Is nothing sacred? First, the Citadel goes co-ed, and now, after 67 years of single-sex solidarity, the Fashion Group International does, too. They opened the gates and let in the men Thursday night, making up for lost time by honoring a full slate of male designers at its annual Night of Stars awards ceremony.
Yohji Yamamoto, for one, couldn’t have waited a day longer. He has cast an envious eye on Rei Kawakubo’s star award ever since he presented it to her years ago.
“When I presented it to her,” he recalled in his acceptance speech, “the biggest thing I was thinking was, ‘If I were a woman, I could have this.’ I had something pitiful — it was a case of jealousy.”
“It’s taken 10 years, but I’m receiving one today. That was a long 10 years.” Then Donna Karan handed him his prize.
The other honorees included Francois Lesage — who Oscar de la Renta said must have been “born in a drawer of beads and sequins” — Peter Marino and John Galliano, whose stand-in for the evening was Dior’s Katell le Bourhis.
Still, they were just warm-ups for Karl Lagerfeld, FGI’s designated Superstar. As usual, he and his lieutenant, Gilles Dufour, were surrounded by the most beautiful women in the room — Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista, Stella Tennant, Amber Valletta, Karen Elson and Joy Henderiks.
The night before, Lagerfeld was the life of a far less stuffy gathering when Ingrid Sischy invited the designer and 50 friends for dinner at the Independent. Surrounded by the likes of Cindy Sherman, Hope Davis and Francesco Clemente, the Kaiser was keenest on soul men Maxwell and Lenny Kravitz. Incredibly, almost no one left the party until after 1 a.m.