THE BLOG
06/08/2010 04:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Fashion Struck at the CFDA Awards

By now you know who won the CFDA awards. On Monday night they were presented at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and underwritten by Swarovski. Who I must thank for the great champagne. When I first found out I was going - my first instinct was simple - "what am I wearing?" I jumped on facebook and Anthony Keegan was gracious enough to lend me a tux. For the first time in a long time, I felt appropriately dressed for a party and not my usual editorially frumpy self.

I'm not used to being invited in front of a bank of cameras so my first instinct was to walk around. Sadly, a regret, because after the initial entry no one took pictures. I snapped one with my little point and shoot, Gwyneth Paltrow chatting with Michael Kors. Her body guard asked politely, not to be obvious about taking photos, noting concern that the flash she's constantly subjected to could damage her eyes.

I shared crudités with Vera Wang who was dressed in a perfectly draped black gown and trailing fabric. I gave her a thumbs up (dope!) when my synapses fired and I realized who she was.

Zang Toi was showcasing an embroidered gown on a skyscraper tall model, the beading was a New York City nightscape, the perfect empire state of mind. Ben Widdicombe from Aol took an interest in my pocket square. It was a mess; he fixed it into a perfect cube and then admitted he was a party crasher. I marveled at his ability to get in.

There were many men who sported Thom Browne tuxedos. This prompts a question. When fashionistas all wear the same thing; who commits the faux pas? After that I chatted with a hunky soap star who reported the end of a few shows. He lamented that they'll be replaced by reality TV.

I popped into the theater and finally worked up the courage to say "hi" to Anna Wintour. She was nice. So nice. I wasn't expecting it. She asked what I was going to write about, I confessed I had no clue. "You should write about how cold it is in the theater," she said in an undeniable voice, then laughed. So I am.

They cut off the champagne and led us into the show, which went marvelously quickly. With video presentations and a teary-eyed tribute from Sarah Jessica Parker to Alexander McQueen, his last collection solemnly paraded on stage in his final fashion show. Iman was dubbed a Fashion Icon.

I guffawed inappropriately when P. Diddy spoofed movies and fashion; Tom Ford was the star of Avatar. There was a video montage where Diddy was graphically placed into famous movies, but characters replaced by designers Michael Bastian and the guys from Rag & Bone. Oh my. Brilliant. Ralph Lauren wasn't there to accept his People's Choice award, which he won for the second year in a row. Will he win a third?

Apparently a few years ago, the CFDA hired Merv Griffin productions to make the awards telecast friendly. They sat redoing key moments till 2 a.m., and afterward vowed never again. The Oscars of fashion don't need to be as long. Thank you, DVF.

When Kim Hastreiter from Paper accepted her award, she scolded the industry for its "you're in, or you're out" mindset. Christopher Bailey thanked his partner Mario Testino. Did I hear that right? It was a touching thank you speech that covered a lot of people and his youthful career.

Afterward I met Chris Benz, someone I was very excited about. He wore some great black sneakers. Footwear does make the mark. Carmen Chen Wu, one of the fashion scholarship recipients, wore a stunning knit necklace she made herself.

I was still on my quest to have my picture taken for this article; I obviously failed. Maybe I should have asked Gwyneth to take my picture, have the tables turned.

We nibbled on fava beans topping crispy noodles; poached citrus halibut and salmon tartare. Martini, please. Hayden Christensen was Alexander Wang's date by some reports, even though pictures have him going with Richard Chai the winner of the Swarovski Award for Menswear. Was he there with both, per chance? That boy needed to eat his fava beans, he's rail-thin but ever so dreamy. Chatting with the duo behind Proenza Schouler I learned that their recent collection was inspired by a frenzied session with a copier, then they sent the prints to a fabric maker. Voila!

At the Boom Boom room, I mingled and mangled with the winners, said hi to Prabal Gurung and watched Alexander Wang fill with joy and hug friends. On the way up to the party - Michael Kors told bawdy jokes and there was a young guy straight out of an Alan Hollinghurst novel (I'm making you work for this reference).

I finally had to go home, I had nothing left in me and I was getting way too drunk on the free-flowing booze. My head still spins from the many amazing people and talents in one room. What a day.

Congratulations to all the winners.

[Alex loves making pictures, even though he couldn't that night]

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