For charity, a Vilebrequin trunks show

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Unseasonably warm weather, rum drinks and a minimalist beach blanket-and-budgie décor brought a bit of St. Tropez to Via Rodeo on Beverly Hills on Wednesday as Vilebrequin and Men's Vogue kicked off a charity auction.

The French maker of high-end, boldly patterned men's swimsuits that have graced the trunks of A-listers including Jack Nicholson and Prince William is marking the run up to summer — and raising money for Project Angel Food — with an online auction of celebrity-customized suits.

Elton John, Eric McCormack, Andy Garcia and Gary Payton were among the stars to put colored fabric markers to a plain white pair of the label's swim trunks, which are being offered to the highest bidder at an online auction that began May 10 at www.charityfolks.com (search for "Vilebrequin") and runs for just two weeks.


FOR THE RECORD: The Mirror for May 11, "For charity, a Vilebrequin trunks show," said that one swimsuit was en route from Canada. The swimsuit was coming from Canadian cast member Taylor Kitsch; the show is filmed in Texas.


McCormack's version, decorated with help from his son Finnigan, bears a self-caricature uttering the words "the best gifts come in small packages"; Payton's pair depicts a basketball-dribbling stick figure and the words: "Heat World Champs."

In addition to the trunks, each winning bidder will get a $300 gift certificate to the store (suits run from $160 to $180) and as well as a special gift from Men's Vogue.

The five suits (the four noted above and a fifth adorned by the cast of NBC's "Friday Night Lights," which was en route from the show's Canadian set as the party got underway) will also be on display at Vilebrequin's 2 Rodeo Drive boutique through May 16, during which time a portion of store sales will also be earmarked for Project Angel Food, an organization that provides free, home-delivered meals to people battling cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.

adam.tschorn@latimes.com

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