Fashion is bigger (and better?) than ever. We’re used to seeing big risk-taking fashion looks at such events as the Academy Awards, the Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala, and the Council of Fashion Fashion Awards. Still, I don’t remember any CFDA Awards of past years being as big or as striking as this one. There could be many reason for this…
1) I work in the fashion industry and I’m simply noticing how big and colorful fashion has become in the past decade.
2) Fashion itself and the people that embody it have become garnered more of a celebrity status than ever before. (New York holds events like Fashion’s Night Out, civilians are clamoring to get into Fashion Week without having any connection to fashion journalism, and models as well as designers that don’t appear in films, television, or any form of media have become celebrities in their own right.
3) The world of fashion is that much more prominent thanks to the onslaught of media and celebrity coverage at our fingertips (Internet, social media, real-time photos on the web as the event is happening.)
Whatever the case, the celebrity nature of fashion has become evident this past year with the royal wedding, the velocity of the Metropolitan Institute Gala (both Sarah Burton and Alexander McQueen) and now the CFDA Awards, fashion’s big awards night. They wanted to go out with a bang. And that they did!
Designers and models stood together in this season’s best designs. Celebrities were on hand to present awards to some of fashion’s finest (Kanye West to Phoebe Philo, Jessica Alba to Hal Rubinstein, Naomi Watts to Proenza Schouler, so on and so forth and the night became one to remember, rivaling that of the Met Costume Institute Gala as stars sashayed into the scene looking to compete against each other for finest or most outrageous outfit of the evening. And believe me, there were some outrageous ones!
How could we label the Most Outrageous at this year’s CFDA Awards without mentioning the one and only Lady Gaga, who was on hand to receive the Fashion Icon award due to her extremely complicated and inventive outfits which she personally helps to design. Gaga has worked to introduce no-names into the fashion award and helped to design collections for the likes of Thierry Mugler and others.
Gaga, who showed up to the event in signature Gaga (though extremely gothic for the likes of her, I would have liked to see her in padded shoulders, sequins and Alexander McQueen shoes from Bad Romance) with a blue wig, skin-tight tube top dress, a black tulle train and the highest black platforms one has ever seen, joins the likes of Kate Moss, Iman, Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker in the Fashion Icon category.
She never ceases to amaze. To celebrate her award, Gaga decided to take off her clothes. She was spotted later on at the Boom Boom Room in pasties, a black thong, a mask across her face, and nothing else.
Gaga wasn’t the only one that went for outrageous. Socialite Michelle Harper turned heads with her Asian-inspired look, a red slinky dress with bell sleeves and a massive bun atop her head. There’ s a reason photographer Patrick McMullan once called Michelle his favorite socialite to photograph in 2010.
Julie Macklowe, who can be described as hedge fund manager and wife of real estate mogul Billy Macklowe, wore a massive green number coat over a little black dress by Zang Toi. MASSIVE is the only way to describe it. Way to make a fashion statement, Julie!
Noticeably more subdued but still making a statement was Lucy Liu in her feathery ball gown from Monique Lhuillier
Unique to other awards shows, events, and galas was the fact that some stars wore big ball gowns and slinky dresses, while others chose cocktail dresses or feminine-owned menswearish looks, which I also must put into this category. I know Shenae Grimes‘ look may have been a disappointment to some, but I was surprisingly pleased that she chose to take a risk among the crowd that had “conformed” to ball gowns.
Both Kirsten Dunst and LeeLee Sobieski looked suave and debonair in their androgynous menswear looks.
Also turning heads was Liv Tyler, who chose a vibrantly colored Proenza Schouler number in what is the first time we are seeing Proenza Schouler Fall 2011 on the red carpet.
Chloe Sevigny is not one to sway away from fashion statement, while at the same time promoting her avant garde designer of choice, so we weren’t surprised to see her wearing one of her risk taking ensembles. This one is from Opening Ceremony. She really made it work for her, but what was really surprising was that she really looked good without trying too hard. It was a look that she herself designed for the Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony collection for Resort 2012. The shoes are also incredible to me and they, too, are from her Resort 2012 collection. Can I steal those?
Some may argue that the rest of these ladies DESERVE to wear these numbers since it IS one of fashion’s biggest events of the year, but just how outrageous are these pieces for you?
Notice the similarities in these two outrageous sheaths (don’t know if I can call them dresses, they are too drapey.)
Other trends included lots of color and lots of sparkle. While it’s nothing new, in a world of too much celebrity black, it’s a refreshing change.
This is the second time Doutzen Kroes is wearing red to a major event! You may remember her in red at the Met Costume Institute Gala. She must love the color!
By the way, kudos to these two for making a celebrity line that’s worth buying AND showcasing their collection’s new bags and clothing by wearing them to a major event where they are (deservingly) nominated.
Jessica Alba had the best colorful look hands down and perhaps the best maternity look I’ve ever seen! I’ve really never ever seen a pregnant woman look better…and in color!
Somehow, this reminds me of that disco ball jumpsuit worn by Lindsay Lohan to last year’s MTV Movie Awards, but I think Marcia still makes it look beautiful and not too overdone.
Best Designer’s Look
Yes, Monique Lhuillier, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Marc Bouwer, Betsey Johnson, Jason Wu, Doo.ri Chung, Prabal Gurung, and Marc Jacobs (who received the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award) were also at the event, but I have to say Erin Fetherston always looks soooo cute at these events.
Not completely loving the looks of Georgina Chapman (Marchesa) and Diane von Furstenberg, but how can you berate them for what they wear, with the amazing clothes they produce!
The grand editrix herself is wearing Marc Jacobs. No big surprise there, except it was nice that she honored his Lifetime Achievement Award by wearing a stunning look that seemed to fit her perfectly. Ivory satin top and green embroidered skirt with a belt. It looks just as it did on the runway for Marc Jacobs Fall 2011.
Photos: Wireimage, Celebuzz
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Tags: Alessandra Ambrosio in Prabal Gurung, Alexander McQueen, Anna Wintour in Marc Jacobs, Ashley Greene in Michael Kors, blue wig, CFDA Awards, Chanel Iman in BCBG Max Azria, Chloe Sevigny in Opening Ceremony, Diane von Furstenberg, Doo-Ri Chung, Doutzen Kroes in J Mendel, Emmanuelle Chiriqui, Geoffrey Beene, Georgina Chapman, Hana Soukupova in Marchesa, Jason Wu, Jessica Alba in Diane Von Furstenberg, Julie Maclowe in Zang Toi, Karlie Kloss in Jason Wu, Karolina Kurkova in Diane von Furstenberg, Kenza Fourati in Marc Bouwer, Kirsten Dunst in Patrick Ervell, Lady GaGa, Lady Gaga at the Boom Boom Room, LeeLee Sobieski in Adam Kimmel, Liv Tyler in Proenza Schouler, Lucy Liu in Monique Lhuillier, Marc Jacobs