Philanthropy | Need To Now

Having a ball with Elton and friends

This Gaultier-designed winter ball should be a blast

Having a ball with Elton and friends

October 26 2010
Lindsay Macpherson

This year’s Grey Goose Character & Cocktails Ball in aid of The Elton John Aids Foundation looks set to be a typically vibrant event. Taking place on Saturday October 30, the party combines enticing surroundings (picture shows artist’s impression), a worthy charitable cause and a dash of haute couture: designer Jean Paul Gaultier has assumed creative control over the whole affair, converting the site of the new American Embassy in Battersea, south London, into “Grey Goose Maison de Mode”, with every detail – from the staff uniforms to the auction lots – being created under his watchful eye.

Even the menu – courtesy of two-Michelin-star chef Marcus Wareing – is Gaultier-inspired (a highlight is his vodka-infused take on a classic Gâteau Opéra), while The Savoy’s Grey Goose Le Male cocktails (pink peppercorn, citron vodka and pomegranate syrup) have been created specially for the night.

At last year’s Winter Ball, an auction of one-off cocktail bars designed by Lily Cole and Roland Mouret raised more than £550,000 for Elton John’s Aids Foundation, and this year the highlight of the auction is “Le Bar”: a fully-stocked cocktail bar based on Gaultier’s trademark torso-inspired perfumes, to be installed at the winning bidder’s home.