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Culture

Celebs, Aliens Party at Europe's Largest AIDS Charity

Actress Sharon Stone and Sex-in-the-City star Kim Cattrall joined several thousand "aliens" clad in feather boas and tight leather pants who descended on Vienna Saturday night for the AIDS charity event Life Ball.

Supermodel Linda Evangelista at the Life Ball in Vienna

Supermodel Linda Evangelista didn't dress to fit the theme: Landing on Planet Life Ball

Despite its sober topic, the AIDS charity is arguably the party of the year, attended by a long list of international celebrities who joined the approximately 4,000-strong partying crowd at Vienna's city hall.

Supermodel Linda Evangelista, singer Elton John and TV actress Rose McGowan were among the guests attending the ball, as 45,000 spectators flocked to the city hall square on the mild evening to watch the fashion show, the event's traditional kick-off.

A model takes to the catwalk as part of the 'Agent Provocateur' fashion show during the Life Ball in Vienna

The evening opened with a lingerie fashion show

Strictly adhering to this year's motto "Landing on Planet Life Ball," scantily clad aliens in extravagant costumes watched the models -- celebrities and professionals -- on the Red Ribbon-shaped catwalk showing off designs by lingerie label Agent Provocateur.

"After last year's show by (designers) Heatherette, who played sensually with gay cliches, it is important for us this year to make the dynamics in a male-female relationship a topic," Life Ball organizer Gery Keszler said.

Heterosexuals needed to be more aware of the dangers regarding HIV/AIDS, he said, driving home the evening's message.

"Do it like Samantha, always have a condom with you," Cattrall said at a press conference ahead of the event, referring to her character in the hit TV series, the sexually active Samantha Jones.

No-shows at the event of the year

Presenters Mirjam Weichselbraun and Alfons Haider at the Life Ball in Vienna

Life Ball is in its 16th year

Music superstar Mariah Carey, British singer Kelly Osbourne and model Kate Moss had been expected to attend, but apparently changed their minds.

Earlier this month, former US President Bill Clinton scrapped plans to participate in a charity gala preceding the event, citing scheduling difficulties.

Last year, Clinton received a 1-million-dollar donation for his AIDS charity when visiting Vienna ahead of the Life Ball.

Organizers said they hoped to top last year's proceeds of 1.2 million euros (1.87 million dollars) for HIV/AIDS charities.

In its 16th year, Keszler's brainchild has established itself as a major society event outclassing Vienna's famous Opera Ball.

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