Elton John Partied With Donatella Versace (and More Celebs) at His AIDS Foundation’s 31st Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party | Gallery
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Elton John Partied With Donatella Versace (and More Celebs) at His AIDS Foundation’s 31st Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party

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Elton John’s annual Oscar Party is the stuff of legend. Last night, the festivities did not disappoint. The world’s brightest talents gathered in West Hollywood Park to support the Grammy-winning singer’s AIDS Foundation

By the early afternoon, fans gathered by the barricades on Santa Monica Boulevard to watch the stars arrive. A procession of black Escalades soon kicked off and continued until the wee hours of the night. As always, the guest list was glittering. Donatella Versace, Brooke Shields, Emma Watson, Maggie Rogers, and more came to support. 

Unlike the wet few days leading up to the event, the afternoon was clear and shining. Inside, a glamorous labyrinth of tented rooms awaited attendees. After a buzzy cocktail portion furnished by Don Julio, guests were ushered to dinner, where the screening for the 95th Academy Awards was about to begin. 

Elton John took the stage to welcome his guests. “We have saved over 5 million lives. Ending AIDS is within our grasp. Tonight gives not only an incredible evening of extraordinary talent and glamor of Hollywood’s biggest night, it also brings us together for a great cause.”

The screening party, despite its grandeur, had the intimacy of any Oscar viewing party. Guests bounced from table to table. They laughed, cried, and cheered during the emotional ceremony. Brendan Fraser’s win brought the loudest reaction from the crowd, some of which stood and hollered as he made his acceptance speech. During the commercial breaks, Heidi Klum, Eric McCormack, and the cast of Queer Eye spoke about the cause. The atmosphere was determined, irreverent, energetic, and familial.

After dinner—and enough Champagne and tequila to loosen the affluent crowd—Lydia Fenet kicked off the auction. With her typical charm and persistence, Fenet solicited jaw-dropping prices for the lots, which included everything from Elton John’s Rolex to a Versace runway experience with Donatella. A “Golden Eye” era pinball machine, signed by 007 star Pierce Brosnan, brought in $130,000. 

Naturally, being a party given by one of the world’s most legendary performers, the evening was capped off with some brilliant live music. Rina Sawayama, the Japanese pop singer, electrified the room with her set. Afterward, diners drifted back to discover the bar had been transformed into a disco. As the guests who attended the Academy Awards began to arrive, the night began again.

By the end of the party, the Elton John AIDS Foundation had raised over $9 million for the cause.  

This article originally appeared in Vogue.com.

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