Love was in the air at the amfAR New York Gala Wednesday night. And not just because the event, which was sponsored by Harry Winston and benefits the Foundation for AIDS Research, can pull on heart-strings (and hopefully, purse-strings) with its moving stories of activism and sobering speeches about the fight against HIV. Even upon entering the sprawling Cipriani Wall Street space, it felt like Valentine’s Day had come early. Tables overflowed with red roses, long-stem candles and bottles of champagne chilling on ice (guys and gals, are you taking notes?). After posing for requisite photos, Ivanka Trump asked not one, but three white jacket-clad servers to snap iPhone pics of her with her husband Jared Kushner, as if they were on a date, not attending a glamorous black tie. (Disgraced politician Anthony Weiner and wife Huma Abedin were also there and looked equally enamored of each other.) And It Girl and newly minted Estée Lauder model Kendall Jenner was besotted with admirers of a different kind: young women practically lining up for selfies with her. Ahh, romance in the digital age.
“There are a lot of high profile people in the room. Feel free to come up and take pictures with them,” quipped Piven, who then introduced Regina Spektor who performed a rendition of “Island in the Sun” (Harry Belafonte was one of the night’s three honorees). Rocha returned and with a cheeky jab at Piven raised the mic, quipping, “Now that Jeremy is gone, I can actually lift this.”
Piven was in for more ribbing from amfAR board chairman Kenneth Cole who explained, “[Jeremy] has put out a plea that he is single to all. So if anyone wants to address that, I can give you his email.”