YOU RARELY RECEIVE a serious invitation to peel carrots at a black-tie gala populated by A-list actors and willowy models. But as Bette Midler spoke to the well-heeled crowd last Thursday at the annual God’s Love We Deliver gala in downtown Manhattan, she extended just such an offer. The charitable organization’s volunteers cook and deliver meals to New Yorkers who are too sick to feed themselves. Cracked Ms. Midler, “And don’t worry, there will be a volunteer present to show you how to use a peeler.”
The evening celebrated the charity’s 30th anniversary and honored two supporters: ad man and chair of the board of trustees Michael Sennott and actor Neil Patrick Harris.
While presenting the Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community Service to Mr. Harris, designer Michael Kors–himself a longtime supporter–praised the actor’s breakneck speed in the volunteer kitchen: “He and his husband David [Burtka] prepped 2,500 pieces of salmon in an hour.” He paused, then deadpanned in the direction of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who is also devoted to the charity, “Anna, he beat us.”
The presence of Mr. Kors and Ms. Wintour all but guaranteed a sky-high fashion quotient, and this crowd didn’t disappoint. Among those deploying Mr. Kors’s dresses were actresses Diane Kruger, Kate Hudson and Emily Blunt–all with far-from-shabby red-carpet cred.
Perhaps it was in response to the newly crisp fall weather but most attendees favored distinctly post-summer black-and-white looks, save for a sleek, icy metallic ensemble here and there.
Ms. Midler, however, juiced things up with a chartreuse-hued wrap over a long and drapey chocolate-brown gown, presenting a contrast to all the bare-armed and -legged ingÃ©nues. “What can I say?” the divine Miss M. joked. “These are the caftan years.”