On Monday night in New York, the Council of Fashion Designers of America held their annual awards ceremony celebrating the best of the best in American fashion, as chosen by the biggest players in the industry (Diane von Furstenberg is president of the organization, which was founded by famed fashion and arts publicist Eleanor Lambert in 1963).
The Lincoln Center-held festivities (which were underwritten by Swarovski) were attended by style's usual suspects (models Miranda Kerr, Erin Wasson and Karlie Kloss were there; as was stylist and Bravo star Brad Goreski, blogger Leandra "The Man Repeller" Medine and designers Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors — among many others). A handful of somewhat unexpected personalities turned out, too (Hillary Clinton bestowed Oscar de la Renta with his Founders Award wearing a requisite pants suite). But one crew that came out to support the "Oscars" of American fashion in droves was, of course, Hollywood (costume designer Colleen Atwood, an actual Oscar winner, was honored with a Board of Directors' Tribute Award).
Actresses including Jessica Chastain, Rooney Mara, Hailee Steinfeld and Mad Men's Linda Cardellini were just a smattering of big and small screen stars who supported the people who dress them. Some sported looks that perfectly fit in with the evening's slightly off-beat, low-key modern elegance (Greta Gerwig in a crisp, white pantsuit and Chastain in a plain Givenchy cocktail sheath, included). While others went against the sophisticated, minimalist dress code that seems to have become standard at these things (Sofia Vergara's emerald green bombshell gown and big, glitzy Lorraine Schwartz jewels, for one).
But regardless of who rocked the night's "fashion" dress code best, designers both majorly established and those just now on their way took home top prizes. A bit of an upset occurred in the womenswear department, where Proenza Schouler snagged honors away from the more boldfaced Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs, respectively. And the new Balenciaga frontman got shut out in the accessory design category, too — losing to Phillip Lim, whose bags aren't quite yet as easily recognizable as the more mass (but equally as expensive) slouchy leather designs from Wang's studio.
But where you could really see what makes American fashion great — that is, a classic ability to mix, match and rule break as much as possible — was in both of the ceremony's menswear categories. From Menswear Designer of the Year Thom Browne's gentlemanly goods that have helped usher our current era of men dressing like men to the Brooklyn-appropriate, street-infused vibe from Swarovski Emerging Menswear Talent winner Public School, the severely varying aestetics seen in the winner's circle perfectly showcased the juxtaposed coolness of why American fashion is again a force to be followed.
See the complete list of the 2013 CFDA Fashion Award winners – and who they beat out — below.
Swarovski Award for Accessory Design
Pamela Love: Won
Swarovski Award for Menswear
Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne: Won
Swarovski Awards for Womenswear
Suno’s Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis: Won
Creatures of the Wind’s Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters
Cushnie et Ochs’ Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs
Accessory Designer of the Year
Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez
Phillip Lim: Won
Menswear Designer of the Year
Thom Browne: Won
Duckie Brown’s Steven Cox and Daniel Silver
Womenswear Designer of the Year
Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez: Won
International Award: Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci
Media Award: Tim Blanks
Founders Award: Oscar de la Renta
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Vera Wang
Board of Directors’ Tribute Award: Costume designer Colleen Atwood