amfAR Inspiration Gala Honoring Kevin Huvane

Chelsea Handler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Katy Perry Headline amfAR Inspiration Gala Honoring Kevin Huvane


Chelsea Handler, host of E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” took on another hosting detail Oct. 11, this time for the amfAR Inspiration Gala 2012, which honored Kevin Huvane. (See 30 event pictures in the gallery below.)

Sarah Jessica Parker presented the award to Huvane, managing partner of Creative Artists Agency; and Katy Perry provided the entertainment. The result: $1.3 million raised for amfAR, the foundation for AIDS Research. 


So who came?

The Gala drew a star-studded crowd to Milk Studios in Los Angeles, among others, Kate Hudson and Mark Salling of “Glee;” Jennifer Coolidge, aka “Stifler’s mom” of the “American Pie” movie series, and along with Beth Behrs, of “2 Broke Girls,” Michael Gladis of “Mad Men,” Kristin Davis of “Sex and the City;” Octavia Spencer of “The Help, Tate Taylor, the film’s director; George Kotsiopoulos of “Fashion Police,” singer Lance Bass, supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio and Angela Lindvall, champion snowboarder Shaun White, Rose McGowan, Rumer Willis, and David Furnish. 

What They Wore & Said 

Black tie ruled, even though the invitation offered “athletic attire” as an alternative.   

For this occasion, fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker paired a 15-year old Chanel jumpsuit with a 2-year old Chanel jacket, saying she likes mixing old items together. Clearly ideal for her role as Vogue editor “Isabelle Wright” in “Glee,” she noted that her Fendi bag and classic shoes were also old. “And I’m old,” she joked, (which is not exactly the case – she looks terrific up close.)

Another new cast member in “Glee,” Kate Hudson could have stopped traffic in her fire-engine red, figure-hugging number by Prabal Gurung, which she topped with a necklace by Loree Rodkin. As she plays Rachel Berry’s dance teacher and nemesis “Cassandra July” with beyond-impressive dance skills, I felt compelled to ask if she does her own dancing onscreen, (as opposed to a dance double.)

Not hesitating a moment, Hudson said “Yes,” adding, “I’ve been dancing since I was little. The show is a dream for me, getting to do all three things – dancing, singing and acting.”

True to her glamorous image, Katy Perry chose a Naeem Khan gown, lavishly embellished in floral patterns.  

Chelsea Handler’s Remarks

Following the cocktail reception, where guests mingled among men’s fashion vignettes, Handler began the formal ceremonies. 

“I’m honored to be here and frankly surprised to be hosting this event, or anything affiliated with the word ‘inspiration,'” she said, before giving another reason she enjoyed her role.   

Referring to Parker and Perry, she said, “For me, selfishly, it’s just sort of refreshing to be in a room with two famous women whose name doesn’t end in Kardashian.”


Katy Perry’s Goodness and Auction Bonus 

Handler called Parker “so beloved in New York City,” and of Perry said, “She’s such a good girl; she really is. She’s a good California girl: talented and sweet. I sing along to that music, and I have gummy bears because of her,” adding, “She should be celebrated because she’s a pretty special girl.”

Very true. During the night’s auction, when her autographed guitar went on the block, she shouted out a bonus for the buyer, saying, “I will take you and your friends to one night at the Abbey.” (The Abbey is a popular gay bar in L.A.)

Auctioning off the package, Andrea Fiuczynski of Christie’s rattled off Perry’s accomplishments, saying she is the only female in history ever to have five no. 1 singles on the same album, (as mentioned in my Hammer Museum story and ASCAP Awards story.) Named Billboard’s 2012 Woman of the Year, Perry also has sold 75 million digital downloads and 11 million albums worldwide, said Fiuczinski.  

Here’s another big number: New York Giants owner Steve Tisch paid $32,000 for the guitar and night out. 

Also stepping up to the podium to lend their auctioneering skills were Martyn Lawrence-Bullard of “Million Dollar Decorators” and the great Jennifer Coolidge.


Star-Studded Video Tributes 

Between dinner courses, video tributes to Huvane featured Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Keanu Reeves, Julianne Moore, Ellen Barkin, Lisa Kudrow, Sonja Morgan of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” and others.

In the video, Whitney Cummings said, “Since I’m with Kevin, my life has completely changed – I went from being totally unknown to doing a video for free for a party I wasn’t even invited to.”

Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts sang their video salute to the tune of “Cheek to Cheek,” i.e., “Kevin, I said Kevin… ” regarding the difficulty of getting Huvane on the phone, and including his predilection for Armani (which he happened to be wearing that night to the Gala.) 


Parker’s Presentation  

Parker presented the Piaget Award of Inspiration, saying she was Huvane’s oldest client. “I mean, not his oldest client,” she quickly added, (later explained as his first client.)

She then pointed out Huvane’s “strict set of principles… a fierce, steadfast loyalty, unreasonable generosity and a tremendous dedication to making the lives of those around him special.” Parker called Huvane, “the grounding, consistent support in my professional life for 26 years.”

Huvane, the Man of the Hour

On accepting his award, Huvane talked of the early days of the AIDS crisis, how he told Elizabeth Taylor, a founder of amFAR, that he wished to get involved. “She lit up like a spark,” he said. “She took my head in her hands and said, ‘This is the most important thing in my life right now, and you have to do everything in your power to help’…”

He said many have forgotten the funeral-after-funeral at the outset of the AIDS crisis, and yet AIDS remains a problem. 

“That’s why I’m here,” he said. “Tonight I challenge all of you to restore the same urgency, the fierce urgency… that so compelled Elizabeth Taylor and (Mathilde) Krim and the other founders of amFAR to fight for this cause.”


The Finale: Katy Perry’s 5-Song Set

“We’ve had a nice night – haven’t we?” said Katy Perry, after the dinner and ceremonies. “All right. Let’s end it with some music.”  

Saluting Huvane, Perry said, “I even missed a Madonna concert for you. I know all of you have already thought about that, right?” 

She then sang “Part of Me,” “Teenage Dream,” “Wide Awake” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me,“ which she called “a song that needs no introduction.”

Recognizing the first notes of the finale, the audience jumped to their feet for “Firework.”


The Event Chairs and Sponsors

Designer and amfAR chair Kenneth Cole served as dinner chair, along with Larry Boland, John Demsey, Michael Smith and John Sotoodeh.

MAC Viva Glam presented the event, staged by Josh Wood Productions, with additional sponsorship from Piaget, Wells Fargo, Hugo Boss and Kohler. Hugo Boss, Tumi and Thom Browne presented the “Black Tie/Athletic Inspired” men’s fashion vignettes during the reception, where Grey Goose Cherry Noir cocktails, Fiji Water and Comte de Mazeray Champagne were served. (According to company CEO Rex Hewitt, Comte de Mazeray is the favored champagne brand for Prince Albert and Princess Caroline in Monaco.)


Photos, This Page:

Top photo: Pop superstar Katy Perry sang a 5-song set at the amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane at Milk Studios (photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images for amfAR) 

Second photo: From left, Fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, CAA managing partner Kevin Huvane, talk show host Chelsea Handler and designer/ amFAR chairman Kenneth Cole at the amfAR Inspiration Gala (photo:  Jeff Vespa/ Getty Images for amfAR)

Third photo: Kate Hudson of this season’s “Glee,” with CAA managing partners Bryan Lourd, left, and honoree Kevin Huvane at the amfAR Inspiration Gala 2012 (photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images for amfAR) Hudson wears Prabal Gurung; Huvane wears Giorgio Armani

Fourth photo: Champion snowboarder Shaun White, left, and fashion designer Jeremy Scott at the amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane  (photo: Jeff Vespa/ Getty Images for amfAR) 

Fifth photo: Auctioneer Andrea Fiuczynski of Christie’s, left, with Jennifer Coolidge of the “American Pie” movies, take bids from the audience at the amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane (photo: Jeff Vespa/ Getty Images for amfAR) 

Sixth photo: Octavia Spencer at the amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane (photo:

Seventh photo: Sarah Jessica Parker of “Sex and the City” and now, “Glee” at the amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane (photo:

Eighth photo: Chelsea Handler of “Chelsea Lately” hosted the amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane (photo: 

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2012 amfAR Inspiration Gala honoring Kevin Huvane

Published Oct. 12, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA