Thursday, 31 March 2011
An Evening for the Eco-Glitterati
By LESLIE KAUFMAN New York Times On the one hand, the event had the trappings of a society gorging itself at full tilt: a roaring room of Rolex-wearing men and women in five-inch heels and tight spangly dresses. On the other hand, the purpose was to raise money for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Conservation International and the Central Park Conservancy. The evening, the second annual “Bid to Save the Earth,” was hosted by Christie’s and was partly a live auction. Bidders battled energetically to win a day with former President Bill Clinton; guests were told he would accompany them on any outing they wanted, even tag along to do laundry. (That sold for $100,000). They also bid enthusiastically for a chance to fly with the actor Harrison Ford to Los Angeles aboard one of his private planes. (Yes, private planes add significantly to your carbon footprint.) The auction raised more than $1 million. An online auction for the rest of the lots (meet Lady Gaga in Miami, anyone?) continues at charitybuzz.com until April 7. There was even a fashion show (new this year) where a new collection called Runway to Green was introduced, with severely coiffed models emerging from a rotating cube decorated in a jungle green vine motif. The proceeds from the sales of the clothing, by a mix of designers, will go to environmental causes like planting trees. “The designers have all made a commitment to investigate the sustainable manufacturing practices,” Runway to Green’s Web site states. Which is better, one supposes, than not investigating.