Behind the scenes at the world's glitziest fund-raising event

Organiser Dylan Jones rubs shoulders with the rich and famous and reveals all
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The Independent Online

Even though the odds were stacked against it, it happened. In fact, not only did it happen, but it rocked, big time, in lights, in Swarovski crystals. The event I'd spent the last year and a bit planning, Swarovski Fashion Rocks, was finally taking place. Due to the enormous hard work of hundreds of incredibly talented people, and with the help of 12 of the world's most celebrated fashion designers and 14 of the world's biggest pop acts, it was actually, really, spectacularly happening.

Having worked for 15 months on the project, it was unbelievably exciting to actually see the event unfolding right there before my eyes. As I sat in the royal box at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, with His Serene Highness Prince Albert singing along to Blondie, Jamie Cullum and Zucchero, I could feel the relief fall from my shoulders like an astrakhan overcoat. It was finally happening!

There were hiccups, of course there were, and while the rest of the 1,800 people in the forum seemed oblivious to the mistakes, I could tell when artists, models and presenters were taking just a little too long to get on stage. Afterwards, when the backstage team filled me in, explaining that - in one case - a particular model had to be hunted down in every cubical in the building, it really came as no surprise (in fact, she had actually just nipped out for a cigarette). The catwalk was a zigzag and one model, in true Zoolander style, didn't turn but walked straight off the edge and broke her foot.

After the show, there was an Alain Ducasse dinner for 900 attended by Blondie, Rachel Stevens, Donatella Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Emma Bunton, Simon Fuller, Victoria Beckham, Roberto Cavalli, Jon Bon Jovi and many others. As the Universal boss Lucian Grainge led Mariah Carey through the throng, and the Arcadia chief Philip Green chatted to Prince Albert, it suddenly seemed like we were all swirling around in a modern day Fellini movie, the sweet life accompanied by Moët champagne and Swarovski necklaces. It was a blast. Not only did we raised vital funds for the Prince's Trust, but Swarovski Fashion Rocks was, in the words of one resident: "The most glamorous event Monaco has ever seen." As my wife said at the dinner, sandwiched delicately between Ozzy Osbourne and Jeremy Irons: "Darling, this is rather nice."

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