Bardot, Jesse Jackson; Stephen Peck Helps Vets: D.C.

Brigitte Bardot Party
On the red carpet outside the Sofitel Lafayette Square for the opening of the hotel's exhibition "BB Forever: Brigitte Bardot, La Legende," a tribute to the French actress. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Tousled hair and sexy pouts were the stars last night at the Sofitel Lafayette Square’s opening party for “BB Forever: Brigitte Bardot, La Legende,” a collection of photographs of the French actress.

A snap of Bardot in sunglasses outside the hotel greeted arriving guests such as chef Michel Richard, Air France-KLM station manager Etienne Dailly, and Francoise Parguel, the vice president of communication for Sofitel Worldwide.

Inside, a black-and-white theme prevailed, punctuated by red roses and bowls of purple macaroons. A deejay played French pop tunes.

The collection of 35 photographs was curated by French journalist Henry-Jean Servat, who said he has known the reclusive star for more than 20 years. When he was young, he joked, priests warned him to avoid the “she-devil’s” movies.

With her permission (she rarely leaves her home in France, he said), he collaborated with Parguel to select photos that represent Bardot, now 77, as an icon embodying innocence and wantonness, much like Marilyn Monroe.

Sofitel agreed to donate 10,000 euros ($12,576) to the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, which helps animals.

Josh Studl, a director at Sidar Global Advisors, and arts patron Philippa Hughes sipped specialty cocktails such as the “Bardot Pout,” a mixture of Grand Marnier, orange juice and soda water. Others were content with a flute of Taittinger Champagne.

Vets Housing

Stephen Peck, the son of actor Gregory Peck, was honored last night at the 40th Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala, held in the National Building Museum.

Peck, the president and chief executive of U.S. Vets; Kelly Caffarelli, the president of the Home Depot Foundation; Jim Knotts, CEO of Operation Homefront; Mike King, CEO of Volunteers of America; and Tim Cantwell, president of Cloudbreak Communities, were all honored for their work on behalf of veterans with housing problems.

Peck said his late father was never able to serve in the military because of his bad back but would be thrilled with the event. Its goal was to raise $500,000 for the National Housing Conference, a nonprofit established in 1931 to advocate for safe and affordable American housing.

This year’s gala had a special focus on housing and foreclosure problems among veterans, which Carol Galante, the acting assistant secretary for housing-Federal Housing Administration commissioner for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said were especially severe at present.

Caffarelli said that the Home Depot Foundation has given $23 million in the past year to charities focused on veteran housing.

Wells Fargo, represented by Don Gilbert, senior vice president and community-development manager, and Tim Hanlon, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation, said that the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation would be matching five-to-one all contributions made last night and through noon today up to $100,000.

After the awards, the 800 guests enjoyed a buffet dinner of potato gnocchi and rockfish.

American Progress

The attire at the Campaign for America’s Future annual gala Monday night could best be described as “anti-establishment chic.”

Young liberal activists such as Jesse Littlewood, a project manager with, arrived at the Washington Hilton in jeans and sneakers. One attendee sported a sticker that read “healthcare not warfare.”

The honorees were Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation magazine, civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson and Occupy Wall Street, which received the Paul Wellstone Citizenship Award.

Jackson said that he and Robert Borosage, the co-director of Campaign for America’s Future, met during Jackson’s 1984 presidential bid.

Representing the labor contingency of the progressive movement was Shane Larson, legislative director of the Communication Workers of America. Sean Crowley, communications director and Frank Clemente, campaign manager for Americans for Tax Fairness, were spotted sampling canapés and cocktails at the dinner’s pre-reception.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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