She mounted the paparazzi-clogged steps and swept into Astor Hall just as 420 guests — who had already spent an hour sweating through cocktails and a two-hour dinner — were making their way to the main event, the presentation of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards in a supper club-style theater downstairs.
But if the venue was reminiscent of dinner theater, the goings-on at times were more akin to a comedy strip club. Forget long-winded speeches and staid moments; this year’s CFDA Awards had enough X-rated, riotous scenes to keep the industry buzzing for months.
And while the night might have belonged to others — Donna Karan, Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera, Sean Combs, Sarah Jessica Parker and Fantasia Barrino among them — no one held a candle to Beyoncé when it came to serving as a personal metaphor for the evening, themed around the city of New York at twilight. Wearing a shiny yellow stretch silk satin gown designed by her mother, Tina Knowles, and capped with a silver broach, she looked like a taxicab complete with medallion.
Just about everyone tried to flag her down.
“This is my first time here and it’s just amazing,” said the 22-year-old actress, singer and fashion entrepreneur, until her mother tut-tutted her, reminding Knowles of the days when she fronted Destiny’s Child and performed at the awards when they were held at Lincoln Center.
But that was back in 2000, and these days, Knowles is busy filming “The Pink Panther” and coming up with a name for the collection she and mom are creating with Kids Headquarters, having recently discovered their original name, A Touch of Couture, was a tad off-base.
“Hopefully, one day my mother and I will be up here winning an award,” she said.
That’s the great thing about New York — anything here is possible — and that certainly played out over the course of five hours as the CFDA led what felt like a double-decker bus tour through every neighborhood in Manhattan, plus a couple of neighboring boroughs.