Saturday, June 26, 2010

White Tie & Tiara Ball 2010

The rich and famous were treated to a gothic spectacular which combined elements of a Victorian asylum with futuristic fantasy at Sir Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball.

The evening, hosted by the singer and his partner, David Furnish, at their home in Old Windsor, raised more than £5.6 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

This, the 12th annual White Tie & Tiara Ball, was inspired by the ‘star’ of the event, Lady Gaga, who made her first appearance dressed as a ‘bride’ out of an Edgar Allan Poe horror tale, in a see-through gown and matching knickers by the young Italian designer, Francesco Sconamiglio, with a gilded “cage” by Viktor & Rolf over her face, and a treasure trove of Chopard diamonds.

“It’s a Lady Gaga Wonderland,” said Sir Elton, as he mingled in the grounds with 650 guests, many of whom appeared bemused by the strait-jacketed performance artists dangling from the trees, and the “men-in-white-coats” and “bandaged” waiters serving cocktails in medicine bottles, and canapés in metal surgical trays.

“We’re all ga-ga tonight,” said Christina Juffali, the wife of the Saudi billionaire, Walid Juffali, resplendent in Oscar de la Renta couture, and a choker of Chopard “gold diamonds”.

David Walliams arrived with his new bride, the model, Lara Stone, who wore a blood-red Calvin Klein gown. Also in scarlet, was the Khazakhstan beauty, Goga Ashkenazi, a friend of Prince Andrew, who was among the guests.

Other celebrities included Dame Shirley Bassey, in an Isabell Kristensen gown, who had flown in from Monaco, just for the ball; Elizabeth Hurley, in white Versace, and her husband Arun Nayar; Alex Curran, the wife of the England captain, Steven Gerrard; the couturier, Valentino; the actress, Kate Beckinsale; Sharon Osbourne and her daughter, Kelly; Boris Becker and his wife; Jimmy Carr; Mylene Klass; Lily Cole; Tracey Emin; Jon Bon Jovi and family; Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters; Kid Rock; Kerry Katona; Peter Andre; and the singer, Paloma Faith.

After a dinner of scrambled eggs with caviar, followed by Cumbrian lamb, and a chocolate bombe with peanut butter ice-cream, guests were invited to place multi-thousand pound bids in a luxury auction, in which a new, one-off Audi A1, spin-painted by Damien Hirst, went for £350,000.

Money raised at the balls, which have become an annual feature of rural Old Windsor, support the numerous health, education and community programmes which the Elton John AIDS Foundation supports in Africa.

Lady Gaga bought the evening to a thundering close with a dueling grand pianos session with Sir Elton, which combined her power-ballad, “Speechless”, and one of his greatest hits, “Your Song”.

- Telegraph


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