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2009 June 16

As for the Awards?

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(NEW YORK) For those of you not among the 1,200 witnesses at last night's CFDA Awards, the ceremony itself is worth a bit of analysis. First things first: Host Tracey Ullman, a bon vivant of the chicest sort, earned mixed reviews--at least according to The Daily's informal poll. The Kiefer Sutherland head-butt joke you all knew was coming most certainly did; same with the spoof on Anna Wintour during Ullman's impersonation of Kathy Fuld's incognito shopping sprees. (The character, somewhat inexplicably, donned a Wintour disguise in the alley behind Herm├Ęs before meeting her driver.)

Each award was accompanied by a video, each endowed with a different concept. Most were hell-bent on humor. The Jim Moore tribute, introduced by surprise guest Justin Timberlake, was doubly impressive for both the production value and for the participation of Tom Cruise, who pretended to lift up the wheel of his private jet when Moore stuck his foot underneath it during a location scout. Another A-list cameo: Jake Gyllenhaal, who experienced a breakdown when he arrived at a mock GQ fit session to find that Moore had chosen another subject for an upcoming cover.

Graydon Carter made an on-screen appearance in the video featuring the Menswear Designer of the Year nominees. He subjected Michael Bastian, Scott Sternberg and Italo Zucchelli to the Proust Questionnaire while performing such quotidian activities as shooting the Calvin Klein Collection menswear campaign and tailoring Band of Outsider trousers on the designer. ("I think you just pinned my sock," said Sternberg.) "Favorite restaurant?" Carter fired off. "The Waverly Inn!" was the stock response.

The Accessory Designer of the Year nominees sent their wares to photography students from Parsons, who then shot the bags, shoes, baubles and more. They were shown in a montage format. As previously reported, the Swarovski Awards video paired each designer with a muse of the editorial sort. Anna Sui, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Jack White, was graced with a retrospective fashion show of some of her most memorable designs.

Antoine Arnault, one of Jacobs' most ardent supporters, introduced the video for the International Award. He recalled an advertising meeting conducted with Jacobs last fall, where he pleaded with the designer to reduce the budgets. "But then, Marc said, 'I texted Madonna, and she said yes,'" Arnault deadpanned. Jacobs' acceptance speech was one of the evening's most memorable, followed closely by Tim Hamilton, who maintained extreme cool and humilty, and Italo Zucchelli, who dedicated his award to the great Calvin Klein.

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors' Special Tribute recepient Michelle Obama's abscence was made even more conspicuous by her pre-taped acceptance speech in which she thanked designers for making fashion fun. Aww!
ASHLEY BAKER 




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