Miami, October, 18, 2013. Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo sponsored the Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts gala in Beverly Hills, with plenty of A-listers in attendance
Long before Versace cosied up to rock ‘n’ royalty; years before Armani conquered red carpet dressing at The Oscars; Salvatore Ferragamo took the world of celebrities by storm.
It’s almost a century since he arrived in Hollywood from Italy, although back then, Hollywood wasn’t the movie Mecca it became. Ferragamo’s first shop was in Santa Barbara. That didn’t stop Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, the Brangelina of their day, from making the pilgrimage. Gloria Swanson soon joined them. Along with everyone else.
So when the patrons of the spanking new Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills were looking for a sponsor for their inaugural gala, Ferragamo seemed the perfect fit.
Amy Adams and Charlize Theron at the gala
And that’s pretty much how it turned out. If there’s one thing Ferragamo knows how to do, it’s design evening shoes that look good and don’t make you wince with pain after the first 10 minutes, thanks to the four widths they still offer on many styles. Maybe that’s why the gala audience was still smiling at 10.30pm – an hour after Los Angeles officially goes to bed.
If there’s another thing Ferragamo knows how to do, it’s throw a post-show party. Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Amy Adams, Gwen Stefani, Angela Lindvall, Courtney Cox, Rachel Zoe all glided into the auditorium with its so-new-they-felt-they-were-being-christened-seats for a show and then they glided out again to the marquee for dinner.
Gwen Stefani with husband Gavin Rossdale and Frieda Pinto at the gala
This theatre, housed in a neoclassical marvel of a building that used to be the Beverly Hills post office, is a big deal, not least because this part of California is not overly endowed with theatres other the operating kind in which plastic surgery is carried out.
The only notable people not there were two of the co-hosts – Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. Perhaps they prefer Netflix to live performance.
BY LISA ARMSTRONG