Though Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne and Philip Lim were the big winners of the night at the 2013 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards, all eyes were on the highly anticipated presenter, Hillary Clinton. The former Secretary of State joined fashion’s elite at Lincoln Center in New York City to present the Founder's Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert to famed designer, Oscar de la Renta, thanking her “dear friend” for his “life and work” along with a “great immigration story” from the Dominican Republic.
De la Renta accepted the award from Clinton after she recalled the first time they met in 1993, and the 80-year-old designer said what many in the room at Alice Tully Hall had on their minds; "She might not like me to say this,” he said, “but I think she’s going to be our next president." Andy Cohen hosted the fete and poked fun at Clinton, joking that television network Bravo should make a “Project Pantsuit” show about the former First Lady. Designer and CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg got a little political during her speech, too, as she pleaded for the U.S. to strengthen domestic manufacturing efforts in the country in the wake of the Bangladeshi factory collapse.
Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy who was awarded the International Award by actress Jessica Chastain called it a “dream come true … to be recognized in America” as an Italian designer. Meanwhile, Vera Wang accepted the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award from her former boss, Ralph Lauren, taking a moment to thank all lovers of her brand. "To all the women and men I have dressed, thank you for your trust," she said.
Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler won the top honor of the night for Womenswear Designer of the Year, beating out the likes of Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang. Thom Browne, who was clad in shorts for the event, took home the Menswear Designer of the Year, while Philip Lim won the Accessories Design award. The big awards of the night were presented by Kerry Washington in a yellow Jason Wu gown, “Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens and Rose Byrne in Thakoon, respectively.
For the Swarvoski awards, Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of Suno, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School and jewelry designer Pamela Love went home victorious. “True Grit” actress Hailee Steinfeld dressed in Suno and actor Douglas Booth presented all three awards underwritten by Swarvoski.
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And, of course, the fashion pack was not missing from the red carpet. Francisco Costa and Rooney Mara in a black Calvin Klein dress arrived together, Karolina Kurkova was escorted and dressed by Michael Kors, Zac Posen brought Juliette Lewis in his designs, and Alexander Wang arrived with Erin Wasson in a white dress from his Spring 2013 collection. Sofia Vergara attended with Lorraine Schwartz, wearing the designer’s jewelry and a green Herve L. Leroux gown.
Other attendees included: artist Marina Abramović in Givenchy, Nicole Richie in a sexy Marc Jacobs number, Elizabeth Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen sans sister Ashley, Olivia Palermo in Dennis Basso and 17-year-old model and daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, Ireland Baldwin in David Meister. Fellow models like Linda Evangelista in Oscar de la Renta, Joan Smalls and Adriana Lima both wearing Givenchy, Miranda Kerr in Proenza Schouler, Jessica Stam in Rebecca Minkoff, Karlie Kloss in Cushnie et Ochs, Cody Horn in Michael Kors, Alessandra Ambrosio in Kaufmanfranco and Hilary Rhoda wearing Helmut Lang also attended.
View the slideshow to see photos from the red carpet at the 2013 CFDA Awards.