It was an invitation that too good to refuse: South American footwear star Alexandre Birman asked if I’d like to spend a weekend in Brazil with Fergie, Dita von Teese and Kate Moss in support of the AIDS research foundation amFAR. The fact that the invitation came through when it was hailing, literally, in New York City and that amFAR is one of those organizations that I truly, completely believe in only intensified my response. Yes, yes, YES! Get me out of here.
Alexandre and his team didn’t disappoint: There was all you can eat meat products, rivers of caipirinhas and more genetically superior, aesthetically pleasing Brazilians than my eyes could handle. (My only regret was that Birman’s heels didn’t go up to a size 44. I would have looked major in the strappy stilettos that Karolina is rocking in the above photo, no?) The night of amFAR was particularly fabulous too. Who doesn’t love a Sharon Stone spotting in a red Cavalli dress with a neckline that goes down to her navel? A pregnant and glowing Fergie was surprised by her husband, the forever handsome Josh Duhamel, and broke into song when she received inspiration award. Wow, that girl has some pipes. And Dita von Teese did an updated version of her famous birdcage routine where she stripped out of her sequence, did a feather dance and then ended up dousing herself in water as she spun around inside a gilded cage. Kate was into that one.
As I was packing up my stuff on my last day in Sao Paulo, which was after a particularly festive evening, I was left with one last cultural question: Did Brazilians invent caipirinhas solely to torture us gringos? I had a hangover so bad I was sort of worried I had had a stroke and didn’t know. But oh, it was worth it.
Captions, from top: Giving Karolina a last minute pedicure in the ladies room at the Fasano; Fergie and Donata at amFAR; Kate and Archie; Doug and Gilberto at the Biennale; Lea T; Isabeli in Louis Vuitton; Dani, Alexia and Fernanda outside the Fasano; Dita on stage; a Tom Sachs work at the Ropac gallery at the Biennale; Josh Wood and his friends; Alexandre Birman and Linda Fargo; Karolina and Terron Schaefer from Saks; Fran and Andrea; Doug in an Olafur Eliasson installation; Bruno and Dudi; me and Dita; Kate Moss is the boss