You could feel the positive energy anywhere you turned in The Plaza in New York City last night, as amfAR’s 4th Annual Inspiration Gala took over the space and filled it with uplifting moments. “I’m here because of the heroic people who have dedicated their lives to finding the cure for AIDS,” Uma Thurman (in Versace) told InStyle.com as she arrived to the event, which raised money and awareness for AIDS research and advocacy projects around the world. “I’m just bringing my love and energy and my prayers to their mission.” Before the gala started, the evening began with a military-themed fashion show made up of looks donated by leading menswear designers, including Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors. Kenneth Cole, amfAR’s Chair of the Board, happily played along: “I’m wearing fatigues to anticipate anything that could come of tonight—I’m prepared for it,” he joked to InStyle.com.
After the bumping runway beats faded, guests made their way to the ballroom where Thurman got down to business giving out honors while guests bid on silent auction items as they dined. “What’s special about this evening is that we’re honoring them not for their artistic achievements but for their ability to inspire us,” Thurman said of the honorees. Valentino earned the Award for Inspiration, accepted on his behalf by Iman (in Valentino), Alan Cumming took home the Award of Courage, and Jennifer Lopez (in Tom Ford) received the Humanitarian Award. “I’m deeply touched,” Lopez said tearfully. “I’m grateful that I have the opportunity of helping to improve the lives of others even if it’s in a small little way. We all just need to do a little bit and then all of a sudden all these amazing things happen.” The evening concluded with a group sing-a-long to “Call Me Maybe” spearheaded by the hitmaker herself, Carly Rae Jepsen. Click the photo to see more.