It was, to put it mildly, “The Night Of Giorgio Armani”, at last night’s (Thursday, October 28th) 21st Annual Night Of Stars galaextravaganza, held at the posh Cipriani 42nd Street. The Fashion Group International did a super job in putting on the sumptuous cocktails, dinner and award event, hosted by Barney’s own Simon Doonan, and dubbed “The Conceptualists, Imagineers Of Our Time”.

Sponsors and patrons representing big names such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Elle, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Hearst, Tiffany, Target and the like lent their support and added lots of cachet to the evening, which had a definite je ne sais quoi “Fashion Oscars” aura, evidenced in large part by all of the fashion “stars” who showed up in some of the most lavishly elegant attire we’ve seen in New York City in a long time.

A larger than life, packed house paid homage to Armani, evidenced not only by the multitude of style femmes who showed up in his gowns, but also via the Superstar Award, presented to Armani by Michelle Pfeiffer and Martin Scorcese. Pfeiffer, in a splendid Armani gown and coat ensemble, walked the red carpet with the designer. Scorcese, who obviously believes his own press, arrived with a multitude of handlers, who never left his side.

Award nods aside from Armani went to luminaries in the fashion, retail and architecture fields. Chanel’s Jean H. Zimmerman received The Corporate Stargazer award from Allure’s Linda Wells. Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs and Helmut Lang were presented with Star Honorees in Fashion & Design awards by Kate Hudson, Lil’ Kim and Interview’s Ingrid Sischy. Pamela Fiori received The Fashion Oracle award from Fred Wilson and Billie Tsien was feted with the Architecture award, presented by Gretchen Mol. Target Corp. received its Humanitarian Award, from a smashing-looking Julie Andrews (the 70-something actress looked younger than springtime in cropped hair and a mannish black pantsuit).

Along with the de rigeur models (many of whom sported longer than long gowns, vintage and new fur capes and stoles and big, deluxe jewels) the celebs were out in full force. Seen being photographed by the mob of paparazzi on the red carpet and out on the street … Kate Hudson wearing Stella McCartney; Eva “Desperate Housewives” Longeria, decked out in Bradley Bayou for Halston’s sterling silver beaded gown, showing up with a big, body-builder type; a sophisticated and grown-up Chloe Sevigny wearing Lanvin; Pierre Cardin; Oleg Cassini (the famed, 91-year-old designer showed up with a young blonde on his arm); Heidi Klume in a barely-there black Armani gown still together with Seal; Elsa Klensch, looking stylish and fresh in a long, fitted purple velvet coat and black pants; a very pregnant Kate Spade in a totally revealing, short black dress with high, cuffed Robin Hood boots

Celebs and models aside, we couldn’t help but notice a totally cool woman at the cocktail party, casually sipping champagne with an elegant silver-haired gentleman. When this reporter asked who she was and what she was wearing, she replied, “I’m a social worker and I’m wearing a beaded gown, turquoise jewelry, Lance Armstrong and Cancer Care yellow and blue rubber bracelets and blue cowboy boots, because I just can’t wear those heels anymore.”

–Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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