Last night, the Council of Fashion Designers of America held its annual awards ceremony–which is often referred to as “the Oscars of fashion”. The CFDA Fashion Awards honor excellence in fashion design, and the red carpet was obviously studded with A-list celebs as well as fashion’s leading designers and their muses.
Raf Simons, Demna Gvasalia and Rick Owens were among those honored at the awards ceremony, and the red carpet played host to some killer looks, with plenty of exaggerated silhouettes, outrageous colors and purely demure looks with models-of-the-moment Bella and Gigi Hadid leading the way.
If this year’s fashion gongs belonged to anyone, it was Raf Simons. Everyone’s favorite Belgian aesthete made the move to New York last year to take the helm of Calvin Klein as chief creative officer. Simons received both Menswear Designer of The Year and Womenswear Designer of The Year, an achievement that’s only occurred once before — by Calvin Klein himself in 1993.
We’ve rounded up some of the very best red carpet moments and highlights from this year’s CFDA Awards below, as well as the full list of winners.
The Enigmatic Dark Lord & the Empress of Fashion
Rick Owens was honored in a big way at the CFDA Awards last night. Owens was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award, cementing his status as an American fashion legend. Of course, he was joined by the inimitable Michele Lamy – his longtime partner, muse, and collaborator.
Raf Simons Scores a Double Win
Raf Simons scored a rare double win at fashion’s most prestigious awards ceremony on Monday, taking home both womenswear (for his work at Calvin Klein) as well as the menswear honor (for his own eponymous line) at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.
“If we as creatives can be an inspiration for how the world should look,” Raf said upon receiving his gong, “I think that it’s something we should take as a very important task in our existence.”
Raf wore Raf on the red carpet – opting for an oversized shirt from his recent collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which featured in the designer’s SS17 collection.
Vetements Goes Global
Demna Gvasalia proved he is the industry’s main man after being presented with CFDA’s International Award for his influential work at Vetements and Balenciaga, the artistic directorship of which he assumed with a smashing womenswear debut for Fall 2016.
It’s not bad for a refugee who fled Georgia for Germany as a teenager, cut his teeth at Maison Margiela before launching his own famed label just a few short years ago. Of course, supermodel Alek Wek wowed the red carpet in a striking Balenciaga look, complete with neon yellow Balenciaga booties.
Janelle Monae Gets Political
Janelle Monae stepped out in a black-and-white asymmetrical ensemble by Christian Siriano, but her killer outfit wasn’t Monae’s most talked about moment at the CFDA’s. Along with Gloria Steinem and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Monáe was honored by the CFDA Board of Directors for her contributions to February’s Women’s March. And it was Monae’s blockbuster five-minute, politically charged speech that stole the night.
The real standing ovation moment came when Monae proudly proclaimed; “Women’s rights are human rights. LGBTQ rights are human rights. Poor folks’ rights are human rights. Immigrant rights are human rights. Minority rights are human rights. So as human beings, let’s never forget that none of us are free until all of us are free.”
Mary Kate & Ashley Prove Twinning is Winning
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have emerged as bonafide darlings of the American fashion industry with the massive success of their luxury brand The Row. Having won big multiple times at the CFDA Awards before, it was hardly surprising to see the design duo grace the red carpet in a matching shirt-dress combo.
Virgil Abloh & Bella Hadid Are the Perfect Match
Fresh from launching his second OFF-WHITE store in Hong Kong, Virgil was back in New York to make an appearance on the red carpet, with none other than Bella Hadid in tow, wearing a suit-like-separate OFF-WHITE dress in punchy pink. Bella also sported a new dramatic bob for the occasion, while Virgil opted for a more low-key look with a black T-shirt tucked into some tailored wide-leg pants and Vans sneakers.
Gigi Hadid Stuns in Silk
The elder Hadid opted for a pure, demure look courtesy of The Row. The world’s most influential model set to stun in a floor-length silk coat and dress finished off with crystal shoes.
Heron Preston Keeps It Casual
Highsnobiety fave Heron Preston might in the midst of a whirlwind global “retail tour”, but one of the industry’s most exciting newcomers made a splash on the red carpet with some laid back steez. Opting for a tailored look, Preston toned it down with a vintage skull tee and sneakers.
The CFDA Fashion Awards Winners
Swarovski Award for Positive Change: Kenneth Cole
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Rick Owens
Founder’s Award: Pat McGrath
International Award: Demna Gvasalia, Vetements & Balenciaga
Board of Directors’ Tribute: Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem, and Janelle Monáe
Fashion Icon Award Franca Sozzani
Menswear Designer of the Year: Raf Simons
Accessory Designer of the Year:Stuart Vevers, Coach
Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent: Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, Monse
Womenswear Designer of the Year: Raf Simons, Calvin Klein
- Cover Image: Getty Images