At CFDA Awards, a Fashionable Tie
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
NEW YORK, June 4 -- The fashion world showed it's big enough for both its elder statesmen and its rising stars Monday night as Oscar de la Renta shared the coveted womenswear award with Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez at the annual awards of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
The tie was a surprise, especially to ceremony host Ellen Barkin, who first read only de la Renta's name and then realized there were more designers on the card.
De la Renta said the winners shared the award with fellow nominee Marc Jacobs. "There are no losers, there are only winners," he said.
As McCollough and Hernandez took their turn at the podium, one of their cellphones rang. Hernandez correctly predicted it was his mother but didn't take the call. He credited the support of the duo's peers with helping them rise so high just five years after they graduated from Parsons School of Design.
Other big winners were Ralph Lauren for menswear and Derek Lam for accessory design, and up-and-comers Phillip Lim, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright for Rag & Bone, and Jessie Randall for Loeffler Randall. The competitive awards were chosen by CFDA members, editors, stylists and retailers.
Lauren received the first-ever American Fashion Legend Award. A montage of his 40-year career was introduced by Oprah Winfrey, who gushed about the wrap-style gown Lauren made for her.
Other recipients of honorary awards were jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris for lifetime achievement, Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan, French designer Pierre Cardin, and Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, as a special tribute to their humanitarian work.
Bono and Hewson didn't attend the ceremony but relayed via video their thanks to the industry for championing their mission to create a company as a conduit from the fashion world to the Third World. The couple, along with designer Rogan Gregory, started the collection Edun two years ago.
Even without the U2 frontman, there were plenty of celebrity guests at the dinner, held at the New York Public Library.
Michael Kors brought three dates -- Debra Messing in a purple jersey halter gown with a plunging V-neck, Heidi Klum in a brown gathered gown covered in Swarovski crystals, and model Liya Kebede in a cheetah-pattern beaded minidress.
Diane von Furstenberg, marking her first CFDA awards as the group's president, said the celebration of fashion sends the message that designers help each other.
"United we're stronger than we are individually," she said. "It's about the big one giving to the small one -- and Ralph is the emperor."