2013 November 12

Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards: Inspiration Guaranteed, Tissues Recommended

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James Brolin, Barbra Streisand James Brolin, Barbra Streisand
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(NEW YORK) Glamour’s Women of The Year awards, the yearly event for which tears are bound to happen and the inspiration levels hit dizzying highs, brought an incredible (as always) klatch of powerhouses and breakout game changers alike to Carnegie Hall last night. Without further ado, darlings…

On hosting duty for an event all about powerful women? A man. Seth Meyers kicked things off with a bit of comic relief before the more teary moments began. “It’s great to be at an awards show and not feel bad about not being honored,” said Meyers. The consummate funnyman has a WOTY of his own: wife Alexi Ashe. “She wins Seth Meyers woman of the year.” Aww alert. As for Meyers’ mom, who used to take top billing in that category? “She’s taking it well-ish.” 

First up on the presenting docket was Lena Dunham, who eschewed her shoes while accepting her award last year (she kept her kicks on this time around. Dunham delivered a shot of her adored self-deprecation while presenting “The Advocate” award to Melinda Gates, plus a compliment or two. “Melinda is a rock star with Connie Britton-level great hair,” Dunham enthused.

While the eve was all about incredible women, your Daily quizzed Karlie Kloss on her pick of man of the year. Proving too challenging to pick a just a homme, Kloss went the couple route with Melinda and Bill Gates. Kloss, who brought her mom along as her date, presented “The Chairman of Cool” award to Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet. “It all started with a pair of Chloe jeans,” Kloss said of Massenet’s ascent in the biz.

A bit of a trip-up ensued as Massenet walked on the stage in her white lace confection (someone got the memo that lace was de rigueur, as we spotted at least three lacy confections on presenters and awardees!). “Death by stilettos,” an unflappably gracefully Massenet joked. “A play in three acts!” Oscar de la Renta was on hand as a surprise co-presenter with Kloss to cushion the jitters from that near-fall. 

Another lady in lace of the night, Arianna Huffington (she went for a saucy, leather-laden Valentino noir frock), was a winner back in 2011 and a presenter last night. Intro-ing brave Sandy Hook Elementary teacher Kaitlin Roig-Debellis, who saved her entire class of first-graders during the harrowing school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last fall, Huffington commended Roig-Debellis on having “the power of love to overcome hatred and fear.” Accepting her accolade as “The Protector,” Roig-Debellis dedicated the win to those who didn’t make it out of the school safely: “This award is for the 26 angels looking down on us right now.”

Who’s got a duo of Oscars and the effusive support of Anna Wintour, among other feats of fashion and movie making? Costume designer Catherine Martin. Wintour may have been tied up for the night at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund dinner, but she made quite the cameo in an intro vid for the designer. “She's as important as a Ralph Lauren, or Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. She's at the pinnacle of her career,” Wintour said of Martin, affectionately referring to her as “CM”.  Martin called the Vogue editrix a “dear friend,” and revealed that Wintour suggested Martin to Glamour as Women of the Year material. As for her contributions to world peace, Martin wryly mused on how she’s “institutionalized the use of fishnets and expansive use of glitter.” 

Now, for the total tearjerker of the event: Malala Yousafzai, the Women of the Year Fund honoree and “The Girls’ Hero” winner of the night. Not acquainted with the Malala Fund? Head to the incredible organization’s site ASAP for the full scoop, and to support. “Thank you to my pretty Ugly Betty,” said Yousafzai of presenter America Ferrera. “This award cannot be mine alone...I accept his award for all girls and for every person speaking up for education...we must struggle for women's rights...we have abilities and potentials." Oh, and did we mention that Malala is just 16 years old?

Next up, actress Lily Collins mused on her own futile attempts at surfing, despite being a Pisces, as a preface to “The Game Changer” du year, Carissa Moore. “To be called best in the world and still be bubbly and down to earth? That, to me, is glamorous,” Collins said of Moore. The aquatic references kept coming as the 21-year-old surfing dynamo came on stage. “I feel like a fish out of water right now!” Moore exclaimed as she sweetly accepted the award.

As for The Role Models” of 2013? That would be supermod duo Christy Turlington Burns and Liya Kebede, who’ve worked separately on similar common causes relating to motherhood and safe childbirth advocacy (through Every Mother Counts and the Liya Kebede Foundation, respectively). “She dug in and got her perfect hands very dirty in women's issues,” said Bono of Turlington Burns in the pre-award video. “This is such a wonderful event,” mused an impeccably Proenza Schouler-clad Kebede as she accepted her award with Turlington from Iman. “I always go home thinking I have to do more."

Soon after, it was time for “The Legend.” That would be the one and only Barbra Streisand. “Don’t get me started on The Way We Were, I’m getting verklempt!” exclaimed presenter Katie Couric of the icon. “When I was younger, I wanted to see my name in marquee lights,” said Streisand. “I didn’t know how satisfying it would be to see my name in stainless steel on the women’s heart center at Cedars-Sinai,” Streisand reflected on one of her many (many, many!) initiatives far beyond showbiz.

Then, it was Gaga time: the December Glamour cover girl was preceded by the always stoic and very commanding Maria Abramovitc, followed by a kids’ choir from P.S. 22 doing quite the medley of Gaga hits. When “The Monster Talent” hit the stage, she mused on at length about a number of topics—including a moment to implore the mag industry to cut it out with the airbrushing. “I don’t wake up looking like this,” Gaga said of her Glamour cover, going on to say that someone like Malala deserves the cover more than she does. (Hope you’ve still got those tissues handy.)

With that, the masses trickled out of Carnegie Hall with ample inspirational fodder. And perhaps an appetite for a late, post-WOTY supper after getting fed emotionally…

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