A famed fashion designer, entertainment icons and a former US president shared the spotlight in the Austrian capital for the Life Ball...
A night of hedonistic revelry for a good cause — the funding of AIDS research.
As in past years, Vienna's city hall and the huge square in front of it was transformed into a magical stage, this year with the theme being "Tales of 1,001 Nights."
Former US President Bill Clinton was among the more than a dozen prominent guests that included singers Fergie and Elton John, actress Melanie Griffith, designer Roberto Cavalli - the maker of the dress worn by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who was also present.
Thanking the show's organizers, Clinton urged the world to get involved in the anti-AIDS fight, declaring that those who want to help "do not have to be scientists, they do not have to be doctors; they have to be people who care."
Eser Zade, mascaraed and clad in a fantastic outfit of white sequined tights, a flowing blue cape lined with fake ermine and a tall crown displaying faux pearls, was visibly proud of the attention he was getting.
"I designed it myself and had my tailor make it in Turkey," he said, demurring when asked how much it costs because "one doesn't answer such questions."
The show on the square befitted the occasion, with orchestras and disc jockeys serving up a musical menu that spanned the range from Mozart to Disney — all of course with a fairy-tale Middle Eastern theme. Ballet skits alternated with gyrating disco dancers.
As thousands of spectators pressed against mesh wire barriers separating them from the paying guests, a light show of pulsating purples and reds transformed the venue into a super-dimensional Fantasyland.
Proceeds go to help national and international AIDS projects. Last year's Life Ball raised more than 2 million euros ($2.6 million).