It’s always marvelous, as well as a relief, when the victors of any contest are truly the most deserving. In the case of last night’s Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, (most of) the winner’s circle couldn’t be more entitled.
The coveted Womenswear Designer of the Year award went to Francisco Costa, marking the second time in three years of nominations that he took the prize for the Calvin Klein Collection (The first was in 2006). There’s an engaging feature on this talent in last month’s Harper’s Bazaar, penned by Sarah Bailey. Newly anointed Calvin Klein underwear model Eva Mendes presented Francisco with the trophy.
Tom Ford scored the Menswear Designer of the Year. Hot on the opening of a grand salon at Bergdorf Goodman this week, this should be very good for business. Conidering the reverence which Tom is paid by most of the fashion press, it's tough to get a handle on whether his new incarnation is truly bringing home the bacon. Certainly, there are plenty of men out there who still find the name synonymous with women's wear, the provocative ad campaigns that resemble Oui covers notwithstanding. And Tory Burch won for her accessories, which, as Booth Moore wrote in this past Sunday’s L.A. Times Image section, can be seen everywhere, whether they carry her label or that of another (cheaper) brand. That they heavily suggest the costume jewelry in an old aunt's coffers versus the new ideas of another peer pushing fashion forward matters not. This designing powerhouse is bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan.
The incessantly innovative Dries Van Noten scooped up the International Award; The ever-elegant Carolina Herrera, the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award; and the ever-effervescent, if not effusive Candy Pratts Price accepted the Eugenia Sheppard Award.
Most exciting, though, is the winning line-up for the Swarovski Awards: Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the dynamic sister duo who continue to surprise and inspire both with their work and personal ways, will be returning to their Pasadena home with the the prize for Womenswear. The Menswear nod went to another L.A. prodigy, Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders. And the Swarovski Award for Accessories went to Philip Crangi.
The major score, however, was the program, tell me friends who attended last night’s event at the New York Public Libray. CFDA prez Diane von Furstenberg ran a tight ship that brought the event in around 90 minutes. Perhaps, the producers of the Academy Awards could give her ring. The bicoastal designer certainly has friends in Hollywood.
[Photo of Francisco Costa and Eva Mendes © 2008 Patrick McMullan]
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