Dispatch: The CFDA Awards and Galas Galore

June 13, 2012 | by —JEFFREY SLONIM | Homepage


FROM LEFT: Joan Smalls and Michael Kors; Ken Kaufman, Julianne Hough, and Isaac Franco at the CFDA Awards

The weekend before the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards, my son Declan and I went to a screening of Madagascar III, which had a few zingers that 'rents will appreciate. Taking it up a big glamour notch, the following Monday’s (June 4) CFDA Awards celebrated 50 years. Dispatches has been attending for decades, but certain memories, like the year Princess Diana was honored, stick out. I can recall seeing Gianni Versace with his sister, Donatella, who back then wore her hair in a tightly wrapped bun. And Karl Lagerfeld, in his pudgier days, used to carry a cane with a knife inside. One year, Pierre Cardin forgot to speak English for more than twenty minutes during an award acceptance speech. Merci!

Tickets this year were $7,500, which prompted many designers to bring hot young stars as dates (rather than their partners) so that their arrival photos would run. Julianne Hough, wearing a burgundy Kaufman Franco number, entered the room with her gown’s designers. Busy Philipps wore earrings by her date, jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth. And Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez dressed Dakota Fanning in a sparkly kimono wrap dress.

Onstage, host Seth Meyers rattled out one-liners that gunned for the fashion set. "You could say fashion and comedy go together like Galliano and a bar mitzvah . . . that joke went so badly, I’m going to get fired from Dior,” said Meyers.

After Lifetime Achievement winner Tommy Hilfiger's dinner at Monkey Bar, limos caravanned down to the Swarovski afterparty at Top of the Standard. 


FROM LEFT: Sarah Jessica Parker: Karl Lagerfeld at The Gordon Parks Foundation Gala

The next night, The Gordon Parks Foundation Gala honored the work of famed photojournalist Gordon Parks at MoMA. On Parks, newsman and son of Gloria Vanderbilt Anderson Cooper said, “He was at our house all the time. He really inspired me." Sarah Jessica Parker and Karl Lagerfeld, wearing Dior, also attended. 

On Wednesday I joined a Grey Goose for the launch of its new flavor, cherry noir, at a cocktail-fueled fête put on by Brooks Brothers and the Cinema Society for the film Lola Versus. Later that night at Top of the Standard, Lola star Greta Gerwig rocked out on the dance floor with Mamie, Grace, and Louisa Gummer and Parker Posey until last call.

Over at the Sunshine Cinema, The Venetian Las Vegas sponsored a Rock of Ages debut. Lead actress Julianne Hough wore a Blue Marine dress. “It feels like a wet suit,” said Hough of the frock. She also noted that co-star Tom Cruise grabbed her boob on camera. “And I’m not complaining,” she told Disptaches of the feel, which was scripted.


Fergie, Hilary Swank, and Robert Duffy at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

And at the Whitney Art Party, hosted by The Whitney Contemporaries at Skylight SoHo, Olivier Theyskens and Kate Bosworth wore matching black while extreme dresser Michelle Harper wore a big metal crown like a Native American headdress.

Speaking of crowns, in London, amidst the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Dispatches spied an ivy wreath in gold by Polly Gasston on display at Goldsmiths’ Hall. Meanwhile, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson turned up at artist Trey Speegle’s opening at Jonathan Adler’s London shop. Speegle debuted a paint-by-number portrait of Queen Elizabeth with the name “Brenda” in big block letters. Apparently, the whole country lovingly refers to her by that name. The Duchess mentioned that Princess Beatrice of York is studying art and, coincidentally, has recently taken up paint-by-numbers.

At the annual amfAR Inspirational Gala, which raises funds for AIDS research, honorees included Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie and Marc Jacobs International’s Robert Duffy. Hilary Swank, on the arm of Duffy, had on a black-and-white dress that looked so fresh it could have been steamed in the car on the way over. She told Dispatches that Duffy is “supportive of the talented people he believes in.” Swank's dress, meanwhile, survived the bleacher seating for the evening’s fashion show, where black-tie sportswear looks by Boss, Gaultier, and Lanvin were presented in honor of the Olympics.

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