For the first time in what has seemed like an eternity, the words “Donald Trump” did not come up at a fashion event.
Sure, the name “Jeff Sessions” was uttered, and there were plenty of allusions to “tough times,” but in terms of the topic du jour, the T-word was seemingly off-limits, if for one night only.
The occasion: the 19th annual amfAR Gala in New York City, the unofficial kickoff to New York Fashion Week. And, as with all of amfAR’s many galas worldwide, the topic at hand was finding a cure for AIDs—well, that and roasting Lena Dunham.
You see, Dunham had been slated to host the program, but at the last minute became sick and was unable to attend. Enter Iman.
“As you may have noticed, I’m not Lena Dunham. I know it’s hard to tell us apart,” the model deadpanned as she stepped in for brief emcee duties. “I have been on Girls but you guys haven’t seen me because I was playing a white girl.”
The crowd ate it up. Next up: Zosia Mamet and Dunham’s own mother, Laurie Simmons.
“As someone who knows Lena, I would say pretty well, I know that wearing a vintage gown and being in a room surrounded by incredibly talented gay men is basically at the center of everyone of her sex dreams, so she’s not faking,” said Mamet.
Simmons, brought it home. “I’m Laurie Simmons and I’m Lena Dunham’s mother, and contrary to what you might think, that is not a full-time job.” Ba-da-bum!
Before the impromptu comedy routine, Dunham’s absence went virtually unnoticed, as Cipriani Wall Street filled with a crowd of recognizable faces dressed in their finest black tie ensembles. Among them: Zoë Kravitz, Mark Ruffalo, Diane Kruger, Alan Cumming, Victoria Justice, Amber Valletta, Chloë Sevigny, Alessandra Ambrosio, Liya Kibede, Maye Musk, and a whole slew of young models (a typical drawing point for Leonardo DiCaprio, who opted to skip this year’s festivities), as well as the evening’s honorees, Scarlett Johansson and Donatella Versace.
“Every fashion week always has such has such fond memories. My sister and I, since we were teenagers, would come in to all the events and dress up as twins and go to shows,” said Paris Hilton, still on the party circuit. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
Adriana Lima was equally pumped, hinting that she would be returning to the runway for Jason Wu and telling W, “I’m a mom, so that’s 24/7 stamina right there. I’m ready. I’m prepared.”
Heidi Klum, on the other hand, would be skipping fashion week altogether, and had flown in just for the gala, which she has been attending in its many widespread iterations since 2000. “My most memorable amfAR gala was my first one because I had to give Kenneth Branagh a backrub.” Come again? “I think he bought it for $50,000, and I had to give it in front of everyone then and there. He took his clothes off! And I remember he had a hairy chest…” Ba-da-bum!
This evening’s run of show was devoid of any backrubs, but nonetheless entertaining, thanks in large part to two musical performances--Aluna Francis of the pop-duo AlunaGeorge, and Ellie Goulding—and Versace’s brief, but poignant speech which, knowingly or not, veered slightly political, touching upon ulra-relevent notion of girl power.
“We’ve come a long way in the fight against AIDs, but as women, we cannot stop fighting,” Versace said. “As women, we need to do more. As women, we were born to be brave.” Donatella 2020.
Watch W's Most Popular Videos: