The AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), a leading HIV research and education organization held it’s yearly “Cocktails at Sunset” on Saturday, July 23rd. Hosted at the magnificent Bridgehampton estate and farm of photographer and music video kingpin, Steven Klein, the exclusive engagement consisted of a silent auction, reception, and full-on dance party.
As the social set swaggered out of luxurious rides, golf carts greeted and whisked each patron through Klein’s manicured gardens and farmlands, out to a torch-lit field. While the sun set, guests ogled works from talented artists such as Ross Bleckner, Nina Bovasso, Dan Colen, Candida Hofer, Ryan McGinley, Angel Otero, Herb Ritts, Stephen Shore, John Gordon Gauld, Hunt Slonem, John Donald Sultan, Spencer Tucker, and Massimo Vitalien. Dashing attendants passed succulent amuse-gueules and poured copious amounts of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Belvedere cocktails.
In additional to the art auction— a slew of fashion and luxury items were up for bid. Highlights included: exciting trip packages, rare experiences, his and hers watches by Baume & Mercier, a Christian Dior Beauté package, and a Cole Haan keepall.
As the pace picked up and attendance peaked, the coterie cavorted to the dance floor to enjoy top notch beats from trendy DJ trio, The Misshapes. A-list Hamptons-regulars and trendsetters caught in the action: designers Calvin Klein, Olivier Theyskens, and Jil Stuart; stylists Rachel Zoe and Robert Verdi; ladies-about-town Alina Cho and Liliana Cavendish; Polo hunk Nacho Figueras; actress/singer Sky Ferreira; and W magazine editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi.
Those not grooving under the tent, elected to chitchat by the glistening lap pool or explore the grounds. The wisest grabbed a glass of wine and ventured out to the mystifying, life-size, candlelit tipi.
When the clock tolled 12, VIP donors traipsed back to the awaiting golf carts, with special gift bags (generously sponsored by Baume & Mercier and The Standard Hotels) in hand. The young-and-the-restless, on the other hand, scurried about making after-hours plans in the neighboring hamlets.
All-in-all it was an elegant night: the perfect warm up to this weekend’s social parade at Water Mill, titled, “Voluptuous Panic:” The 18th Annual Summer Art Benefit.
This year’s cocktail raised a total of $80K for ACRIA. To realize its mission, the organization seeks to test the most up-to-date HIV therapies; embark on revolutionary research to better understand who has HIV and how to keep people with the disease healthy; provide life-saving HIV health information to disadvantaged communities around the world; and to strengthen community-based groups across the U.S through a comprehensive technical assistance program. Additionally, through its Center on HIV and Aging, ACRIA is a recognized leader on the emerging issue of older adults and HIV.
2011 event committee members included: André Balazs, Andrew Benedict, Ross Bleckner, Sandra Brant, Nan Bush and Bruce Weber, Bob Colacello, Francisco Costa, John DeStephano, Gabby and Gianpaolo DeFelice, Tonne Goodman, April Gornik and Eric Fischl, Deborah Hughes, Calvin Klein, Kelly Klein, Steven Klein, Leslie Klotz and Mary McBride, David Maupin, Jack Pierson, Isabel Rattazzi, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers, Andrew Saffir, Stewart Shining, Ingrid Sischy, Stefano Tonchi, Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman, Ken Alpert, Roberta Amon, Malcom Carfrae, Kevin Carrigan, Jane Holzer, Mary Heilmann, David Kleinberg, Christopher Makos, Nicole Miller, Christopher Milne, Helen Lee and Tim Schifter, and Annabel Tollman.