Shot Before Dawn
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Elton John Grey Goose Winter Ball Photos
On Saturday 10 November, GREY GOOSE, the World’s Best Tasting vodka, hosted the GREY GOOSE Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation, a beautiful 1950’s Cote D’Azur themed celebration featuring a three course dinner by Hélène Darroze, bespoke auction lots by Ellen Von Unwerth, Gareth Pugh and Karim Rashid, and live music performances by Emeli Sandé and LABRINTH.
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Hosts GREY GOOSE, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, David Furnish, Kevin Spacey were joined by a glittering guest list that included Elizabeth Hurley, Shane Warne, Labrinth, Emeli Sande, Eliza Doolittle, Jessie Ware, David Hasslehoff, Hofit Golan, JLS, Jay Kay, Giles Deacon, Marina from Marina & The Diamonds, Wretch 32, Angel, VV Brown, Leah Weller, Zara Martin, Gavin Turk, Theo Fennell, Tamara Ecclestone, Ollie Locke, Harriet Scott, Paco Roncero of elBulli,
On arrival, guests were transported from a chilly London evening to a scene reminiscent of the Riviera in its heyday, where poolside glamour, palm trees and pastel colour schemes abounded, with the theme of the evening 1950s Cote D’Azur. A bespoke collection of cocktails inspired by each of the evening’s partners was served during the reception: the GREY GOOSE Golden Angel inspired by Ellen Von Unwerth, a rich and glamorous 1920’s style drink; the GREY GOOSE La BoÎte Poire, inspired by Gareth Pugh and served in a black box with a corianader-black-salt rim, the GREY GOOSE L’Avenir inspired by Karim Rashid and intended as ‘the martini of the future’, the GREY GOOSE Poolside Martini, a sophisticated azure blue cocktail inspired by Emeli Sandé, and the GREY GOOSE Une Journée À La Plage, a sensory drink infused with the scent of summer and inspired by Labrinth. During the cocktail reception, guests were entertained by busking royalty, the inimitable Gypsy Queens.
Crafted in the ‘breadbasket of France’, GREY GOOSE is a luxury French vodka that uses only the finest ingredients to achieve its distinctive taste. Fittingly, the GREY GOOSE Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which was a celebration of all things French, welcomed the globally renowned Hélène Darroze, Head Chef of Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, who curated a deliciously Mediterranean-inspired menu and canapés for the evening’s guests.
Watch: Video from the Elton John Grey Goose Winter Ball
Following dinner, esteemed auctioneer Charlie Ross presided over an exciting auction with incredible lots donated by the evening’s partners being sold to the highest bidder. These include lots donated by Anderson & Low, Karun Jewellery and Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, the Toronto International Film Festival, Labrinth and Raymond Weil, and the evening’s bar design partners:
Karim Rashid Bar, Cocktail Party & Hotel Break Lot
• ‘ H a t c h ’ , a thoroughly modern portable cocktail bar designed by Karim Rashid created using state of the art moulding techniques, contemporary plastics and super high-gloss finishes. Ostensibly a smooth, glossy egg shape, the bar conceals moving shelves and drinks preparation areas that can be drawn out to turn it into a fully functioning bar
• To celebrate the arrival of the winner’s bar in their home, GREY GOOSE will throw the ultimate cocktail party featuring Karim’s bespoke cocktail GREY GOOSE L’Avenir, for up to twenty guests
• The winner will also spend two nights in a spectacular suite deigned by Karim at nhow Berlin, Europe’s first music hotel, including GREY GOOSE cocktails at Soho House Berlin
Gareth Pugh Bar, Cocktail Party, Catwalk Show & Dinner Lot
• ‘M o n o l i t h ’ , a sleek black cubic bar designed by Gareth Pugh that demonstrates the designer’s fascination with structure and the juxtaposition of light and dark. Handcrafted from ethically reclaimed black African hardwood, the front of the bar folds down to reveal a single bottle of Grey Goose automatically lit by spotlight as well as concealed drinks preparation areas
• To celebrate the arrival of the winner’s bar in their home, GREY GOOSE will throw the ultimate cocktail party featuring Gareth’s bespoke cocktail GREY GOOSE La BoÎte Poire, for up to twenty guests
The winner will also attend Gareth’s catwalk show at next year’s Autumn / Winter 2013 Paris Fashion Week Show with a guest, before dining at Jules Verne, the Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower
Ellen Von Unwerth Bar, Cocktail Party & Portrait Session Lot
• ‘Sugar & Spice’, a cocktail bar inspired by the female form, referencing the glamour of 1920’s cabaret in particular. Designed by Ellen Von Unwerth, the bar is watched over on either side by two angel-like figures. Completing this unique piece was a limited edition Ellen Von Unwerth photographic print hanging on the back bar
• To celebrate the arrival of the winner’s bar in their home, GREY GOOSE will throw the ultimate cocktail party featuring Ellen’s bespoke cocktail GREY GOOSE Golden Angel, for up to twenty guests
• The winner of this lot will also have their portrait shot by Ellen, who is recognised as one of the world’s top fashion photographers. The shoot will include professional styling, hair and makeup to help create the full Ellen Von Unwerth experience
Only a sensational music act could follow such a dramatic auction: luckily the three MOBO award- winning Emeli Sandé is on hand to treat guests to an incredible live set that will include a duet with Labrinth of their number one single Beneath Your Beautiful.
With Emeli’s set concluded, the GREY GOOSE Winter Ball After Party will enter full swing, beginning with an electric musical performance by Labrinth including the All-Stars remix of his number one single Earthquake.
The GREY GOOSE Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation has become one of the annual highlight of the international social calendar, and is the result of an ongoing partnership between GREY GOOSE and the Elton John AIDS Foundation that has seen more than £2.3 million raised over the previous five years for the incredible work of the Foundation.
The funds generated at this year’s Winter Ball will benefit programmes in Russia, Ukraine, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda that help those living in fear of discrimination to access HIV information, to offer testing and treatment and ensure they don’t become sick or pass the HIV virus onto others. The Elton John AIDS Foundation and GREY GOOSE believe that with programmes like these, the stigma of HIV and AIDS can be overcome and that new approaches to help HIV from spreading can be pioneered, and people dealing with the effects of the disease can be helped (charity registration no 1017336).
The following link will take you the GREY GOOSE media centre, which contains downloadable content, including a video of Sir Elton John & David Furnish discussing the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the GREY GOOSE Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation: www.greygoosemediacentre.com
Photographs by Richard Young and Antonio Salgado
GREY GOOSE Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Menu Curated by Hélène Darroze
Compressed heritage tomato, burrata & basil
Sizzled field & forest mushrooms, porchini challots & red wine drizzle on toasted brioche
Goats’ cheese mousse, piquillo pepper & olive dust
Lobster crostini with girolles & crisp pancetta
Welsh black beef fillet, served pink with béarnaise to dip
Nicoise-style red mullet, ratatouille, pitchouline olive tapenade & basilica, bouillabaisse vinaigrette with Sicilian olive oil
Roasted saddle of lamb with sage, “crepinette” with confit shoulder, white coco beans with pimientos del piquillo & Pissalat jus with anchovies from Cantabrique
Manjari chocolate granache, hazelnut Gianduji biscuit, galangal cream
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