The CFDA Fashion Awards are an important stop on the fashion calendar. Falling halfway between the two key seasons of the year, Spring and Fall, the awards provide a showcase for fashion talent to go out on parade, bring along their favorite celebrities dressed in their creations (of course) and remind everyone to go shopping. Last night, it was thrilling to see newcomers Public School’s Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow pick up the award for Menswear Designer of the Year. Their street-started, thrilling looks are pure New York.
New York fashion is different to the notion of American fashion, which always feels too grown up and too sensible, for the truly fashionable. The traditional, born-in-the-1970s idea of American fashion conjures up imagery of flared trousers, cashmere wraps and gold-plated accessories, or preppy golf shirts and chinos. Neither ensemble is hot, nor representative of what people actually wear in New York, now. Come fashion week, the New York shows and surrounding lobbies, coffee shops and side streets are jammed not just with writers hot for the latest runway trends but with international reporters and bloggers desperate to see what the locals are actually wearing. New York fashion editors have such aplomb. They breeze about in their own interpretations of runway fashions mixed with a personal style only this city can nurture.
It is the uniqueness of New York style, which pulls in the shoppers of the world. Sure, they come seeking the most famous brands but what they really want to see is some pure American glamour. The CFDAs are a mid-season celebration of this, last night’s award ceremony was gloriously glam, from Lupita Nyong’o stepping out super-style in Suno, to reliable Rhianna, all the glamour points were covered. Congratulations to all.
Womenswear Designer of the Year: Joseph Altuzarra
Menswear Designer of the Year: Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow for Public School
Accessory Designer of the Year: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for The Row
Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters for Creatures of the Wind
Swarovski Award for Menswear: Tim Coppens
Swarovski Award for Accessory Design: Irene Neuwirth
Geoffrey Been Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Ford
Media Award: Paul Cavaco
Founders Award: Bethann Hardison
Board of Director’s Tribute: Ruth Finley
International Award: Raf Simons