It's the 20th edition of the gala, which raises money for AIDS research, and the "ultimate" show builds on a smaller one that launched last year. This time, Karlie Kloss, Karolina Kurkova, Angela Lindvall and Alessandra Ambrosio will be dripping in gold jewelry and wearing gleaming gowns by Giorgio Armani, Alexander Wang, Marchesa and Louis Vuitton, among others.
"It was really hard to choose a dress for this," said Eva Cavalli, who is donating a mermaid, sequin-covered gown from the Roberto Cavalli archive that Kurkova will wear to open the show.
"Gold for Cavalli is THE colour: the colour of sun, positivity, warmth, joy," said Cavalli, Roberto's wife and design partner. "But it was hard to choose for this. I also thought of gold leather, but I was thinking that I wanted to give something really special, and this is one of the most beautiful pieces we ever did."
Charity catwalks such as this add a little sense of competition among designers, she said, but "only because everyone wants to do more, give more and be involved more, but in a friendly way."
She bought a Valentino red gown at another amfAR event. "I've never worn it, but it looks good and maybe I will wear it someday."
Years ago, fashion wasn't a big part of the event — or even the film festival, Roitfeld said, but there were so many beautiful dresses and so many beautiful faces that it was ripe to make a big, bold style statement. "It's so glamorous and generous at amfAR. Why not?"
Roitfeld, who usually has a uniform of black or khaki, said she'll wear gold, "which is a big deal for me."
She'll be mingling with Sharon Stone, Heidi Klum, Jessica Chastain and Harvey Weinstein, among others, and scheduled performers include Duran Duran, Shirley Bassey, Ellie Goulding and Hot Chelle Rae. The event will stream live at the Lovegold.com website.
"We had to make it more fun than other fashion shows. It's not all journalists and the people who go to fashion shows at Cannes. We have to entertain. ... It's more like a Victoria's Secret show, where they create the dream of women to have wings on their back. We're doing the same thing with our girls," Roitfeld said. "We're not there to sell the dress. The models are there more to flirt with the audience."
She added: "Charity is always a good excuse to mix people with models."