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Journalists covering tonight’s red carpet for the CFDA Awards at New York’s Lincoln Center wondered in advance whether Kim Kardashian might be a tad miffed by today’s debut of Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair photo shoot. Scheduled to present the Media Award tonight to Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, might selfie-empress Kim (who had announced her pregnancy a day earlier) feel overshadowed by the internet-breaking release of Caitlyn’s high-profile photos? “The timing is kind of brilliant,” noted one style reporter.
With a few heartfelt quotes, Kim put the phalanx of jaded journalists in our place.
“I just think they’re all so beautiful,” Kardashian told Pret-a-Reporter of the Annie Leibovitz photos. “I was there at the shoot and helped pick the glam team — she has always asked me glam questions. I loved being a part of it and helping to make Caitlyn feel very confident.”
Wearing a sheer black ankle-length dress, studded with grommets and with puffs of ostrich feathers at the shoulders, custom-designed by Proenza Schouler, Kardashian said she opted for the look because “I wanted something slimming, obviously, something that made everything feel right in all the right places. There’s always so much to it, but I love the process.” And how is this second pregnancy going? “To be honest, I’m having the worst morning sickness, day sickness, night sickness. I can hardly get out of bed,” she said. “It’s definitely a different type of pregnancy from my first one, but I’m so grateful to even be pregnant, when we didn’t think it would ever happen. I feel like shit, but it is so worth it, and I really don’t care, I’ll get through it.”
See more CFDA Awards 2015: The Winners
Kardashian worked the tail end of the red carpet with husband Kanye West (wearing Haider Ackermann) and Pharrell Williams, who was named the 2015 Style Icon at the annual industry awards presented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Designers and celebs alike had plenty to say about Williams’ style and talent: “I love how he’s always pushing the boundaries, in every way; there aren’t a lot of artists you can say that about,” said John Varvatos, while Selma’s Carmen Ejogo noted, “It’s a hard task in this day and age to stand out, but Pharrell truly defines iconic.” And Oscar de la Renta creative director Peter Copping, a self-professed “CFDA virgin,” said he’s long been impressed with Williams’ fashion sense, ever since the pair collaborated on a sunglasses project when Copping worked at Louis Vuitton: “So really, [his success] all comes back to me,” he joked.
Make no mistake, however: Amid a sea of stunning looks — Gigi Hadid sparkled in a gold jumpsuit by Michael Kors (who also had Julianna Margulies on his arm in a sheer, long-sleeved keyhole gown from his Fall/Winter 2015 collection) and Juliette Lewis stood out in a custom crop top and feather skirt by Christian Siriano — the talk was about the former Bruce Jenner’s high-wattage Vanity Fair moment revealed earlier in the day. Yet even as a few attendees established their footing with the he/she verbiage of transgender conversations, questions about Caitlyn became so prevalent that halfway through the evening some publicists asked reporters to refrain from the topic.
Those happy to speak on the subject, however, were only enthusiastically positive. “Good for Vanity Fair for making it happen,” Copping said. “I think the choices she made were perfect; she wasn’t overstated, and hit the mark beautifully. Let’s get her in Oscar very soon.”
“She looks stunning,” remarked Nina Dobrev, gorgeous herself in a lilac metallic crop top and feather skirt by Lela Rose. Would Dobrev offer Jenner any style advice? “She doesn’t need any from me; she should trust her own opinion, and those of her daughters. She has plenty of opinions all around her.”
Rose agreed, adding that Jenner “knocked it out of the park in her first at-bat; she is such a wow. Frankly, I think she should have set the bar lower so she has room to grow for her other outings.”
Abigail Spencer (True Detective, This Is Where I Leave You) said her first reaction upon viewing Jenner’s photos was “an audible gasp, both of the beauty and of how respectful this coming-out party has been.”
Indeed, on the night that commemorates the best of American fashion, celebrating Jenner’s latest chapter undeniably imbued the proceedings with a deeper, richer layer. Upon hearing that comments about Caitlyn on the red carpet had been overwhelmingly supportive, it was Kardashian who summed it up best: “I love that everyone has been so kind and so gracious,” she said. “That’s all she really wants.”
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