The CFDA Awards are the Oscars of fashion. A night where designers, politicians, actors, writers and models come together to honor the industry’s most talented and innovative tastemakers. Last night’s 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards commemorating the organization’s 50th anniversary were held at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Bravo’s Andy Cohen (whose ties to fashion date back to a cameo on Sex and the City as a Barney’s shoe salesmen) was the evening’s host and kept the audience entertained with a Designer Collaborations sketch, which featured designers like Tory Burch for Oreo, ‘Toreo Burch’; Jason Wu for Honey Boo Boo, ‘Wu for Boo’; and Michael Kors’ head on Kate Moss’ body for a St. Tropez swimsuit line.
CFDA President Diane von Furstenburg introduced Former Secretary of State and friend, Hillary Clinton, who presented the Eleanor Lambert Founders Award to Oscar de la Renta. Clinton met de la Renta when she was hosting the Kennedy Center Honors with her husband in 1993. “I was then as I am now,” joked Clinton, “such a fashion icon,” recalling their first meeting and how she unknowingly had worn one of Oscar’s creations. “He looked me up and down and said, ‘that’s one of my dresses!’ It was the start of a great friendship.”
Though Clinton commended the nominees, saying, “You’re all winners, because your work is extraordinary,” the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award went to Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez presented by Kerry Washington. Thom Browne was awarded Menswear Deisgner of the Year presented by Dan Stevens, and Rose Byrne presented Phillip Lim for 3.1 Phillip Lim with the Accessories Designer of the Year Award. Linda Evangelista presented acclaimed fashion journalist Tim Blanks with the Eugenia Sheppard Media Award. Jessica Chastain presented Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci with the International Award.
Ralph Lauren presented the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award to Vera Wang. “Vera is not just a wedding gown designer,” said Lauren, “her name is synonymous with weddings. There is not a person young or old who doesn’t say, ‘it’s a Vera,’ or ‘should I get a Vera?’ or ‘I wish I could afford a Vera.’ She is not just a designer, she’s a brand that’s so unique, a brand people ask for all of the time, and a brand that’s been slowly taking over the industry.” Vera Wang, a designer who claims to never be at a loss for words, was speechless when accepting the award and received a standing ovation from the audience.
Following the ceremony, guests partied at the Top of The Standard’s Boom Boom Room, where according to Andy Cohen, the official drinking words of the night were Clinton’s new pitch for Bravo “Project Pantsuit” and “Vera.”