And the Winner Is...

11/17/2010 03:20 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Billy Reid. (Silence) Billy Reid. (Thump, he fainted and fell to the floor) Billy Reid. Well, maybe he didn't faint, but the immediate surprise in the room was surely palpable. One would have expected him to get up to the podium and say, "Awww, shucks." Perhaps Billy Reid received the prestigious CFDA Award ($300,000 bucks) because fashion, as in politics, is turning it's other cheek to the conservative right. After all, Billy Reid is based in Florence, Alabama, the Bible Belt or is it the new fashion capital? Yes, Billy Reid's clothing line is cool, but it is Earth shattering? Isn't it really an Americanized version of All Saints meets Paper Moon meets Perry Ellis, when he was alive, meets The Grapes of Wrath? But what do I know? Surely the buzz in the room was in favor of Prabal Gurung or Altuzarra, the recent darlings of New York Fashion Week, and Anna Wintour's new pets. But, let's face it, if either of those two won, it would have looked like Anna Wintour rigged this thing so it was a smart move to give the gold to fashion's down homeboy. To reiterate, I do really like Billy Reid, but it seems like a stretch for this major award. Then again, the Oscars have made plenty of boo-boos, too. Does Gwenyth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love ring a bell? Oh, come on, Cate Blanchett deserved that puppy for Elizabeth...beyond. But the politics of award shows has begun to cloud their value. The viewers (consumers) are left disappointed on two levels: an over-long presentation to recipients that may seem less than deserving.

Here's an outtake from the Billy Reid look book... I mean...still from the movie The Grapes of Wrath.

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