exclusively listen to Rosalia. Doing something with her would be a dream come true.”
A cluster of light from the paparazzi stationed outside indicated the Kardashians had arrived. Sure enough, in came Kim and Kourtney, the latter of whom rocked a superhigh ponytail.
“Mert and Marcus are my favorite photographers,” Kim told reporters on her way into the venue.
When Kourtney found her seat at a table in the middle of the room, a woman tried to take a selfie with her by wordlessly crouching down to her level and shoving a phone in the Kardashian’s face. Kourtney responded by simply pushing the woman’s arm out of the way. Kim, meanwhile, took pictures with fans, even taking some of their phones into her own hands to catch her best angles. Kourtney and Elson — who helped de Pury sell a Mert and Marcus photograph of Kate Moss for $90,000 during the auction — instantly hit it off, putting their heads together and chatting for most of the evening.
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