Life Ball, the annual Vienna bacchanal that raises money for AIDS charities, took place over the weekend and, per usual, was a visual overload. Anchored by a massive party inside (and in front of) the Austrian capital's City Hall, the ball also featured a dazzling fashion show by Jean Paul Gaultier. This year's motto (which also serves as a style guide for the ball's guests) was "Gold -- Ver Sacrum | Santa Primavera | Sacre du Printemps" and, according to the event's organizers, nodded to the Ancient Roman "spring festival to which a group of young men were sent to found tribal communities in line with new standards and ideas" and which would go on to inspire a group of turn-of-the-century Austrian artists, intellectuals and activists who called themselves the Secessionists and whose members included painter Gustav Klimt. Along those lines, attendees were dressed to the nines in everything from gold body paint, ancient Roman military garb and outfits inspired by Klimt's painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer, known informally as "The Woman In Gold." Photographer Marco Ovando was on hand to capture all the excitement that started from the moment a bunch of New Yorkers boarded a transcontinental party plane and continued through backstage preparations for Gaultier's show, guests' arrival to the ball and, of course, the bonanza inside. Take a look, below.
photo by Marco Ovando