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El Museo Gala
Honoring Mario Testino
May 26, 2011



Written by Wendy R. Williams

Photographed by Patrick McMullen and Company

Opposite Photo:
Kate Winslet

El Museo del Barrio, under the skilled guidance of Gala Chairs Yaz and Valentín Hernández and Alex González and Raúl Martínez, pulled out all the stops to honor famed Peruvian-born-and-Anna-Wintour-loved photographer Mario Testino. Testino was presented with a lifetime achievement honoring his thirty year career. More than six hundred guests attended the Gala which raised over $1,000,000 for El Museo.

Kate Winslet and Matt Raimo

Academy Award winning actress Kate Winslet presented the award to Mr. Testino. According to the press release from Jonathan Marder + Associates: "The unique award, created especially by the artists of Asprey of London, is a sterling silver tray engraved with the signatures of thirty-five of his [Testino's] dearest friends and colleagues including Christopher Bailey, Hamish Bowles, Naomi Campbell, Graydon Carter, Lucinda L. Chambers, Grace Coddington, Francisco Costa, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria Fernandez, Tom Ford, Alex Gonzalez, Tonne Goodman, Yaz Hernandez, Carolina Herrera, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael Kors, Andre Leon Talley, Blake Lively, Raul Martinez, Sienna Miller, Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sasha Pivovarova, Candy Pratts Price, Julia Roberts, Narciso Rodriguez, Carine Roitfeld, Claudia Schiffer, Alexandra Shulman, Charlize Theron, Donatella Versace, Natalia Vodianova, Kate Winslet, and Anna Wintour."

Ms Winslet praised the artistry of her friend, Mr. Testino, including this witty ditty in her speech: "He’s the person who can say, ‘It’s beautiful, but it would look better naked.'"

Anna Wintour and Mario Testino

Mr.Testino thanked the museum for the honor, especially mentioning Gala Chair Alex Gonzalez, saying that he knew that the award was Gonzalez's idea. He then thanked his colleagues for helping him be successful, saying, "In my profession I would love to say it’s all about me but it isn’t. It’s all about who you work with. You’re only as good as your editor, your hairstylist, your make-up artist, model or actress." He then spoke of his relationship with Anna Wintour and how he once spoke to her about the ad on New York City busses that said, "Before you are in fashion you are in Vogue .....I was in Vogue because she [Wintour] decided I was a good photographer."

Previous Gala awardees include opera luminary Plácido Domingo, music star Gloria Estefan, In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

Grace Coddington and Mario Testino

Attending guests included (scroll down for party pix): Hamish Bowles, Sharon Bush, Claudia Cisneros, Grace Coddington, Mr. and Mrs. Rodman Drake, Alexandra Loeb Driscoll, Fe and Alessandro Fendi, Stephen Gan, Cat Greenleaf, Agnes Gund, Prabal Gurung, Sharon Handler and Ambassador John L. Loeb, Josh Hartnett, Lazaro Hernandez, Alexandra Lebenthal, John Legend, Courtney Love, Carolyn Murphy and Jeremy Diamond, Jack McCollough, Tamara Mellon, Nicole Miller, Enrique Norten, Matt Raimo, Alexandra Richards, Carine Roitfeld, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Joan Smalls, Candice Swanepoel, Carmen Ana and Joseph Unanue, Allegra Versace, Diane von Furstenberg, and Anna Wintour.

Additional attendees included U.S. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, New York State Senator William Perkins, New York State Senator José Gustavo Rivera, New York State Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Pedro R. Pierluisi. This year’s Honorary Committee members included Jessica Alba, Pedro Almodovar, Kate Bosworth, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Francisco Costa, Hugh Dancy, Oscar de la Renta, Linda Evangelista, Victoria Fernandez, Anne Hathaway, Josh Hartnett, Carolina Herrera, Kate Hudson, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael Kors, Sienna Miller, Candy Pratts Price, Narciso Rodriguez, Claudia Schiffer, Stella Tennant, and Donatella Versace.

Alexandra Richards

Alexandra Richards, Keith Richard's daughter, spun tracks for the evening's festivities. Guest were also treated to music from the band Spam Allstars.

Anna Wintour and Kate Winslett

Patrick McMullen and Mario Testino

Narcisco Rodriguez and Yaz Hernandez

Alex Gonzalez Valentin Hernandez, Valentin Hernandez
and Yaz Hernandez
Sophia Lie and Josh Hartnett Hamish Bowles and Anna Wintour
Nazira Handal and Tony Bechara Alexandra Lebenthal and Michelle Harper
Christian Cota Courtney Love
Donatella Versace Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Candice Swanepoel Arlenis Sosa

Michel Heredia, Whitney Wolfe and Omar Heredia

Alexandra Lebenthal, Alexis Clark, Yaz Hernandez, Gillian Miniter,
Claudia Lebenthal and Matthew Moneypenny

About Mario Testino (from the press release from Jonothan Marder + Company):

Mario Testino was born in 1954 in Lima, Peru. In 1976, after completing his studies, he moved to London to pursue a career in photography. Testino has become one of the world’s most well known and celebrated fashion photographers. His work has been featured across the globe in magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and V, and he has crafted and contributed to the imagery of leading fashion houses and brands such as Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Estee Lauder, Miu Miu, Lancome, and Michael Kors, among many others. As well as having published nine books of his work and edited another dedicated to contemporary Peruvian art and artists, Testino has exhibited his work in many galleries and museums around the world.

In 2002, The National Portrait Gallery in London staged the landmark exhibition Portraits by Mario Testino, which remains their most successful exhibit to date. Over the next eight years the exhibition toured to Milan, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Lima. More recently, in September 2010, the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid, that houses one of the world’s most prestigious collections of art, hosted Testino’s latest exhibition Todo o Nada.

Testino has received a number of awards and recognitions for his achievements and charitable work, including Doctor Emeritus from the University of the Arts, London; Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award, Medalha Tiradentes from the City of Rio de Janerio, Brazil; and the Order of Merit from the City of Lima, Peru. In May 2010 he was awarded with a special recognition, the Grand Cross rank of the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service in Peru, presented to him by the President of Peru and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Testino has also received royal commissions including The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Diana Princess of Wales, The Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Prince Willem-Alexander and Maxima of the Netherlands, Prince Haakon Magnus and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, and Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan. In December 2010, Testino took the engagement photos of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Mario Testino has contributed to a number of charitable causes and organizations including the Elton John Aids Foundation, Aid for Aids, Life Ball, Sargent Cancer Care, the Naked Heart Foundation, amfAR, and Women to Women, among many others. In 2008 he was honored for his charity work, receiving the Hero Award by the charity Aid for Aids, and he became the first man to receive the Commitment Award from the charity Women Together in conjunction with the United Nations.

His recent charity work included financing the construction of El Salvador Clinic in the Pueblo Nuevo District in Chincha. This clinic, built for children with Tuberculosis in the area badly affected by the devastating earthquake that hit the coast of Peru in August 2007, was entirely funded from the sale of a single print of Testino’s iconic portraits of the late Princess Diana. For additional information, go to






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