The party following the CFDA Awards was always going to be crowded. Unlike after the Costume Institute gala, when there was a marathon of after parties, the Top of the Standard was the only game in town on Monday night.
But crowded doesn’t begin to capture the scene there. Shortly after the ceremony ended at Alice Tully Hall, an armada of people descended on the Boom Boom Room. It wasn’t just designers and their dates but also their dates’ dates and each of their publicists and myriad flunkies and hangers-on and seemingly anyone who needed a place to knock back a few flutes of Champagne on a rainy New York night.
Even Jude Law was there. He popped over after the premiere of his new movie “Spy” and was holding court in one of the booths overlooking the bar like he’d just won the Fashion Icon Award (sorry, Jude, that went to Pharrell). Another incongruous figure floating around was singer-songwriter Ed Droste of the band Grizzly Bear. Take note, party-crashers: When the CFDA and Refinery29 host a party, it seems everyone’s invited.
Those who did have a genuine tie to the industry mainly kept to their booths. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino consorted in one corner with compatriots Franca Sozzani and the actress Valeria Golino. Not too far away, Alexander Wang was surrounded by a posse of models, including Anna Ewers, who puffed away on a cigarette until told to stop by a waitress. Lazaro Hernandez, Jack McCollough and the singer Grimes were posted near the entrance, as if ready to bolt, while Juliette Lewis and Christian Siriano took in the melee from their perch.
For the actors in attendance, like January Jones, Jemima Kirke and Michelle Monaghan, the so-called Oscars of Fashion are a rare opportunity to get decked out in free designer goods without the pressure of an acceptance speech.
“You don’t have the usual stress of other awards shows,” Monaghan said. There were some moments she’s unlikely to see at the Emmys anytime soon. “My favorite part was watching Betsey Johnson be Betsey Johnson,” she said. “She puts us all to shame.”
The designer, splayed out in her booth, was still incredulous she was honored by the CFDA at all.
“It’s the real establishment,” Johnson said of her Lifetime Achievement Award. “I just never put that much time and energy into that stuff. I was just into my company and my work and another pink store. I’m very thrown by this.” Mostly, she was pleased her granddaughters, ages 7 and 9, came along with her to the show. “They don’t like to go to fashion things. But when they heard they could meet Pharrell? Oh my God. You couldn’t keep them away,” she said.
All-night ragers may be typical following most awards shows, in Hollywood anyway, but this year’s CFDAs were comparatively subdued. Maybe it was the long ceremony or the congestion earlier or that you couldn’t smoke outside because of the weather, but by 12:30 a.m., many were calling it quits.
Even the Italians, Chiuri and Piccioli and their entourage, were headed home.