Gisele Bundchen and Mario Testino at the MFA on Wednesday night.
Gisele Bundchen and Mario Testino at the MFA on Wednesday night.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Over 800 people, including a half dozen of the world’s most beautiful women, were at Wednesday’s black-carpet reception at the Museum of Fine Arts for famed photographer
Mario Testino
, the subject of a provocative new exhibit at the museum.

Gisele Bundchen, the Brazilian-born supermodel who’s BFF with Testino, made the scene, as did angular A-list models Karlie Kloss, Constance Jablonski, Bianca Balti, Candice Swanepoel, Edita Vilkeviciute, Alessandra Ambrosio, Erin Wasson, Sigrid Agren, Joan Smalls, and Kiara Kabukuru.

Bundchen, wearing a black Halston dress with a black Tom Ford jacket, exploded onto the carpet, announcing her arrival by hollering “Mario!” Thus summoned, the photographer rushed over and patted Bundchen’s ample belly. (She’s pregnant.)


“I have known Mario since I was 16 years old. He’s a sweetheart,” said Gi, who told museum staff she would not answer any personal questions. “Mario always makes people look sexy. . . . It’s that Latin way of seeing people.”

The freakishly tall Kloss, in a Pucci gown, said Testino is one of a kind with a camera: “Mario makes women look beautiful because he makes women feel beautiful. . . . Everybody loves Mario.’’

Also making their way to the MFA for the private party were museum director Malcolm Rogers (who beamed “This feels like New York’’), Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Hamish Bowles, Vogue’s international editor-at-large, Derek Blasberg, editor-at-large at Harper’s Bazaar, Testino’s brother Giovanni and sister Carla, Nadja Swarov-ski, a member of the museum’s executive board, Jane Weitzman, wife of exhibition sponsor Stuart Weitzman, Visionnaire’s Cecilia Dean, and actress Olivia Palermo.

Said Wintour: “It’s wonderful to see someone so talented and so humble to have such great success. I was urging him to be a little more conservative with the show. It’s Boston.’’

Asked if Boston is ready for Testino’s pictures, which show a bit more skin than MFA patrons are accustomed to, Rogers smiled. “We’ll find out, won’t we? I wouldn’t mind a little bit of controversy.”


Others on the guest list included chef Ken Oringer, Extreme members Gary Cherone and Pat Badger, designer Sam Mendoza, TV types Bianca de la Garza, Emily Rooney, Jared Bowen, and J.C. Monahan, Bill Belichick’s girlfriend, Linda Holliday, “Style Boston” host Terri Stanley, and hockey player Sean Avery, who said it’s “always nice to attend an event with pretty girls and pretty pictures.”

Earlier Wednesday, Testino stopped by the MFA to answer a few questions about the exhibits, “In Your Face” and “British Royal Portraits,” which go on view to the public beginning Oct. 21.

Sitting cross-legged and clad head-to-toe in black, Testino told the audience, “You’ve got to be you, and that’s a very hard thing to do.”

That’s particularly true, he said, if you don’t look like Bundchen, one of his favorite muses and a woman he described to us simply as “va-va-voom.” (Truer words — or sounds — have never been uttered.)

The celebrity shutterbug said that while editing photos of Tom Brady’s lady, he always scans for problems or imperfections.

“And she has no problems. I’m telling you, it’s perfect,” he said. “Everything, the skin, the hands, the ankles. . . . She is very lucky.”

Word had it that Testino — not one to rest on his laurels — was planning to do a photo shoot for VMAN magazine at the Mandarin Oriental between Wednesday’s press conference and the evening gala. With so many top models in town, who could blame him?


And last night he admitted, “Why lose time? All of the girls I like, they were all in Boston today.’’

Speaking of VMAN, although Testino’s recent shot for the mag of Tom Brady posed with an alarmingly upset Doberman has gotten plenty of attention, the photographer joked that he is not so familiar with the famed quarterback.

“He plays football, right?” said Testino, a native of Peru.

As it turned out, Brady couldn’t make it to Wednesday night’s party (he’s got a big game against the Jets to worry about), but his wife wouldn’t have missed it.