Stormy weather on a Sunday night is usually a foolproof escape plan, but designers were out in force for the Top of the Rock dinner celebrating this year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America fashion award nominees and honorees.
“I have the longest name,” CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg told the handler searching for her table number. “And I have the shortest,” offered Steven Kolb.
Well-known names like Pierre Cardin, Robert Lee Morris, Arnold Scaasi and Francisco Costa mingled with such rising stars as Derek Lam, Thakoon Panichgul, Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, Doo.Ri’s Doo-Ri Chung and Maria Cornejo, who likened the occasion to a prom.
Even getting stuck in the elevator during dinner didn’t dampen Ashley Olsen’s spirits. “We definitely know a lot more people now. This is a great thing to be part of,” said Olsen, who, with sister Mary-Kate, has launched a designer collection and cohosted the shindig with Nadja Swarovski. Like some of the others working the room, Ashley Olsen handled her own product placement. Just in from Los Angeles, she said her black skinny jeans and oversize white blazer were “a sample I had in my suitcase.”
When Panchigul told the pair he was obsessed with the sisters’ other line, The Row, and urged them to do a men’s line, they said a capsule collection was already set to go for fall. “We’ll send you some shirts,” Ashley Olsen said enthusiastically.
At 87, Pierre Cardin shared their zest. “This is a big event. I am very happy they are giving me this honor,” said Cardin, who received the first International Designer award. “I have won a lot of honors — and I’m not so young, as you can see. To receive this at this time in my life is a real honor.”
In the U.S. for the first time in two years, he had no reason to create an excuse. “I have made more than 100 trips to America. There is not the Concorde anymore.”