Sometimes I forget that fashion is as much a community as any other proclaimed congregation, but the annual CFDA Awards are always quick to remind me.
Maybe that’s because on the heels of the Met Ball, when so much fashion is dispensed from a seemingly impenetrable distance and then pulled back in, to see the women who dropped our jaws there, do it again here with perhaps a little more swagger just by simple virtue of existing in a more concentrated fashion setting, makes you kind of feel, I don’t know, like they’re your friends.
There was Lupita in Suno and Solange with her inimitable hair and fringe, and, of course, there was Rihanna with her nipples and her glittering head and such morsels of wisdom delivered through her endearing half-lost, half-retained accent, like, “fashion was always my defense mechanism — at school, she beat me, but she could never beat my outfit.”
Anna Wintour delivered a decidedly precise definition of that which makes a style icon when she said, “I’m here to talk about the way Rihanna communicates through fashion because, of course that is what style icons do. They tell captivating stories about the world they live in through clothes.”
John Waters, the host for the night, came and went delivering charm and emphatic wit and divine appreciation for an industry that has effectively only existed because of a handful of the people in last night’s room. He begged such important questions as, who will be the first to create a coat more expensive than a house? A sweater more costly than a yacht? — and then urged the designers in the room to allow their customers to “break the glass ceiling.”
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen won an award for best accessory design while Joseph Altuzarra took home the womenswear award of the year. Public School took home menswear and when Tom Ford went up to the podium to receive his lifetime achievement award, he promised us he’d be back in twenty years wearing a toupee and walking with a cane.
Raf Simons hugged the entire audience with sincerity and tears after Christian Dior CEO, Sidney Toledano astutely compared the prolific designer to a gardener. Bethann Hardison, widely known for diversifying fashion week, delivered some very, very important advice when she said, “You can change things. You might have to put your foot to petal, but you can change things,” and by night’s end, it was more or less official: fashion is a family.
So act like a big sister, will you, and tell us who you think looked good, great, and breathtaking.