The early hours of 3 December saw Bulgari help raise the roof on Florida when the brand co-sponsored the party of the season at Art Basel Miami. In aid of Raising Malawi – the non-profit organisation co-founded by pop icon Madonna in 2006, which aims to provide support for the country’s vulnerable children through health and social education – the event, held at the beautiful Faena Forum, featured an evening of “music, art, mischief and live performance” and raised a total of more than $7 million.

Bulgari was in town to launch the latest versions of one of its signature piece, the B.zero1 Design Legend ring (as well as a pendant), designed in collaboration with Studio Zaha Hadid. The ring, a new take on a classic, combines the signature Bulgari look with the flowing architectural lines Hadid was famed for. With the collaboration in mind, the brand decided that there was no better place to launch than during the world’s main art and design week in Miami.

The night began with a brief presentation on the plight of Malawi’s 1 million-plus orphaned children by Madonna’s friend and Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Malawi’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital Dr Eric Borgstein. This was followed by a short speech from Madonna’s son David Banda who she and her then-husband Guy Ritchie adopted from Malawi a decade ago. Banda introduced the woman he referred to as “my clown, my mom” before an ultra-playful, Viktor & Rolf-clad Madonna took to the stage to assist the evening’s MC James Corden and auctioneer Alexander Gilkes of art and design auction house Paddle 8.

In the following hour, dozens of lots were auctioned, including several works from the famed art lover’s personal collection ranging from Tamara de Lempicka’s La Couronne de Fleurs (1925) to Tracey Emin’s It Just Happens (2001), as well as three of Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding pictures taken by Herb Ritts (1985). Pieces by Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman, Ai Wei Wei, Steven Klein and Steven Meisel were also among artworks on offer.

Other lots included a game of Texas Hold ‘em Poker with Edward Norton and Jonah Hill, a private evening with magician David Blaine, a trip to Peru’s Rainbow Mountains with environmental explorer Johan Ernst Nilson and Madonna, a week for 12 people in Leonardo DiCaprio’s Donald Wexler-designed Palm Springs home and a unique 57mm, five timezone Jacob & Co wristwatch inspired by the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Bids flowed from a crowd that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Tracey Emin, Courtney Love, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dave Chappelle, Jon Kortajarena and A-Rod. Among the guests that joined Madonna on stage were Chris Rock, David Blaine, Ariana Grande and Sean Penn, who demonstrated lots such as a Arianne Phillips dress worn by Madonna herself during her Rebel Heart tour – incidentally the only tour prop ever to be auctioned by Madonna – and a pair of “wedding night” handcuffs. Supermodel Karolina Kurkova was also on hand to model a unique white gold Bulgari Serpenti necklace set with 15.15cts of diamonds that was auctioned on the night and raised $180,000.

Following the auction, Madonna took to the stage to play an hour-long set opening with Send In The Clowns before launching in to classics such as Express Yourself, Beautiful Stranger and Holiday. Proving she can still captivate an audience like no one else, she brought the curtain down on one of the hottest nights Miami has seen this year, raising a chunk of the cash needed to fulfill her goal in the process. On a high, guests, including Revolution, partied until the sun came up at the Faena Penthouse after party hosted by Bulgari.

Raising Malawi: raisingmalawi.org