145777839 The Gordon Parks Centennial Gala Brings Out Lagerfeld, SJP & More

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Last night, Carine Roitfeld and Sarah Jessica Parker, plus a handful of highly-respected artists and journalists, convened at the Museum of Modern Art for the Gordon Parks Centennial Gala. Held in the museum’s sprawling atrium, the event celebrated the work of the former Life magazine photographer, who passed away in 2006 at 93. “I knew Gordon my entire life, he was really the first journalist I’d ever met,” explained the night’s master of ceremonies, Anderson Cooper, whose mother Gloria Vanderbilt was a good friend of Parks. “He really took people to places they’d never been before and gave a voice to people who didn’t have access to power.”

Many of Parks’s peers were also in attendance, each holding a great deal of respect for the late photographer. “He had a great range,” Annie Leibovitz noted. “There is this great story about him coming out of the offices of Life with two assignments: the first to capture gang warfare in Harlem and the other to do Paris Fashion Week. He was the consummate photographer.” And Peter Beard, who once shared an agent with Parks, described his work as “absolutely straightforward and fabulous, no gimmicks at all.”

Though the festivities didn’t quite reach a capstone until Karl Lagerfeld arrived—with at least two footmen carrying bottles of green juice for him to sip on later in the evening. Suddenly bombarded by photographers and a mob of fans, Lagerfeld hurriedly told ELLE that Parks was “a great sartorialist.” As for those 15-seater AgustaWestland VIP helicopters he’s designing, Lagerfeld provided this update: “I’m [still] in the middle of it, but one single man has already bought ten of them.”

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