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Braving the Elements

Stormy weather on a Sunday night is usually a foulproof escape plan, but designers were out in force.

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen

Photo By Steve Eichner

Stormy weather on a Sunday night is usually a foolproof escape plan, but designers were out in force for the Top of the Rock dinner honoring this year’s CFDA fashion award nominees and honorees.

“I have the longest name,” CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg told the handler searching for her table number. “And I have the shortest,” offered Steven Kolb.

Well-known names like Pierre Cardin, Robert Lee Morris, Arnold Scaasi and Francisco Costa mingled with such rising stars as Derek Lam, Thakoon Panchigul, Philip Lim, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, Doo-Ri Chung and Maria Cornejo, who likened the occasion to a prom.

Even getting stuck in the elevator during dinner didn’t dampen Ashley Olsen’s spirits. “We definitely know a lot more people now. This is a great thing to be part of,” said Olsen who, along with sister Mary-Kate, has launched their own designer collection. Like some of the others working the room, the Olsens -— who cohosted the Top of the Rock shindig with Nadja Swarovski — handled their own product placement. Just in from Los Angeles, Ashley Olsen said of her black skinny jeans and oversized white blazer from The Row, “It’s a sample I had in my suitcase.”

When Panchigul told the pair how he is obsessed with The Row and urged them to do a men’s line, they said a capsule collection was already set to go for fall. “We’ll send you some shirts,” Ashley Olsen said enthusiastically.