CHICAGO — Pamella Roland recalled the first time in 2003 she received the Gold Coast Fashion Award — an honor whose previous winners include Wes Gordon, Anne Klein, Bill Blass and countless other designers.
“I was so excited I felt like I just won an Academy Award,” said Roland, who in addition to her home in Chicago, maintains residences in New York and Michigan. “At the same time, we dressed Kim Cattrall for the Emmys. It was the last season for ‘Sex and the City.’ I was in the process of receiving the award and I looked back and all of sudden they hear me screaming. It was Kim Cattrall on TV wearing our dress. It was pink with feathers on it.”
Roland was just as excited to receive the award again, in town on Thursday to attend the 62nd annual Gold Coast Fashion Award Show at Revel Fulton Market in the city’s West Loop. This year, she received the Children’s Service Board Award of Excellence, the charity arm for the fashion show, for her philanthropic work. Roland is the first designer to receive this inaugural award.
It was the second time in the history of the charity fashion show to recognize the same designer twice, following Arnold Scaasi in 1959 and 1962. Over 850 people attended the event and more than $1.2 million was raised to benefit the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Roland, whose eveningwear is a constant on the red carpet and most recently was spotted on Gigi, Bella and Yolanda Hadid, expressed shock about another topic circulating in every topic of conversation, Hollywood and fashion notwithstanding: Harvey Weinstein.
“In the fashion business his wife [Georgina Chapman of Marchesa] dresses a lot of the celebrities I dress. I have met her. Her line was in Paris when I was in Paris, they were in the same hotel, a floor above us,” Roland said. “It’s unbelievable, so unbelievable. I would be devastated. I met him a few times. I’m not going to say much about him. I never thought much about him. He’s a little crass. It’s just really crazy that he’s gotten away with this for so long. In New York, it’s everywhere. No matter what business you’re in, this is what everyone is talking about.”
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