Paris Gets Playful at Sidaction Gala

Designers, film stars and models crowd annual AIDS benefit.

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Grace Jones

Photo By Stephane Feugere

Dita Von Teese and Beth Ditto

Photo By Stephane Feugere

Thursday night’s 10th annual Sidaction Gala, which raises money for AIDS research and patient care, saw the fashion pack in a playful mood at the tail end of Paris Couture Week.

An excited Beth Ditto pounced on Grace Jones for a hug, burying the disco diva’s head in her ample bosom at one point, sending Jones into hysterics.

Architect Peter Marino, sporting his signature biker leathers, decorated his cap with tickets printed with the word “Perdu,” meaning he came out empty-handed when he opened prize envelopes from the raffle. “I’m one of the lost boys,” he teased.

Dita Von Teese said she is getting ready to launch her show, “Strip, Strip, Hooray,” in America before hitting Europe.

“An hour-and-a-half-long revue of the best of burlesque,” promised Von Teese. So who did the costumes? “Elie Saab, Alexis Mabille. There’s a little Dior in there, a lot of Mr. Pearl and Swarovski. The most Swarovski anybody’s ever worn at one time, it will be in that show.”

Fashion credits are crucial with this crowd packed with models, designers and actresses — most of them dressed in black.

Asked about her Goth-tinged ensemble, Juliette Binoche reached into her clutch and pulled out a cheat sheet: Haider Ackermann and Yves Saint Laurent topped the long list of credits.

The French actress said she would play sculptor Camille Claudel in a forthcoming film by Bruno Dumont. Before that, she’ll be seen in “Elles,” a French movie about university students who turn to prostitution to pay for their education. “I play a journalist,” she pointed out.

Ralph Toledano, who officially starts Monday as president of the fashion division at Puig, table-hopped between Jean Paul Gaultier and Nina Ricci, among the Spanish beauty and luxury group’s Paris properties. Toledano beamed for photos with designer Peter Copping and praised Ricci as “one of the historical and most prestigious French couture houses.”

Over at the table hosted by Estée Lauder group president John Demsey, Ditto said she had a blast dreaming up possible names for the limited edition product collaboration she’s working on with MAC Cosmetics.

“I’m shameless, and I love a pun. There’s a lot of Beth puns,” Ditto said. “I wanted Crystal Beth Amphetamine, but they were not having it; they wouldn’t let me do it.”

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