Elton's Pink Party Glitters After Oscars

Even without the sponsorship of In Style, the iconic AIDS fund-raiser was still stylish and star-studded.

February 23, 2006, 5:19 PM EST

At the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 13th annual Academy Awards post-party at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, disco balls in various sizes ornamented the round tent’s ceiling, picking up fuchsia lighting from the Lighter Side.

Although In Style magazine declined to sponsor the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s annual Academy Awards post-party this year, John’s 13th annual fete at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles—now co-hosted by watchmaker Chopard—nonetheless had a stylish look, star-studded guest list, and considerable cachet. With Vanity Fair’s famous party just down the block, guests like Elizabeth Taylor (in a rare public appearance), Donald Trump, Donatella Versace, Don Cheadle, Christina Aguilera, the Counting Crows, and the ubiquitous Paris and Nicky Hilton flowed in and out, keeping the party packed well into the AM. Freelance event planner Virginia Fout produced the party, which was designed by Bradley Picklesimer.

After navigating two security checkpoints in gridlock traffic, guests handed off their Escalade and Benz keys to valets from Academy Valet Parking Services, and entered the tented fete between two obelisks covered in pink roses and glittery pink disco balls. A gauntlet of photographers shouted “over heres” and “look this ways” at the swarm of celebs, who arrived on a red carpet that featured video screens playing highlights of the ceremony set into the floor—so that a steady flow of Blahniks and Choos tread upon Jamie Foxx and Hilary Swank’s faces all evening. Pink floral arrangements similar to those flanking the entrance dotted the interior space and the outside smoking patio, and disco balls in various sizes ornamented the round tent’s ceiling, picking up fuchsia lighting from the Lighter Side.

Los Angeles locals Crumble Catering and Mark’s Restaurant worked with Galateo Catering from Italy to prepare extensive buffets, to buffer all the vodka from sponsor Absolut that bartenders so liberally dispensed. (We saw several guests at the bar sip, pucker, and then ask the bartender to dilute their cocktail a bit more.) Savories included mini lamb chops, duck confit, and ahi tuna avocado rolls; sweets included chocolate espresso brownies, chocolate .phpberry mousse cups, wild strawberry layer cake, and macadamia nut heart-shaped cookies dipped in chocolate. Round chocolates featured the foundation’s signature “A” logo in pink.

New Yorkers the Scissor Sisters performed a boisterous one-hour set before host Elton John joined them on stage for two songs—the Sisters' “Take Your Mama” and John's “The Bitch Is Back.” Goodman handled the audio for the concert, while live video of the performances played on the tent walls.

In a live auction, the first two in a series of limited edition Yamaha signature red pianos signed by John sold for $150,000 each. The event amassed close to $1 million for the foundation—and close to a million red carpet mugs for the likes of Us Weekly and People.

Alesandra Dubin

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