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Suzy: On the CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America put on its annual extravaganza, a sort of Academy Awards of Fashion, at Lincoln Center Monday night, and WWD was there to explain it all to you. Let's do it stream-of-style, shall we? Yes, we shall: First,...

The Council of Fashion Designers of America put on its annual extravaganza, a sort of Academy Awards of Fashion, at Lincoln Center Monday night, and WWD was there to explain it all to you. Let’s do it stream-of-style, shall we? Yes, we shall: First, the crowd. It was one of the best-dressed the CFDA has brought out in years — almost everyone in simple, elegant clothes, but not too pared down to make an onlooker think they’d all come out in their underwear. There was a lot of black, oh surprise. There was a lot of white. And there was a lot of cream. That’s the reason statuesque Sigourney Weaver was a standout in a crimson velvet body-hugger by Richard Tyler.

Slipdresses were big — or maybe that should be little. Kelly Klein, whose husband, Calvin, copped the double-whammy for being the year’s best in both women’s wear and men’s wear, wore one in pale silk cut on the bias. Anna Wintour, Bianca Jagger, Marina Schiano, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Moss all wore their slips. Calvin’s soft gray slipdress and long sweater was a big hit, because the CFDA’s Fern Mallis, Veronica Hearst and Sally Kellerman were all — oops! — wearing it. If you don’t mind seeing yourself coming and going, it’s fine. On the other hand, groan, sob, damn.

The supermodels were as drop-dead as ever. Cindy Crawford wore a black sheath, and Naomi Campbell sashayed about in an Azzedine Alaia. Then there was Christy Turlington in something by Marc Jacobs and Iman with several tons of hair.

Sofia Coppola showed up in her pal Anna Sui’s silver charmeuse baby-doll dress with a little silver fuzzy sweater slung over and silver mary janes on her feet. “I’m thinking of moving to New York,” said she, “doing some work with fashion magazines.” Yeah.

Ali MacGraw looked great in a white Calvin Klein. Now that everyone is letting her hair grow, Ali has cut hers short. She’s out way ahead or way behind. Rosie O’Donnell wore print pajamas by Todd Oldham and a fake fur coat. Hello, PETA, hello! As for k.d. lang, she looked ready to join the cavalry in a Richard Tyler uniform. Eartha Kitt also wore a Richard Tyler, a black jacket and a long, full skirt. Her hair was done in wild, wild corkscrews, but she wasn’t there to hide her light, you dig?

Fran Lebowitz, who presented Calvin with one of his awards, wore black tie without the tie. “I don’t think girls should wear ties,” quoth Fran. “I think some things should be left to the imagination.” Is she a card?

Monica Lynch was all done up in a wrap from an ethnic store on Columbus Avenue and a hairdo from Barneys salon de beaute. On a big hair night, Monica should have received an award. Her crowning glory was all tied up on top of her head in bunches, like the Leaning Tower of Hair, maybe? Veronica Webb’s faux curls were glued on in clumps. Sarah Jessica Parker has let her hair grow, and now she’s back to being a curly blonde.

In the “little head” brigade were Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Paulina Porizkova, the latter two with updo’s tightly coiled and hugging the head.

Vanity Fair’s Marina Schiano air-kissed every movie star, mogul, photographer and editor in the room. Miss Table Hopper of 1994 didn’t miss a chance to get those all-important pictures. What does she do with them all?

k.d. lang, presenting Richard Tyler the Perry Ellis Award for New Talent, said, “Three years ago I walked into Tyler Trafficante and came out with a suit that was comfortable and tailored — and believe me I need all the help I can get. I always come out wearing something more beautiful than I imagined.” Replied Richard, “It all happened when I met my wife Lisa [Trafficante] and she said, “What’re you going to do with your life? You’re getting a bit old.” Of course, everybody laughed like anything.

They laughed like anything too when Rosie O’Donnell, presenting the special “sneaker” award to Adidas, Converse, Keds, Nike and Reebok, deadpanned, “Fashion is my life. When Iman and I were growing up in Somalia, we were discovered by Peter Beard together — and he said, ‘Come to America and be supermodels.’ I said, ‘Iman — you go!”‘ Gales of laughter. Rosie also said she thought Barbra Streisand might be there because she’s anywhere Donna Karan is. “If Donna Streisand Karan is around, Barbra is probably lurking in the shadows.” Probably, but not this time.

Among the other award winners were Fabien Baron for his redesign of Harper’s Bazaar, Bill Cunningham for his achievements in fashion journalism and Judith Leiber and Polly Mellen for lifetime achievements in fashion. Eleanor Lambert’s award was a tribute from the fashion industry.

The Hearst Corporation underwrote the evening, and everywhere you looked you saw Randolph Apperson Hearst, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Isabella Rossellini, Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant, Bill Blass, Diane Von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, Liz Tilberis, Ellin Saltzman, Elizabeth Saltzman, Mary McFadden, Josie Natori, Holly Brubach, David Geffen, Richard Avedon and, listen, who else is there?

That golden couple of New York society, Nancy and Frank Richardson, have decided that after 20 years of marriage it is time for her to go her way and him to go his. They have separated, and a divorce is in the offing. Nancy and Frank have everything — great good looks, brains, breeding, money and three children who are as beautiful as their parents. The split is amicable, and no third person is said to be involved. There are so few golden couples anywhere that when one breaks up it’s a cause for sadness and regret. On the other hand, when a brassy married twosome calls it quits, the only thing anybody really cares about is the scandal, and who gets the money.

In Palm Beach, people are buzzing about Lady Antonia Fraser, who popped into town on the usual book tour to trumpet her latest work, “The Wives of Henry VIII.” As the author and indefatigable researcher of previous royal personages and their peccadillos — including a critically acclaimed biography of Mary, Queen of Scots — the Lady Antonia is eminently qualified to speculate how her blue-blooded subjects would react in certain situations. So it’s no surprise when she opens her lectures with this genteel rabble-rouser: “It’s extremely lucky that there are no executions these days in England — or one of the royal wives would have been in serious danger had she been married to Henry!” That’s the cue for her avid audience to go buzz buzz buzz, “Who does she mean?” On the other hand, when the Lady Antonia’s husband, the distinguished British playwright Harold Pinter, presents us with one of his confounding gems, the usual reaction is “What the hell does he mean?”

Kevin Costner — now in Atlanta filming his cameo role as a veteran in Oliver Stone‘s movie “War” — is flying to Los Angeles (and right back) this weekend for the opening of his Pasadena restaurant, “Twin Palms.” Kevin’s chef is Michael Robert, who he snagged from Trumps. All’s fair in the restaurant biz, love and “War.” Especially if you’re Kevin Costner.

Kirk Douglas is hot all over again. His next book, “Last Tango in Brooklyn,” may be his best novel yet, and “Greed,” his first feature film in seven years, is said to be a tour-de-force which sets him up for a future career in comedy. Will somebody tell his wife and four sons? In “Greed,” Kirk plays a “vicious but likable millionaire” in love with his money, surrounded by avaricious relatives scheming to get the nasty old skinflint’s fortune. Bet on the skinflint.

What does Julia Roberts do on her day off? It probably depends on what Lyle Lovett is doing on his day off. But last Sunday Julia spent the day with ace photographer Herb Ritts at his Santa Monica Studio. Aha! Aha, nothing. He was taking her picture for an upcoming Vogue cover. She didn’t have far to go for the shoot, because she was already in L.A. filming “I Love Trouble” with Nick Nolte and loving it.

Ann Reinking, one of Broadway’s greatest all-around talents, singer, dancer, choreographer, actress, what have you, is being congratulated on her newest job. Ann’s now the top resident instructor at the Florida State University School of Theatre — and all that jazz.

It would seem French film director Claude Lelouch is getting cold feet — and cold everything else — over those reports he was planning to marry beautiful young actress Alessandra Martines. Claude insists he has now gone back to his long-suffering spouse Marie Sophie and the two kiddies. Don’t they always? Well, almost always.