It is a rare feat to turn a Manhattan fundraiser for close to 700 jaded New Yorkers into a celebration of an organization that evokes the same sincerity and generosity of spirit as the services it provides. However, on Thursday evening the Godâ€™s Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards, honoring Anna Wintour, Leslie Moonves, and Richard E. Feldman, managed to do just that, though weâ€™d expect no less from the grassroots-cum-powerhouse organization that dutifully delivers over one million meals to those suffering from HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.
And that is not to say the event was short on glamour, on the contrary, the boxwood step and repeat with Godâ€™s Love hand-on-heart logo crafted out of vermillion carnations and white roses was a lightning storm of flashbulbs as Blake Lively made her first pregnant red-carpet appearance and Halle Berry posed in a cutout Michael Kors dress as sexy as her famed Bond-girl bathing suit. (Thursday also marked World Food Day, an occasion Kors used to promote his Watch Hunger Stop campaign, in which Berry is a partner.)
After last weekâ€™s cyber-shattering news of Livelyâ€™s impending motherhood, the first red-carpet appearance was bound to be as anticipated as the end-of-series Gossip Girl reveal. It did not disappoint: a floor-length stretch tulle confection with oleander and lilac embroidery, also courtesy of Mr. Kors, covered Livelyâ€™s emergent baby bump. â€œIâ€™ve kinda always been a mama,â€ she told an E! News reporter when asked about forthcoming motherhood.
Meanwhile Nicola Peltz posed like a red-carpet veteran, swiveling her torso to most advantageously reveal the sleek cutouts of her black Kors frock. Gigi Hadid explained that choosing her white, crystal-embroidered Kors minidress was easy, â€œI chose the short, sparkly one!â€
Both of those young ladies are only nineteen but Godâ€™s Love is nearing its 30th birthday. â€œCan you believe Godâ€™s Love is 29 years old this year?â€ a cheeky Bette Midler asked the audience, â€œIn another year weâ€™ll be too old to date Johnny Depp!â€ Midler then introduced â€œthe man, the myth, the magnificent: Michael Kors.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know if everyone here is a fan of I Love Lucy,â€ said Kors, assuming the podium, â€œbut if you love the episode at the chocolate factory like I do, then guess what, you havenâ€™t lived until you have seen Michael Kors and Anna Wintour at work in the Godâ€™s Love kitchenâ€”Lucy and Ethel have nothing on us!â€ (Wintour would later suggest an amendment to the analogy: â€œMichael, I thought of us more like BeyoncÃ© and Jay Z.â€œ) Indeed, along with a cast of CondÃ© Nast volunteers Kors and Wintourâ€”Lucy and Ethelâ€”prepared and packaged a record-breaking 1,200 meals in two hours for Godâ€™s Love recipients, and it was in this spirit that Kors announced his gift in Wintourâ€™s honor. â€œI have never met anyone who has more of a roll up your sleeves and find a solution attitude than Anna Wintour and Godâ€™s Love is a roll up your sleeves and find a solution kind of organization. I personally think the Anna Wintour Volunteer Center has a very nice ring to it.â€
A visibly moved Wintour began by thanking the legions of volunteers who make Godâ€™s Love the powerhouse organization that it has been and continues to be, â€œAt the heart of the Godâ€™s Love mission is a nearly all volunteer force doing their amazing work day in and day out and this center will be a true testament to the spirit of the organization and to the dedicated volunteers like my incredible fellow honoree Richard Feldman, who has been working with Godâ€™s Love for over 25 years.â€
Wintour stressed the importance of speaking up and being a vital and vocal part of a conversation that may otherwise not be had. â€œThe worst thing you can do is not talk about something, itâ€™s just a human instinct that one has to fight against, I know that I do and itâ€™s one of the many, many things that Michael and Blaine [Trump] and everyone who supports Godâ€™s Love, thanks to their efforts countless men and women with HIV and other illnesses have realized that there are others in the same situation and theyâ€™re surrounded by people who can help.â€
As Midler said earlier, â€œNo one understands fashion and style better than Anna does and tonight she proves that nothing is more stylish than generosityâ€”it goes with everything.â€ Particularly a wasp-waisted Michael Kors sheath dress.