Around Town: Fashion Group International Night of Stars

Jessica Biel  Giambattista Valli
Photo: Getty Images
Jessica Biel and Giambattista Valli.

“When I think of Giambattista Valli, I think of vodka, pickles, caviar and pearls,” Jessica Biel told the crowd at Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars on October 27, where the designer received a Star award.

The actress recalled “breathlessly” watching the clothes on Valli’s runway in 2008, when she first attended one of his Paris shows. “Afterwards at Caviar Kaspia, we dined on the most delicious vodka and pickles I have ever tasted, and I tried caviar for the first time,” Biel said, adding that she was both intimidated and awed by the designer, who was dressed simply and accessorized with one strand of enormous pearls.

She recited some of Valli’s career highlights, including his first couture collection last July, from which Biel chose her gown for the FGI bash at NYC’s Cipriani Wall Street.

“Now thinking back to our first night in Paris, Giamba, I have a confession: I really hated that caviar,” she said to much laughter. “But I loved you,” she added. “And I’m very proud to consider myself a Valli girl.”

After accepting his award, the two posed for photos—and it was a while before Valli realized he was standing on Biel’s dress. “Oops,” he laughed, jumping off. “It’s my fault.”

The event’s other honorees included Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Francois Nars, Wanda Ferragamo and Theory’s Andrew Rosen. David Lauren sweetly presented his new wife Lauren Bush with the Humanitarian award for her Feed project.

Upon taking the stage to pick up his award, Raf Simons confessed to being nervous. “I just have to close my jacket because I saw that my tie, which I normally never wear, was dipping in lamb sauce,” he said to the crowd's amusement. Simons cited Jil Sander, Martin Margiela, Pablo Picasso, Balenciaga, Stephen Sprouse, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent among his inspirations. He also gave special thanks to Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli for believing in him and giving him the design job at Jil Sander.

Daphne Guinness, whose incredible clothing is currently on exhibit at the Museum at FIT, received a Fashion Provocateur award. Valerie Steele, the museum’s director, told us that the show is very popular. “A lot of people are coming, lots of young people, and they’re very enthusiastic,” Steele said. “The sign-in book is amazing. Everybody’s writing, ‘Daphne we love you.’ ‘You’re such an incredible inspiration.’ And ‘Thank you, thank you, Daphne!’”