Friday, September 22, 2006

"Crazy shit" with Leo and Beyonce

"TEXT YOUR BLOG." So said a prompt that just went up on one of the giant screens here at Brompton Hall in London. And who am I to argue with Mr Armani? So here I am blogging live via BlackBerry from the dancefloor of the Armani One Night Only party in the very glamorous ... wait for it ... Earl's Court.

But what a party. The old silver fox certainly knows how to throw a do. Where shall I start? Leonardo, Beyonce, Bryan Ferry, 50 Cent, Bono, Ashley Judd, Kevin Spacey, Orlando Bloom ... there are so many celebs here it's hard to work out who is who.

It feels like being back at New York Fashion Week, that's how starved London has been of celebs for the past week.

The difference being that they are partying amongst us here and not just posing for photo ops (although they did that too). Or at least some are still here.

It's all in aid of AIDS and although the cynic in me would like to know precisely how many high-profilers present donate even a fraction of their whopping incomes to charity, I guess if they can throw their weight behind a cause like AIDS in Africa then well... they're using their power for good.

I have no doubt that that's what they want us to think at any rate.

Prior to the party, the host held a massive fashion show in which designs by Emporio Armani, Armani black label, Armani Prive and the new Armani Red collection were on parade. For the latter, Armani has hooked with up with the Bobby Shriver/Bono-initiated Product Red campaign, with a percentage of profits going to help fight AIDS in Africa.

Blind tenor Andrea Bocelli sang while the Armani Prive collection came out – that's Armani's haute couture line. It was quite magnificent.

But I just couldn't help thinking to myself, "Oh well, at least he's oblivious to the silly cocktail hats".

I have been trying to find out how this compares to the last big bash done in London, but so far have not been able to get a sensible answer out of anyone.

The fact that they are all very drunk – particularly Kimberley Stewart, it appears – probably isn't helping things.

Apart from comments and grabs from the celebrity hordes on the red carpet – actually make that the blue carpet (on which Bono fell over) – in the company of a zillion other media reps (par for the course obviously in a situation like this of course), I did get one exclusive titbit for the blog however.

It was uttered just after Beyonce shook her booty on stage, one of several live performances that included Ferry and 50 Cent. After the latter performed, just metres from us, Sydney photographer Marty Whitsitt and I looked at each other and said, almost in unison, "this is surreal".

A little earlier on, Leonardo di Caprio, adjacent to whom I happened to be standing at that particular moment, was obviously equally impressed - and you would figure he would be a little harder to gobsmack than Marty or moi.

As Beyonce exited the stage di Caprio said, to no one in particular:

"That was some crazy shit there."

He did have a point.

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