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2010 April 23

Bidding Games

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Francois-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek Francois-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek
NICK HUNT / PatrickMcMullan.com
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(NEW YORK) “You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I am actually very green!” declared Daphne Guinness last night during Christie’s Green Auction. The house was filled with green guests including Salma Hayek, Ted Danson, Graydon and Anna Carter, Sam Waterston, and friends prepared to raise their paddle in benefit of a bevy of environmental non-profits. Supporters toasted the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, placing a bid on lavish items like a round of golf with Bill Clinton, a Damien Hirst painting and tickets to next year’s Vanity Fair Oscar after party. “I’ve never been to a big auction like this!” newbie Danson admitted. “I’m trying to decide how I’ll play this one.”

Christie’s got the green treatment, and its interior was decorated with lush greenery and massive hanging plants. Hayek arrived with her husband, Christie’s owner Francois-Henri Pinault. “I really hope this becomes a tradition,” said Hayek. “Everyone involved is so incredible and it is a very diverse operation.” Revelers indulged in mini roast beef sliders, goat cheese-filled dates and carrot cupcakes, but refrained from too much bubbly, for fear of getting bid-happy.

Doutzen Kroes, clad in a festive emerald Rachel Roy frock, confessed to pre-auction jitters. “I get a little nervous. There is pressure, like you should buy it even if it’s something you don’t like.” Luckily, Kroes kept her cool. James Lipton requested, “If I bid a million dollars come and get me! Drag me out of there!” Thankfully Mr. Lipton, or anybody, for that matter, did not have to be removed.

The six hundred plus guests filed into the auction hall and Chevy Chase took to the podium as the Master of Ceremonies. He laughed, “Why would they ever ask me to speak? I’m the most inappropriate comedian in the industry!” He kept the bawdy jokes to an absolute minimum and interjected every now and then after a final bid to announce, “Don’t worry, it’s worth it.” Auctioneer Christopher Burge opened the evening with a trip to Bali that quickly went for a cool $55,000. The tension was high at times, but the veterans remained unruffled. “I’ve been going to auctions for so long,” noted Guinness. “They don’t make me anxious. Now, department stores, they make me nervous.”
EMILY POPP




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