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FASHION CAMP: Who better to host amfAR’s first Paris Inspiration Night gala, held on the eve of the city’s Gay Pride parade, than ultimate gay icon Kylie Minogue? The benefit event, which took place at Maxim’s Friday night, honored Jean Paul Gaultier for his lifetime contributions to men’s wear design and for his humanitarian spirit.
Naturally, it was Gaultier who got to dress Minogue for the occasion, selecting a spiky black woven raffia “palm tree” couture dress. During cocktails, guests discussed their favorite gay icons. “Jay Gatsby,” voted Alexis Mabille, adding, with a wink, “he’s not meant to be gay but I like to think he is.” Gaultier said he had several. “Minogue is one of the ones.
In terms of people who are no longer with us, Yves Saint Laurent, but I also love Madonna.” “Elton John,” purred bearded party promoter Andre J., who shimmied around the venue in a flower-embroidered couture gown by Xuan-Thu Nguyen.
During the dinner, Minogue, who said she was gobsmacked by the site’s Art Nouveau décor, dazzled the local-heavy crowd with some bon mots, and then, switching to English, confessed, “The French goes downhill from here.” After a glass-shattering vocal performance by Arielle Dombasle, who channeled Klaus Nomi convincingly, Minogue and television presenter Mademoiselle Agnès conducted an auction, doing their best at arm wringing à la Sharon Stone.
At one point, Agnès threw in a kiss from Lou Doillon to drive up prices on one lot. And when bids starting thinning out for a Robert Mapplethorpe photo – a close-up of a man’s nether regions in tight leather jeans – Agnès interjected: “It’s not Peter Marino.” Minogue even auctioned the Gaultier dress off her back, but only at a big price. “This is couture darlings,” she cooed.