NEW YORK — When it comes to career advice, trust Simon Doonan to deliver it with abundant humor.
“Think of me as a gay male version of Maggie Smith’s character in ‘Downton Abbey,’” Doonan said in his keynote speech at Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards Tuesday. Like the Dowager Countess of Grantham, his quips came with the right timing to add a necessary lightness to the lengthy luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street.
“When you become established, do not make the mistake, as many designers do, of giving away free frocks to overpaid movie actors,” he told the crowd, which included Graziano de Boni, Hal Rubenstein, Ruffian’s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, Steven Stolman, Amy Astley and Mickey Ateyeh. “Celebrities are very high-maintenance and should be forced to pay 10 percent more than regular people. That’s the celebrity surcharge.”
He also said, “Make sure your star is on a dimmer, so that you can adjust it and give the rest of us an occasional break from your blinding, twinkling fabulosity.”
And that was just a sampling. Whether or not the winners in the nine categories took Doonan’s wisdom to heart remains to be seen, but at least they got to have a good chuckle.
In women’s ready-to-wear, this year’s winner was Giovanna Randall of Honor; in men’s wear, it was a tie between Ian Velardi and Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. The latter’s heartfelt acceptance speech touched many of the guests. “I want to thank my girlfriend for letting me max out all our credit cards,” Jean-Raymond said. “Chase, American Express, Capital One, every other credit union.”
He promised to get her a ring when all are paid off.
The accessories award was a tie between Edmundo Castillo, who has been designing shoes for more than a decade, and Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa. The fine jewelry award went to Margery Hirschey and retail to Rachel Shechtman of Story. Michael Preysman of Everlane took home the Karen Harvey Business Innovator Award.
Fashion Group’s beauty/fragrance entrepreneur trophy went to Belle Fleur’s Tony Perez and Meredith Waga; the beauty/fragrance corporate trophy was given to Ruhi Patil of International Flavors & Fragrances.
Finally, Anna Karlin won in the home/interior design category.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)