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Gold becomes a theme at glitzy Cannes amfAR gala

| Monday, May 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There's always glitz and glamour at Cannes, France, during its annual film festival, and it's no different this year. But there's still a heavy infusion of gold to come this week at May 23's amfAR gala, which will treat its celebrity guests to 40 of the world's top models in “The Ultimate Gold Collection Fashion Show,” curated by Carine Roitfeld.

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 color: the color of sun, positivity, warmth, joy,” said Cavalli, Roberto's wife and design partner. “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.”

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?”

Samantha Critchell is the AP Fashion Writer.

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