NEW YORK -- Parsons's annual Fashion Critics Awards Benefit set a record Tuesday night, raising $1.2 million for scholarships.

The event drew about 2,000 people to the Marriott Marquis and honored David L. Dworkin, chief executive officer of Carter Hawley Hale, with the Parsons Award, recognizing a "major contribution to the fashion industry."

Parsons officials noted that previous events have raised $500,000 to $600,000, drawing at most 1,500 people. Cocktail hour gossip focused on what Federated Department Stores really wants from Macy's. Some people cited Bullock's on the West Coast and said this could give Federated real estate to launch Bloomingdale's in the West.

Dworkin noted some upcoming name changes at Los Angeles-based CHH. With stockholder approval, the corporate name will become Broadway Stores Inc. In addition, the Weinstock's and Emporium divisions will be renamed The Broadway, which is the name of the retailer's largest chain. The Parsons event always features a wild costume show, and this year's "Flowers Follies" was highlighted by an oversized green water lily bobbing down the runway. The real fashion show followed, featuring designs by Parsons' graduating seniors, who are guided by prominent designers, known as "the critics."

The student looks were well-executed and generally safe, salable items, such as gauze pullovers, cashmere and camel hair coats, linen jackets, and lots of neutrals, reflecting what the designers themselves have shown for fall. Somewhat more daring was a chocolate velvet robe with a see-through lace jumpsuit.

"I can't brag, but it was a really good show," said Frank Rizzo, chairman of Parsons' fashion department, who said he would recommend that part of the evening's gross be donated to AIDS research.

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