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Jeffrey Fashion Cares Gala Brings Out Fashion Stars, TV Personalities and Loads of Shirtless Guys

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A handful of young, hot fashion designers, a TV talk show host, a couple Housewives and an army of shirtless beefcake congregate on a colossal aircraft carrier... No, that's not the beginning of a bar joke or the premise of an upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer movie, we're talking about the annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares benefit gala, which took place yesterday evening on the Intrepid Air & Space Museum in New York City. The blowout event organized by Jeffrey Kalinsky of Jeffrey New York and Atlanta fame was created to heighten the awareness of the plight of people living with HIV/AIDS and members of the LGBTQ community and raises much-needed funding for four organizations. Honorary chair, Nate Berkus and a litany of bold names, plus seriously decked-out ladies and probably the highest concentration of handsome men were on hand to support the cause and also wait in anticipation for the legendary menswear fashion show to close out the evening.

"I just wanted it to be a fun evening for everyone," a very-focused Jeffrey Kalinsky told us at the start of the evening. "But all I really care about is, at the end, what we will be delivering in terms of money to the charities."

The event even brought out the best intentions from controversial Real Housewives of New York City couple Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord. "It's important to be aware," Alex emphasized. "And to make sure that LGBT organizations are getting funding. It's a tough economy and everyone is scrambling for funding."

"The more funding, the more outreach that people can do, feel comfortable phoning up, getting support, speaking to somebody and knowing that they're not the only ones in that position. That tomorrow can be better," Simon added in support.

Since we had Silex in front of us, we had to digress for a moment and ask Alex what was up with "Countess" LuAnn getting all mean girls about Alex's Louis Vuitton heels in a trailer for the upcoming RHNY season. (Sample Countess dig: "You look ridiculous walking in those Herman Munster shoes.") Alex's succinct response? "Consider the source." Well, all right then.

Back to the story and speaking of Housewives, former Real Housewife of New Jersey Dina Manzo was there to support and to party. "Tonight, the cause is amazing, but I love me some Jeffrey," she gushed. "So I'm excited to see what he has in store tonight. Shoes, fashions and I heard it's a really fun upbeat show."

We can't forget about the fashion part of Jeffrey Fashion Cares. New York-based designers including Michelle Obama-anointed Jason Wu, Adam Lippes, Peter Som and Joseph Altuzarra were also in attendance to show their support.

"I think it’s very easy to think that our industry is frivolous," an amazingly cute and sweet Joseph Altuzarra told us. "And I think these kind of events really help and dispel that idea. A lot of the industry really does care and really does things to help."

As the celebs made their way into the cocktail party, which took place in the depths of the aircraft carrier (planes, simulators and all), they were also hopefully putting their money where their mouths were for the silent auction. The auction items were displayed on seemingly endless, winding tables and featured a plethora of goodies, like a suede camel Proenza Schouler PS1 bag, two seats at Jason Wu's September Fashion Week runway show, tickets to a Ricky Martin concert and a skateboard signed by original supermodel Stephanie Seymour.

After cocktail hour, guests then made their way into the runway show area for the highlight event of the evening: The runway show (otherwise known as lots of shirtless guys in colorful underwear walking the runway). After an initial live auction—in which Nate Berkus (joking about his height, or lack there of) and a Lanvin-heels-sporting Christie's auctioneer cajoled guests into purchasing items like a Koh Samui vacation and a Paris Fashion Week package—plus an inspiring video, the runway show appropriately kicked off to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". The guests then gawked and cheered to a diverse range of handsome men (buff and tattooed, boyish and preppy, chiseled and brooding, etc.) working their best Blue Steel in designs by Jeffrey-selected designers including Lanvin, Balenciaga and Gucci. We'd estimate that every fifth model was shirtless, evenly interspersed amongst sleek suits and natty casual wear.

The evening proved a success, with Jeffrey Kalinsky telling the audience that, so far, up to $4 million (and counting) had been raised to support the Hetrick-Martin Institute (home of the Harvey Milk School), Lambda Legal, the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the Point Foundation.
· Jeffrey Fashion Cares [Official Site]
· Jeffrey New York Atlanta [Official Site]