CFDA Awards Show Gets Casual Addition

Next month's 2006 CFDA Fashion Awards will be an "Upstairs, Downstairs" affair.

NEW YORK — Next month’s 2006 CFDA Fashion Awards will be an “Upstairs, Downstairs” affair.

In addition to the dinner and awards ceremony at the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum on June 5, there will be a simultaneous but separate party at the library’s Astor Hall called “Upstairs at the Li­brary Hosted by Swarovski.” The upstairs party will allow 300 more guests to attend that night. The seated ceremony and dinner accommodate 460.

“This is something the CFDA has wanted to do for a while, to expand the event to provide more opportunity for people to attend it,” said Steven Kolb, CFDA’s executive director.

The upstairs party will have a more casual feel. Guests will move around freely, DJs will spin tunes and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Guests will be able to watch the awards live on plasma screens. KCD, a public relations firm and the event’s organizer, plans to decorate Astor Hall as a garden party with original seats from Bryant Park and floral touches, including a piece designer Tord Boontje is creating from laser-cut flowers and Swarovski crystals.

“Our focus was, how do we engage people who aren’t invited to sit downstairs or couldn’t afford to sit downstairs, so we came up with a host committee,” he said, adding the committee has drawn up an invitation list. Those who are invited can purchase a ticket to the party for $250. The committee consists of designer Derek Lam and his partner, Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann; Jane Mayle; Rafe Totengco; Anthony Camargo and Nak Armstrong of Anthony Nak; Dean Harris, Cindy Greene and Johnston Hartig of Libertine; socialites Allison Sarofim, Victoria Traina, Lauren Davis and Kate Schelter; models Maria Carla Bosconi and Gabriel Aubry, and editors Treena Lombardo of W, Sylvana Soto-Ward of Vogue, Brian Coats of GQ, Kate Lanphear of Harper’s Bazaar and Joann Pailey of Elle.

The awards are underwritten by Swarovski, which also sponsors that night’s Perry Ellis Awards for emerging talent.

This story first appeared in the May 17, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.