On Monday night, Gen-Art Styles 2008 was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in mid-town Manhattan. It was the 10th Annual Design Awards and Runway Show presented by the renowned arts and entertainment organization. The capacity crowd was comprised of members of the fashion press, invited guests, and ticket-buying spectators.
For the second year in a row, Robert Verdi served as the host of the evening. Verdi explained that he had been called in with only a few days notice, when someone else backed out at the last moment. He jokingly referred to himself as “everybody’s first, second choice”. Verdi went on to entertain the audience throughout the evening with his witty, and frequently off-color remarks. No one was spared as he poked fun at himself : “Botox, gas up those needles and come jack up my face” ;the audience: “fashion fags and sassy socialites” ; and celebrities such as Isaac Mizrahi and Nicole Kidman.
30 finalists competed in 6 categories: Ready-to wear, Menswear,Accessories, Avant Garde, Eveningwear, and the Fashion Vision Award for Design. Winners were determined by a distinguished panel of judges, including: Mark Ecko, Carlos Falchi, Michael Fink, Douglas Hannant, Barbara Kramer, Rebecca Weinberg, and Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann. Each finalist presented two looks from their collection during the runway show. The winner in each category was presented with a trophy (a pair of silver scissors mounted on a black cube) by Kara Saun, the first runner up of Project Runway’s season one. Sophia Bush served as a special guest presenter of the Fashion Vision Award. A total of $35,000 was awarded during the event.
The evening’s winners were:
Ready-to wear: Yujin Song, London
Menswear: Timothy Franklin, London
Accessories: NINAKI, Los Angeles
Avant Garde: Marie Potesta, San Francisco.
Fashion Vision Award for Design: Jolibe, New York
Eveningwear: Louisa Parriss, San Francisco.
When all the awards had been handed out, it was time to celebrate. Mr. Verdi closed the evening, reminding everyone that there would be an open bar at the after party, which was held in the ballroom. Within minutes the chairs were cleared away and guests began to mingle, each one was carrying a goody bag filled with gifts from Tone, Ecru, Sonu, and other sponsors, and a Botox bubble umbrella.