Designers Team with GMHC to Fight AIDS

The fifth annual Fashion Forward event was a colorful and charitable night to remember!

Designers Team with GMHC to Fight AIDS

The fifth annual Fashion Forward event was a colorful and charitable night to remember!

-Diana Denza

gmhc runway

Ticket holders to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis AKA the GMHC Fashion Forward Event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC were treated to a night of fabulous clothing, models, and a luxe open bar.

GMHC, a volunteer and community-driven nonprofit, has been at the forefront in the fight against AIDS for three decades. It has provided countless individuals with confidential services including food pantry access, classes in healthy eating, information sessions, and one-on-one support.

Sponsored by Bank of America, Delta, ABC-7, and The Eventi Hotel, ladies and gents of all ages came together to fight AIDS…in style, of course!

gmhc auction

Attendees sipped delicious mixed drinks as they browsed pricey items up for auction. Among the goods in the silent auction were Lanvin, Dior, and Marc Jacobs purses, vacation packages, fine jewelry, and Chris Benz frocks. And there was more than enough eye candy in the form of male models to keep the gals (and many of the guys) entertained. Notable guests included supermodel Jenny Shimizu, Leila Lopes, also known as Miss Universe 2011, and androgynous model Andrej Pejic.

The all-star list of designers included Chris Benz, Thom Browne, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marlon Gobel, Sally LaPointe, Zang Toi, Timo Weiland, and VPL.

The two hosts for the evening were The Rachel Zoe Project’s  ex-cast member, Brad Goreski and former Girlfriends star Tracee Ellis Ross. Though the show itself –an incredible fundraising opportunity for GMHC –is in its fifth year, the Style Vault Award was an event first. Unsurprisingly, it went to Julie Macklowe, owner of skincare company vbeauté and a huge financial supporter of fashion startups.

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Attendees were finally seated after two hours of a bidding frenzy, but they didn’t stay in their chairs for very long! An excited crowd stood and cheered for the show’s opening (shirtless) drummers. And that wasn’t all: they were kept on their feet with a lively dance from the co-hosts.

But as soon as the first designer-clad model strutted across the runway, the audience was quickly hushed. Gorgeous frocks, pantsuits and a bevy of patterns from renowned designers followed to create a sensational show.

Leggy models stepped out in everything from timeless black dresses to striped suits (complete with a pom-pom adorned cap) and ivory robes. The lengthy runway burst with black and crème, latex and leather, and everything from teensy swimsuits (just about everyone went wild for a toned male model in nothing but his Marlon Gobel speedos) to bulky sweaters.

Among the standout pieces included Marlon Gobel’s fruit adorned button-downs (oranges and grapes, anyone?) and funky Chris Benz numbers. And Benz’s stripe-clad models were anything but boring. With electric pink hues and pale lips, these ladies managed to captivate and wow the crowd!

By the time the show wrapped up for the night, feet were sore, funds were raised, and guests gave a raucous applause. What more could a fashionista ask for?

Diana Denza is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.

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