2009 June 16
All the Scoop from the CFDA Awards
(NEW YORK) "It’s nice to beat the drums, because we all work like the dickens," said Michael Kors during the cocktail hour before last night's CFDA Awards at Lincoln Center. "Tonight, we're going to celebrate all that creativity!" Indeed. The industry's top talent, from Donna Karan to Ralph Lauren to Anna Sui, directed their cars and cabs to Alice Tully Hall (recently renovated by Diller Scofidio + Renfro), where 60 top models like Sasha Pivavarova and Jessica Stam stood in an architectural formation wearing the designs of womenswear designer of the year nominees Narciso Rodriguez, Marc Jacobs and Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
"The sun is shining, we have a new theater...and I am very happy!" said Diane von Furstenberg, who received guests at the entrance. "I'm celebrating everyone tonight." Steven Kolb was similarly diplomatic. "I’m always rooting American," he said. "No matter what." Jacobs arrived early with Lorenzo Martone and Robert Duffy. "I get to do my job, so I've won already," the designer explained. "I’m really honored and I know Robert is, and all of the team at Vuitton is really thrilled about the International Award. And I’m such a fan of Narcisco and Rodarte, so I’m happy to be up in that category with them." In a year full of highlights, which one takes precedent for Jacobs? "My engagement to Lorenzo!" he beamed. "We're still planning on Provincetown."
Anna Wintour darted behind Francisco Costa, Zoe Saldana, Italo Zucchelli and Bradley Cooper as the Calvin-ites posed for photographers. "I feel great!" said a beaming Zucchelli. "Relaxed. I decided I want to have fun tonight, no matter what happens." Costa was thrilled to support his menswear counterpart. "It's amazing to root for Italo," said the designer, who won the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2008. Any words of wisdom for the nominee? "No, he's pretty cool," Costa said. "I don't need to give him any advice.
"I’m debuting my suit shorts tonight," said Alexander Wang, who arrived with date Dree Hemingway and later received his Swarovski award while shrugging on the matching jacket. "I started wearing shorts like a month ago, and I haven’t switched over to pants yet." Kate and Laura Mulleavy brought Kirsten Dunst. "She's not doing any press," a publicist warned. "But I am wearing Rodarte!" the otherwise-silent actress piped up. "I’m freaking out," confessed Kate Mulleavy. "I wish my parents could see this!"
"I’m going to try to get this right," said Mamie Gummer when asked to describe her Peter Som ensemble. "It’s atomic...floral...Peter, tell me more! It’s young and classy. This is my first time at the CFDAs. I am finding it very glammy." Meanwhile, Jason Wu entertained a flock of well-wishing editors from his perch next to date Diane Kruger. "I’m not in this world anymore, so it’s really fun to come back and support my friends," said Kruger. "I'm rooting for Jason. I think his story is so incredible, and he makes amazing clothing, but he’s such a nice guy. We're going to celebrate tonight, but I have to work tomorrow! Maybe a quick cocktail."
Antoine Arnault, who introduced Jacobs' award, arrived with an unexpected date in the form of Robbie Myers. "We just spent an hour in the car on the way here," he said. "Chit-chatting about the economy, life, Carla, Obama..." "And the nature of genius!" interjected Myers. A reference to Jacobs, perhaps, who received the International Award for his work with Louis Vuitton? "It's a great honor for us," Arnault continued. "You have to remember what Vuitton was 10 years ago. It was on the verge of acceleration, but it was a little bit dusty. Now when you think of Vuitton, you think about fashion, art, and everything--he has been very, very positive for the brand."
On the menswear front, Michael Bastian reminisced about his friend Jim Moore, who received the Eleanor Lambert award. "He’s come to every single presentation I’ve ever done," Bastian recalled. "When I started making corkboards of inspiration, I realized that all the photos were all ripped out of old GQ issues from the '80s, when I was 13 years old and had my little subscription in upstate New York. Jim saw it, and was like, “I was on that shoot…and that shoot…and that shoot…” The more we talked, I realized that how I think a guy should look is a direct response to what Jim Moore did. He created American menswear in my head, and I owe him everything." Moore's 85-year-old mother Jane Moore was overwhelmed by the experience. "I had no idea he was such a big deal!" she said, taking in the action alongside Madeline Weeks, Jim Nelson and Justin Timberlake, who presented to the GQ creative director. "At home in Minnesota, he doesn't act very fashiony. Sometimes, he gives me advice about what to wear, but he's always very nice about it."
After the ceremony, guests returned to the lobby, where pasta stations and short ribs awaited. Few were eager to line up for the buffet--instead, most just hit up the bar. "Champagne?" Linda Fargo asked Naeem Khan. "Vodka," the designer deadpanned. Meanwhile, the victors were tasked with the duty of carrying around their awards, which were much, much heavier than the requisite glass of Veuve. "I didn’t prepare a speech, because I didn’t want to jinx it," said Tim Hamilton. "I'm in awe. In fact, I'm celebrating already--I’ve had two glasses of champagne!"
"My favorite moment of the evening was definitely Tracey Ullman," said Joanna Coles. "I’m British, so to have her here in the flesh was so exciting. The moment by the garbage cans was priceless. She’s an icon, and she should’ve had an award. Swarovski, get on it!" Ullman, meanwhile, confessed that she has a few more fashion spoofs in the works. "I really enjoyed figuring out how to impersonate Donna Karan," said the event's emcee, wearing a custom Doo.Ri gown inspired by Claire McCardell. "I have a couple more ideas for this year, I’m just writing the new episodes now." JoCo, you two should talk. "I’d be so thrilled, I’d collapse," said Coles of the prospect of her very own Ullman tribute. "It’s terribly important that fashion is able to take the piss out of itself."
As Claire Danes, Blake Lively, Heidi Klum, Ashley Olsen, Christian Cota, Phillip Lim, Esteban Cortazar, Hilary Rhoda, Elie and Rory Tahari, Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant, Lake Bell, Michelle Trachtenberg, Behnaz Sarafpour, Reed Krakoff, Jenna Lyons, Mickey Drexler, Nicole Miller and more gradually trickled out onto Broadway, John Demsey offered some parting words. "How am I feeling?" he mused. "Like a pretty good Monday."
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