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June 11, 2008 3:33 AM

Eye, Fashion

This Year's CFDA Awards: A Post-Mortem

As the fashion equivalent of the Oscars, the CFDA Fashion Awards should be the ne plus ultra in fashion moments, but last week's ceremony got off to a tricky start. Once the celebrities, designers and other industry types walked by...

As the fashion equivalent of the Oscars, the CFDA Fashion Awards should be the ne plus ultra in fashion moments, but last week's ceremony got off to a tricky start. Once the celebrities, designers and other industry types walked by the row of photographers (to shouts of  "Eva, Eva, Eva," "Naomi," and "Posh, look here"), the crowd congregated in a patio area behind the New York Public Library for cocktails. The problem? The floor was made up of slats, which, for  for this crowd meant dozens of stuck Manolo, Choo and Louboutin heels.


Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria
photo by Steve Eichner
Maybe there's a fashion jinx, but something always seems to go a little haywire with this big industry shindig, from the lengthy ceremony (that at least once pushed well beyond midnight) to spotty food service and the awkward moment last year when emcee Ellen Barkin muddled up her Designer of the Year presentation and forgot to mention that Proenza Schouler was tied with Oscar de la Renta (causing a very uncomfortable moment in the audience -- not unlike watching one of those awkward scenes in The Office).

When this year's awards started going, the crowd sat stone-faced through much of the presentation, which at times was amusing, and touching. There was Diane von Furstenberg's heartfelt words about Yves Saint Laurent, who had died the night before; Fran Lebowitz's drier-than-dry humor that seemed to escape the fashion folk, and Amy Poehler and Tina Fey's smart dialogue about accessories, offering the ultimate fashion fantasy -- a Marc for Marc Jacobs sandwich  for Dean & Deluca with bread by Isaac Mizrahi for Pepperidge Farms. In the end, it all does come down to food, after all. For a lot that prides itself on not eating, they were getting quite antsy with the slow kitchen at the Bryant Park Grill. "You bet I am leaving, I am hungry," Marc Jacobs told me, as he squeezed himself by my table to say a few words to Naomi Campbell, who was sitting a few seats further down.

Maybe Michael Kors had a point while reflecting on the night during a resort appointment the morning after. "Fashion people eat junk food," he said.

How about burgers and fries next year? I would love to hear suggestions on improving the night.
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