NEW YORK — The question is familiar in fashion circles: “What becomes a legend most?”
According to the Pratt Institute, it is people who are role models to their students. And so, at this year’s Pratt Legends awards, the school honored sportswear designer Cathy Hardwick, costume jeweler Kenneth Jay Lane, theater director Robert Wilson, artist James Rosenquist and architect Helmut Jahn.
“We recognize people who become legends in fields that we teach,” said Marc A. Rosen, the packaging designer who co-chaired the gala benefit dinner with fellow Pratt alumnus Juliana Curran Terian, chief executive officer of the Rallye Group. “They serve as role models to our students.”
The Pratt Legends program was created in 1999 to raise money for student scholarships. This year’s event at Gotham Hall raised $500,000.
“I don’t know why they gave me this award,” Hardwick said. “There are so many people who deserve it. I thought, as a legend, you’d have to be dead like Chanel or bigger than life like my friend Tom Ford.”
Hardwick is credited with giving Ford his first job out of college and he was scheduled to present her with the award, but was said to be stuck in Los Angeles in negotiations to clinch the first movie deal for his Fade to Black Productions. Instead, Ford sent a video in which he recalled how he went about getting his first job with Hardwick. Brimming with ambition, Ford went to a bank and got a bag of quarters, which he then used to call Hardwick from her lobby every few minutes. She finally took his call, and asked him when she could see him. He said immediately, since he was just downstairs.
“I have known Cathy for many years, and it’s about time she was being honored,” said Bill Blass creative director Michael Vollbracht. “She is an unsung hero of Seventh Avenue. She can take an inexpensive fabric and make it look expensive. Now that’s real talent.”
Asked about the possible sale of Bill Blass, Vollbracht said: “I got two words: Stay tuned.”
Pratt junior Blaise Kavanagh received the 2005 Mados Patrons Scholar Award of one year’s tuition, courtesy of Suzanne Mados. That night, his white bias-cut silk evening gown was on display, and Kavanagh explained that he aspires to have his own couture business. He is studying fashion design at Pratt, and interning with Lucy Sykes Baby and Thom Browne, who lent him a tuxedo for the night.“My mother encouraged me to get into fashion,” he said. “When I was four years old, I was in A&S with her, and I picked her an outfit that she wore for years.”
Arlene Dahl accepted the award for Wilson, who was in a hospital in Berlin with an ulcer. Lane, when accepting his award, credited Diana Vreeland and Fulco Verdura for inspiring him in his career, and recalled how he started as a cobbler before turning to costume jewelry — something he never regretted.
“Jewelry doesn’t hurt, but shoes can hurt,” he quipped. “I have always been a legend, and it was hard on my parents when I decided that at the age of eight.”
"'Dynasty' is all about gowns, the diamonds and the scandal, so it's a bit like the fashion industry. When we come to Cannes it's all about the red carpet dresses too, so it all fit really well," said designer @philippplein78 on the theme of his high-glamour resort 2019 show at his mansion in Cannes. #wwdfashion #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
"I think Spike is such a brilliant director because he holds up a mirror to society and reflects these issues, yet he doesn't shove it down your throat, he doesn't tell you what to think," says @lauraharrier on her latest film @Blackkklansman. Harrier was at the Cannes Film Festival – for the very first time – with @officialspikelee. #wwdeye #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
“I would think to myself, Are you happy? Yes, I’m wildly happy. I go to this studio every day and, in my inside voices, I’m giggling; I’m singing. Yes, it’s a lot of work, it’s a [huge] volume of material. It wouldn’t be for everybody. But I was very happy,” said soap opera star @therealsusanlucci of checking in throughout the years with her career trajectory. Lucci spoke to WWD about her decades-long career, love for pilates, motherhood and her QVC activewear line. Read Bridget Foley’s full piece on Lucci on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: @celestesloman)
@balmain has taken a stand at the #cannes Film Festival, dressing 16 actresses at a press call for the project “Noire N’est Pas Mon Metier,” or “Black Is Not My Profession.” The multimedia project includes a book, photo exhibit and documentary, which aims to expose discrimination in the French and American entertainment industries. “The moment I was asked to participate, I knew it was right for me, and for this brand, to form a part of this moment,” Balmain creative director @olivier_rousteing told WWD. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
"I always feel curious and I feel like there's more to learn. But I think being relevant, feeling relevant, I personally always feel that there's just so much more to know. And maybe that's the key.” — @themarcjacobs #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty (📷: @patrickmacleodphoto )
“The most amazing thing about her is that, regardless of all the things that have happened to her, her spirit is so undaunted by all of it. She is the most cheerful person you will ever meet. She doesn’t see problems, she only sees solutions,” said @ajanaomi_king of activist Ifrah Ahmed, who she plays in a new film “A Girl from Mogadishu.” WWD caught up with King at Cannes — Head to WWD.com to read more about her new role, personal style and how she uses social media for causes like Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter #wwdeye
WWD asked a number designers to share their thoughts on what Meghan Markle’s wedding gown will look like this Saturday. Here, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sketches his look. #wwdfashion #royalwedding #meghanmarkle