On June 14, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and MAC celebrated the Viva Glam Casino Shanghai. Skylight studios was transformed into a lavish, glittering 1920s Shanghai gambling hall with casino tables, Asian marketplace stalls, and glamorous prizes. Supermodel Maggie Rizer hosted VIVA GLAM CASINO along with her supermodel co-hostesses Jessica Stam and Ling.
The cash free casino for the night was in tribute to a notorious party once thrown at Studio 54 by 1980’s fashion muse and model Tina Chow, who died of AIDS in 1992. Tina’s daughter, actress China Chow, made a special appearance at the event with her uncle, David Byrne of the Talking Heads.
Guests entered Skylight Studio through an open courtyard, transformed into a jubilant Chinese marketplace by House of Schwartz with paper umbrellas, lanterns, a rickshaw and vintage cars. Inside the casino, gamblers and fashionistas were treated to an elaborate Chinese setting of red silk walls, umbrella light fixtures, elaborate paper lions by David Beahm and five tableaus from M’‚¬¢A’‚¬¢C’s Chinese Dress Exhibition, an installation of live nude models completely covered in body art to resemble the Qi Pao, the traditional Chinese dress. Dim sum and delicacies were provided by Canard Inc and music by DJ Todd Mallis set the perfect background for those gaming for DIFFA-dollars at card and roulette tables.
Winning bets were redeemed for designer-dream prizes from the likes of Jill Stuart, Vivienne Tam, The Mercer Hotel, Bette, Reem Acra, Chaiken, Marni, House of Diehl, David Yurman, The Capital Grill, Narciso Rodriquez, Southwest Airlines and more. There were no losing players of the night, since all ‘‚¬Å“misplaced’‚¬ bets were donated to DIFFA. More fantasy items– including a fabulous handbags by Fendi, Valentino, Coach, BCBG Max Azria, Chrome Hearts, Jimmy Choo and other guests, were bid for cash at a silent auction.
Other celebrities, designers, and fashionistas trying their luck at the tables were: Jamie Lynn Sigler, Vivienne Tam, Zac Posen, Narciso Rodriguez, Patricia Field, Fabiola Beracasa, Richie Rich & Traver Rains, Fern Mallis, Isabel & Ruben Toledo, Stephen Kolb, Amy Sacco, Erin Fetherston, Ellen von Unwerth, Ric Pipino, Kai Kuhne, Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe), Vikram Chatwal, Noemi Lenoir, Jason Wu, Amina, Dahlen and Alina Cho.
The idea behind the repeatedly successful casino benefit with DIFFA was conceived by Maggie herself to raise funds in memory of her father, Kevin O’Dea Rizer, a Wall Street executive who lost his life to AIDS. With Maggie’s commitment and DIFFA’s effort, VIVA GLAM CASINO has become one of the most visible and profitable fundraising events in the country. This fundraising celebration was justified both by DIFFA’s accomplishments – 67% of funds raised go directly to programs and beneficiaries ‘‚¬” and by the knowledge that the fight against AIDS continues with all the urgency it demands.