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2012 March 12

Third Time's Divine For The DvF Awards

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Diane von Furstenberg and Oprah Winfrey Diane von Furstenberg and Oprah Winfrey
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(NEW YORK) What happens when Oprah is on the premises, Diane von Furstenberg is running the eponymous show, Tina Brown is co-hosting, Rep. Nancy Pelosi is in attendance, and the setting is the U.N.? Welcome to the third annual DvF Awards, the intimate, lounge-y celebration of womankind on Friday evening from which it was tough to leave without being a smidge touched, a little bit inspired, and much more fulfilled than one's typical TGIF antics probably entail. 

As for the co-hosts, regardless of their collective experience with soirees and PAs galore, concerns still cropped up--of the too-much-fun variety, thankfully. "I just hope there aren’t too many people! The room is small, and we have more people than we’ve had in the past," remarked von Furstenberg as a duo of twee-vF's flocked to their glam grandma's side. "Did you eat something yet?! Are you hungry? Or did you eat before?" DvF asked the girls with a protective hug and a bit of grandmotherly affection in her voice. 

"Every woman ever encountered in the fashion business has a girl crush on DvF; everyone aspires to have her easy confidence and intelligence," enthused Brown of the woman and the "powerful Pulitzers of courage" that von Furstenberg's namesake awards represent. "I even toyed with the idea of naming myself Tina von Brown for some time. I have such a girl crush!" 

Shortly after Brown's reverential words for DvF, Oprah took the stage with some prayer and cocktail-inflected vignette for the crowd to ponder. "My grandmother always said, 'as long as you can be on your knees to pray, you do it.’ So no matter how many margaritas I’ve had, I always get at least one knee down to pray," said Winfrey. Amen! 

There didn't appear to be any margaritas on site, though there was plenty of champagne to go around, accompanied by a delectable spread of shrimp salad, salmon filets atop fried green tomatoes, mountains of roasted vegetables, couscous, and petit tartlets or macarons for dessert. Also quite sweet: the acoustic crooning by Ingrid Michaelson that bookended the evening. 

In addition to Ms. Winfrey, winner of the Lifetime Leadership Award, the evening's recipients included Jaycee Dugard of the JAYC Foundation, Layli Miller-Muro of the Tahirih Justice Center, Panmela Castro of Rede Nami, and Chouchou Namegabe of the South Kivu Association of Women Journalists. "Layli has taught me how to be present in my own life," remarked Debra Winger while presenting to Miller-Muro. 

Castro, who makes her mark (literally) through vibrant graffiti art in Rio de Janeiro's impoverished favelas with her Rede Nami org, was glowingly pregnant and quite serene before accepting her award from Jessica Alba. "This is really a 'pinch me' moment!" exclaimed Alba. "Movements are quite disenfranchised, especially when it comes to women, and Diane has this uncanny way of bringing women together," Alba explained. 

Though the temps erred on the side of brisk and windy that evening, chatter with Castro turned to the weather-inflected style sensibilities of Brazil. “Rio is the seventh warmest city in the world, so in the summer, it’s terrible! I try to wear the least amount of clothing as possible,” said Castro. As for her thoughts on Brazil’s famously beautiful model exports? “I’m a feminist, so I don’t believe that modeling is healthy for women—they’re too thin! I’m a fan of Gisele, though; she’s powerful. If I met her, I’d thank her for being Brazilian.”
ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV 




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