Hot designs, good cause, new star - and heavy bidding
Formula One racing and fashion is a synergy that has worked smoothly for years, especially at the ultra-glamorous Monaco Grand Prix. On Friday evening they officially came together in the name of charity, for Grand Prix and Fashion Unite, to raise money for top model Tereza Maxovas foundation for children in need.
Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, the Amber Lounge - Monacos famed Formula One party organizers - brought together everyone who is anyone in Formula One racing to remember those less fortunate, during what is Monacos most opulent week of the year
The fashion: Tereza Maxova send out an SOS to her colleagues from the catwalk business and the likes of Petra Nemcova, Mari Tool and Jessica Sjöö came to her rescue to present evening dresses to die for by Isabell Kristensen. A special surprise was Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Bernie, who made a very personal donation by joining the professional models on stage. She blended in so perfectly that the rumour of the evening was that this could perhaps be the start of a new top modelling career.
The charity: Think of things you have always wanted to do or own - a ride in a two-seater Formula One car, precious jewellery by Damiani, a Raymond Weil Don Giovanni Cosi Grande Walk of Fame watch, a VVIP Monaco Grand Prix package with post-race gala dinner at the Grimaldi Palace, or a painting by Sacha Jafri - with a charitable spirit and the necessary funding any of them could have been yours.
The auction: To the surprise of many, HSH Prince Albert bought himself a treat with the two-seater ride at Silverstone. Former F1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen invested in art with the David Beckham painting by Sacha Jafri. An anonymous bidder got himself the Monaco VVIP treat for Euro 90,000 and the watch flew of the shelf for Euro 45,000.
And sometimes auctions go a little crazy - the Damiani jewellery had a colourful five minutes of fame when first Philip Green, the UK retail mogul, won the bidding only to put the gems back into the auction again to raise more money. Second time around they went to a personal friend of Prince Albert - but he too donated the gems back to the foundation. Finally Bernie Ecclestone stepped in and is now the proud owner of a beautiful Diamond-Sapphire necklace - of course, with three beautiful ladies at home in the shape of his wife and two daughters, he will have no trouble finding someone to wear it.
The chill out: Ferrari sponsors Martini, well aware that a fashion show and enthusiastic bidding leaves throats dry, welcomed those guests not flying off for a late dinner to the Martini Terraza. That allowed those who had lost out in the auction to console themselves with a few drinks, safe in the knowledge that theyd made a contribution by simply attending.