Click To Start Slide Show All photos in this report are by Randy Brooke.


Menswear designer: Puffy Combs
Womenswear Designer: Carolina Herrera
Accessories Designer: Reed Krakoff
Perry Ellis Award: Zac Posen
International Award: Miucca Prada
Eugenia Sheppard Award: Teri Agins
Lifetime Achievment Award: Donna Karan
Fashion Icon Award: Sarah Jessica Parker
CFDA Special Tribute: Tom Ford
Eleanor Lambert Award: Irving Penn

2004 CFDA Awards

photo by Randy Brooke
click on image to enlarge

The way they wore...

. What’s black and white, and red all over? These were the overwhelming colors of choice decorating some of fashion’s biggest ‘stars’ that were on hand at the New York Public Library for the CFDA Award Ceremony. Even though, as I predicted, the fashion statements were varied, it is truly a case of ‘anything goes’, the evening is an insider’s event where attendees (designers, editors, retailers, etc.) are nothing if not creative and imaginative (or at least one hopes they are), these were the most popular colors and the ones that in the end really looked the best.

Proving that black is the fashion world’s favorite shade, yet it need not be dull or ‘basic’, were those who opted for Ralph Rucci’s sculptural, architectural and clean designs. Amongst those fashion pros that went this route were Cathy Horyn who selected a deceivingly simplistic knee length black dress with sheer insert on the top (she admitted she has a “winter weight version” of this) paired with very sensible pointy toed black flats. The consistently turned out New York Times fashion scribe, who almost always wears black (and seems to favor Rucci in her personal wardrobe), looked chic, intellectual, and unfussy, and was so subdued that she could have easily come straight from her offices which are just a few blocks west of the library.

Who else? Neiman Marcus’s Joan Kaner, Ralph Rucci’s original ‘biggest’ fan, looking slender and wonderful in long slim Ralph; Harper’s Bazaar’s Glenda Bailey who I must say, made a wise and offbeat choice with her feather trimmed ballet length a line full skirted dress (I love the idea of volume these days); Ebay’s Fashion Director Constance White, who wore a fantastic off the shoulder long gown accessorized with a hit of color in the form of a geometric elongated clutch bag purchased on- you guessed it- Ebay. By the way, Martha Stewart was in the Ralph Rucci entourage, looking relaxed and very chic in the designer’s signature white satin sculptural jacket paired with slim black pants (which made her long legs look even longer), and high heeled Manolo Blahnik sandals which she proclaimed to be very “comfortable”. It should be noted that she wore Mr. Rucci’s designs to court every day several months ago.

Black was also the color of choice for People Magazine’s Fashion Director - Susan Kaufman, who selected a simple strapless black dress from furrier J. Mendel. He is now designing ready to wear and told me he will stage his next show at the Bryant Park Tents. And just a note, I asked furrier Dennis Basso who was mingling in the crowd, if he too would follow suit, and he admitted that ready to wear is in his future plans.

Speaking of black, and furs, Allure’s Linda Wells looked elegant (if not a tad unseasonably warm) in a black gown worn with a very prominent silver fox capelet. Even though the weather was positively balmy last night (and sweltering inside, I might add), NOT to mention the fact that we are in the month of June, furs made a surprise appearance, proving they are now being seen as a year round fabric. Exemplifying this trend is furrier Adrienne Landau, a walking advertisement for her own designs, was wearing a white fox collared evening coat over her long satin gown.

As they say, opposites attract, and the polar opposite of black is white and is always a popular choice. Candy Pratts Price and Elizabeth Saltzman both effectively wore floor length and simply chic white dresses by Calvin Klein (different versions). And though Wall Street Journal’s Teri Agins told me several weeks ago that she was planning to wear something designed for her by Patrick Robinson, as soon as I saw her sexy, long, white, form fitting dress (which perfectly showed off a well toned body), I knew it was not Mr. Robinson’s. Ms. Agins admitted she changed her mind at the last moment (a woman’s prerogative after all), and decided on this Vera Wang design.

If black and white is popular, the combination of the two is always a fashion insider’s favorite. Vogue’s Anna Wintour (who normally shows up early at these events, but came on the late side last night) wore a form fitting black and white geometric top paired with a molded black floor length ‘mermaid’ skirt from the house of Chanel. Though she looked perfectly fine - was flawlessly groomed, as always, and accompanied by Shelby Bryan, I was somehow not ‘blown away’ by the choice. I don’t know, maybe I expect too much and want to be ‘wowed’ by this editor all the time!!!

Vanity Fair’s Amy Fine Collins, one of the most consistently dressed editors (she only wears Beene), was in Geoffrey’s black and white polka dot lean and clean design (which she guessed was from 1998). Another ‘Best Dressed’ Vanity Fair editor - Anne McNally, was in Carolina Herrera’s floor length white gown accented with red and white straps.

Editors who were dressed (down) in ‘support’ of honoree Miuccia Prada were WWD’s Executive Editor, Bridget Foley, in a simple knee length pale satin Prada dress over which she threw a Marc Jacobs cashmere cardigan, as well as The Washington Post’s Fashion Editor, Robin Givhan, who wore a sweet pale cartridge pleated knee length dress WITHOUT the python belt it came with (she told me was going to personally “apologize” to Miuccia when she saw her).

But proving that nothing but nothing stands out in a crowd quite like red, was Marie Claire’s Fashion Director, Lucy Sykes, alluring with her hair piled up in a chic ‘do’ and clad in a sexy Tom Ford for YSL fire engine red gown. By the way, this was also the color of choice for new mom model Heidi Klum, who had the paparazzi going crazy when she arrived with boyfriend, singer Seal. And what would a fashion event be without Sarah Jessica Parker, who was there to pick up her Fashion Icon Award? She is obviously in a ballet mode these days (her latest fashion statements have seemed very ballerina-like…perhaps because of her “Sex and the City” on screen love affair with Baryshnikov?) Last night, she continued the trend with a red corset top that was traced with black lace and worn with a long and very full black tulle ‘tutu’.

- Marilyn Kirschner, editor-in-chief

DFR: Daily Fashion Report