Over 300 guests descended on the tip of Manhattan to celebrate Fashion Group International’s annual Night of Stars at Cipriani South Street. Now in its 38th year – the nonprofit annual gala awards creative visionaries in the fashion and beauty industries from around the globe. Play a video of the event.
Underwritten by Hearst, the event’s proceeds will support the nonprofit’s goals to connect and uplift those in the fashion and beauty industries through business resources, mentorship programs, philanthropy, and more.
“From the beginning, Fashion Group International has always nurtured and celebrated professional excellence and outstanding achievement in our field. It is our honor to gather our peers, members, and supporters to recognize this year’s FGI Night of Stars honorees, each a stand-out artist and an icon using their platform to create, inspire, and effect change.”:Maryanne Grisz, President, Fashion Group International
The 2022 “Artists and Icons” themed event included red carpet arrivals, a lively cocktail hour hosted by Frederick Anderson, FGI Rising Star Womenswear Winner 2022, a seated dinner, and an awards ceremony. The Misshapes provided music. The boneless short ribs and Chilean Sea Bass were great, but nothing could compare with the chocolate soufflé with Chantilly cream.
The big news of the evening is that Michael Kors, recipient of the Superstar Award, was a no-show at the last minute because he has Covid. It’s a reminder that we are not done with this virus yet. While Kors was not there, Lance LePere, his husband, was, and so were several of his dresses.
Adut Aketch looked terrific in a body-conscious white Kors cutout dress, Linda Fargo looked svelte in black, and Iman, there to present Michael’s award at the end of the evening, looked every inch the icon in a silver Kors gown with train.
During her speech, Iman spoke about Michael’s storied career and noted that she modeled in Michael’s first runway show. And then she joked that all the evening’s “Icons” (in other words, the old folks) read their acceptance speeches from paper while the young guns read their speeches from their phones.
Huma Abedin, who presented Gurung with his award, looked stunning in the designer’s long beaded gown. She hailed Gurung’s passion,” “radical empathy,” and “bold, introspective, powerful and liberating designs.” Part of Prabal’s magic is his East, West approach.” Most importantly, Prabal has never forgotten where he came from.
Coincidentally, in his acceptance speech, Prabal Gurung, this year’s Humanitarian Award honoree, admitted to being overwhelmed and didn’t feel he deserved such a “big title and a bigger award.” The designer considered not showing up last night and using Covid as an excuse. I assume he wrote this before finding out about Michael’s diagnosis. Meanwhile, Gurung’s speech was so long a musical interlude was used to cut him short. It didn’t work. He kept talking.
Later, when Dionne Warwick, recipient of the Trailblazer Award, stepped on the podium, she first said that music could never cut her off and that what happened to Prabal is the rudest thing she’d ever witnessed. “You don’t do that to a human being,” the legendary 82-year-old singer promised to keep her comments short and sweet. And she did.
Warwick, who joked that this past month is the “Month of Warwick,” noted that she doesn’t think of herself as a trailblazer but is a “flat-out nosey person.” For the record, I am a longtime fan of the six-time Grammy Award winner since the 60s. I was thrilled to meet Warwick, and I told her so.
Rebecca Hessel Cohen, the founder of LoveShackFancy and recipient of the Retail Award, rambled on too long with her acceptance speech. You would think she won the Nobel Peace Prize. However, Cohen’s presenter, Candace Bushnell, was delightful.
A vision in pink, Bushnell talked about her love of pink and her love of the girlie “magical brand” known for promoting the “power of pink.” “Anything can happen. Maybe I can even meet Mr. Big again,” she joked.
To present Christian Siriano with the Fashion Star Award, Mariska Hargitay observed that Siriano had reset the fashion industry’s norms with a brand that welcomes everyone. Siriano was the first to use plus-sized models on the runway; he was one of the first designers to produce those all-important masks for front-line workers at the outset of Covid. And who could forget the tuxedo ballgown Siriano created for Billy Porter to wear to the 2019 Academy Awards?
FYI, FGI President Maryanne Grisz was wearing a white asymmetrically draped dress by Siriano, which she acknowledged during her welcoming address. For his part, Siriano was animated and quick and to the point when he took to the stage. “You have to work hard and hustle to stay relevant,” he observed. “You can’t be everything to everyone. If you could be something to someone, that’s all that matters in the end,” he noted.
Sharon Chuter, the founder of UOMA Beauty, received the Beauty Award from Sir John, who referred to her as “beauty royalty.” Chuter said she doesn’t deserve that title “I’m just a little girl from Nigeria. But if Sir John says I am “beauty royalty,” I will take it.” “The greatest thing is the planet, not any of us. Sharon ended with this thought: “Beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder. It’s whatever you say it is.”
Deepak Chopra presented the Humanitarian Award to Ilaria Resta of Firmenich. He noted that Beauty is health and thanked Ilaria for saving our environment for future generations. Resta took a page from Chopra’s continual desire to make “the right choices” in her speech. “Let’s make the right choices starting now,” she said.
The late Elvis Presley won the Fashion Oracle Award. It is fitting, considering the buzz around Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” and numerous fashion collections tapping the legendary musician for inspiration in the free-spirited new age of menswear. Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner, Elvis Presley Enterprises, accepted on his behalf.
The presenter was Andy Hilfiger, who said that growing up, he and his siblings (Tommy included) were driven by music. He noted that Elvis would be 87 years old this year and lives on today. “He had the greatest style; ahead of his time but more relevant than ever.”
Joel Weinshanker called 2022 The Year of Elvis. EP was a pioneer of self-expression. His influence on pop culture and the world is unrivaled. Joel remarked that while Elvis preferred dressing in a simple classic style during the day on stage, he loved being as flashy as possible.
Speaking of being flashy, unsurprisingly, there was a lot of razzle-dazzle, glitz, and glamour on both the guys and the gals at last night’s event. Constance White, wearing Byron Lars’s sporty glittery jumpsuit and rainbow-striped Converse sneakers, sums up the idea that anything goes.
My award for the most appropriately dressed guest, given the torrential rain that swept through the city, goes to stylist Holly Katz who wore a red dress made from a waterproof nylon fabric customarily used for tents. It is from the CALVIN KLEIN 205W39 spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection designed by Raf Simons.
Cipriani South Street is a beautiful grand historic building and an excellent venue but not an ideal location for a rainy evening like last night. Finding one’s Uber backed up on the FDR Drive in a crush of hundreds proved challenging to say the least. Meanwhile, everyone left with an umbrella and a large black leather tote bag filled with goodies. Ironically, the bag is from London Fog, known for its raincoats.
There was Kiehl’s Rejuvenating Facial Essence, an Apricot Tea aromatic candle from Nest, a 30 Piece Rose Gold Brush Set from Luxie, an assortment of eye shadows from UOMA, Estee Lauder’s Blushing Sand fragrance, a Fekkai calming hydrating mask and a copy of Elle with Gisele on the October 2022 cover. Perhaps my favorite gift is Michael Kors’s cool mirrored aviator sunglasses. A reminder that the sun will shine again!
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