CFDA Fashion Awards 2011: The Party

Keegan Singh, Guinevere van Seenus, Eddie Borgo
Photo: Getty Images
Keegan Singh, Guinevere van Seenus, and Eddie Borgo at the CFDA cocktail party.

If you’re judging by glam quotient alone, the Met gala may be the Oscars of fashion—but then the CFDA Fashion Awards is the SAGs. Every designer hailing from the five boroughs, and then some, congregated in Alice Tulley Hall at Lincoln Center for the awards, as voted by a nominating committee of their peers.

If it sounds like a lot of pressure for the nominees and honorees, it is.

“I’ve had a couple of drinks—my plan is to drink as much as I can, and hopefully the nervousness will go away!” laughed Alejandro Ingelmo, a nominee for the Swarovski Award for Accessories, as he clutched his champagne flute. “It’s a big day! This is one of the most important times of the year.” For Ingelmo, a particularly big day: The shoe designer also launched e-commerce on Monday.

Not all the attendees had reason to worry, though.

“Last time I was here, I got an award!” remembered Olivier Theyskens. “It was a long time ago, 2006 or something—the International Award. I remember I was very impressed by this organization, and the way the community gets together and supports new designers. You don’t have this in Paris!”

Of course, Theyskens would no longer be eligible for the International Award—the Belgian designer has relocated to New York, where he now heads up Theory. “It’s an amazing experience for me,” he said of the new gig. “The other day in the street I saw three girls wearing my stuff—and they were all so cool! I never had that before!”

The topic of the night at the cocktail hour—aside from Alessandra Ambrosio’s late entrance in a drop-dead gorgeous backless Prabal Gurung number—was who would come out victors of the evening.

“I think Proenza Schouler [will win],” guessed Doutzen Kroes (spoiler alert: spot on!), who looked stunning in crimson J. Mendel resort 2012—a collection that hasn’t even been shown yet. “And Alexander Wang—he’s had so much attention and everything, but I still like him!” (Bookies could do worse than to bet on Wang, who was nominated for a whopping three awards; he took home he Accessory Designer of the Year prize.)

Rebecca Minkoff’s picks? “I need [Eddie] Borgo to win,” she said. “I love him and he deserves it.” (And he did in fact win.)

Whatever the outcome, the evening was a sure success—after all, where else but the CFDAs could you ever find Grace Coddington, Kirsten Dunst, and Lady Gaga all in one room?

Check out the full list of CFDA Fashion Award winners and honorees here.