Paris remembers Pierre Bergé at Sidaction dinner that raises 800,000 euros
Paris recalled Pierre Bergé at the dinner of Sidaction, the AIDS charity he led for many years, at a soirée that wrapped the haute couture season Thursday night.
The event, the 16th Sidaction dinner, ended up raising 800,000 euros, an all-time record. Staged in the Pavillon d’Armenonville, the dinner marked the first time that Bergé, who died in September, did not address guests gathered for France’s leading AIDs organization.
Designers Jean-Paul Gaultier, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Alexandre Mattiussi mingled with actresses Isabelle Huppert (in Azzaro), Nathalie Baye, Olga Kurylenko (Armani), Anna Mouglalis (Chanel, Paris-Hamburg) and Joana Preiss (Chanel), Sandrine Kiberlain (Dior), uber model Arizona Muse (Dior) with literary lionesses like Anne Berest (Chanel). There were even a couple of ministers, including Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen.
In a remarkable career, Bergé not only built the fashion house of his partner Yves Saint Laurent into a global giant; but also managed to be president of the Paris Opera; press magnate and the leader behind the foundation of France’s first modern ready-to-wear organization Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
“Pierre Bergé did so much for fashion; was fully and constantly engaged in a tireless fight for freedom, for diversity, for creativity, for culture, for knowledge, for innovation," said Pascal Morand, the Fédération Executive President, who co-hosted the event. "He hated and denounced artifices and conventions when they betrayed these values. He was a Man of the Enlightenment, which is not only an historical period but a posture, a way of strongly thinking and acting that Pierre Bergé marvelously embodied."
In a video link from her home, Bergé’s long-time co-chair of Sidaction, Line Renaud, waved a pair of crutches to explain her absence, recalling Bergé’s generous heart, and naming him a “brother in arms” in the fight against AIDS, which is estimated to 36.7 million people HIV positive worldwide. That earned Renaud and the late departed gentleman a standing ovation.
Some 450 guests dined on caviar, veal and honeycombed sorbet, prepared by Nicolas Sale and François Perret, respectively chef and pastry chef of the Ritz Hotel, on tables adorned by beautifully scented hyacinths. A silent video paid homage to Bergé. It featured images of him backstage at epic Saint Laurent shows; standing before the Bastille Opera; at play with Yves in the Majorelle Gardens of Marrakech and in front of his ultimate project, Pierre as an elderly gentleman – the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Morocco.
We will not see their like again.
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