amfAR Inspiration Gala 2011 Honors Michael Kors, James Franco


Heidi Klum Michael Kors
Photo: Getty Images
Heidi Klum, wearing a sexy Michael Kors gown, poses with the designer.

James Franco was surprised that amfAR chose to honor him at the Inspiration gala on June 14. “Just because it’s a great institution, a great organization, so I’m humbled by being honored,” the actor said as he entered MoMA for the event. Plus, he added, “The people in the crowd tonight—it’s a very great crowd.”

That it was, with Heidi Klum, Chanel Iman, Ke$ha, Rufus Wainwright, Alek Wek, and Stefano Tonchi all on hand.

Courtney Love, one of the evening’s performers, said she was honored that they asked her to sing, but confessed to being a bit nervous. “But I have to sing after Jennifer Hudson and before Liza with a Z!” she exclaimed.

The evening celebrated men’s fashion, and one highlight of the cocktail hour was a display of Hugo Boss underwear, complete with bare-chested male models wearing the briefs. Next up was a runway show—68 looks!—of menswear (and a smattering of women’s) featuring designs from labels including Lanvin, Thom Browne, Roberto Cavalli, DSquared2, Calvin Klein Collection,
and many others.

James Franco
Photo: Getty Images
Honoree James Franco looking dapper

Bravo’s Andy Cohen thinks a man looks best in a suit. “I just think guys look great in a suit or a tuxedo, the more formal the better,” he said. Ditto for Courtney Love: “Saville Row,” she declared. “Every boyfriend I get, I make him go to Saville Row.” Handsome 30 Rock star Cheyenne Jackson admitted that he’s not too fashion savvy, but  luckily has a personal shopper. “My partner actually has better fashion sense than I do and he usually picks everything out for me,” Jackson said.

Michael Kors, the evening’s other honoree, likes when you notice the guy first and his clothes second. “I think for men, whether it’s jeans or a suit or a cashmere sweater, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s cut well,” he told FashionEtc. “I think that the right suit can do wonders for a man, the right pair of jeans can make you look amazing.”

The live auction included some extraordinary prizes like an evening with Liza in Vegas, backstage meet-and-greet with Jennifer Hudson at one of her upcoming concerts, a trip to the Paris Inspiration gala and backstage visit with the Black Eyed Peas, and a day on the Project Runway set with Kors and Klum. A private photo shoot with James Franco sold for $17,000, and when the actor went onstage to receive his award, he quipped, “Whoever paid $17,000 for the photo, I guarantee it will be naked if you want.”