Friday, October 28, 2016

In the Market Report

Fashion Group International’s Annual Night of Stars - The Non-Conformists

Riccardo Tisci and Nicki Minaj
Photo: Randy Brooke for Lookonline.com
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It was cold, damp, and overcast last night and the stars were not visible in the sky up above. But the stars (from the worlds of fashion, beauty, entertainment, interior design, and business communities) were certainly out in force at Cipriani Wall Street in celebration of Fashion Group International’s 33rd Annual "Night of Stars".

Carine Roitfeld
Photo: Lieba Nesis for Lookonline.com

Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci was this year’s Superstar; he arrived with Nicki Minaj who would later give him his award. In addition to Nicki, there were a number of other women who were dressed in Givenchy including Carine Roitfeld and gorgeous models Joan Smalls and Mariacarla Boscono. Fashion Stars Tory Burch and Erdem Moralioglu received their awards from Stefano Tonchi and Ruth Wilson respectively.

Thom Browne and Catherine Martin
Photo: Lieba Nesis

Tommy and Dee Hilfiger received the Humanitarian Award from model Hailey Baldwin; The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton picked up the Lord & Taylor Fashion Oracle Award (famed Australian film director, screenwriter, producer Baz Luhrmann and wife Catherine Martin were there on his behalf); the ageless Iris Apfel was given the Auteur of style Award by former editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest Margaret Russell;  the forever fabulous Pat Cleveland was crowned Fashion Provocateur by Stephen Burrows and Constance White; Joe Zee’s Media Award was handed to him by Polly Mellen, the legendary 92 year old former Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue editor who Richard Avedon once hailed as “one of the most creative sittings editors I’ve ever worked with”.

Tory Burch, Suki Wong, Honor Brodie & Gigi Mortimer
Photo: Lieba Nesis

Paper Magazine’s Kim Hastreiter gave the Brand Heritage Award to James Curleigh for Levi Strauss; Pamela Baxter received the Beauty Award from Dayle Haddon; The Real Real’s Julie Wainwright was presented the Innovation in Retail & Commerce Award by Amy Fine Collins (who looked fabulous in a Thom Browne black & white tromp l’oeil dress); Bunny Williams received the Interior Design Award from Architectural Digest’s editor-in-chief Amy Astley; Daniel Kulle for H&M was honored with the Sustainability Award by Dosia Mamet.

Nicky Hilton in Valentino
Photo: Lieba Nesis

The evening’s theme was “The Non-Conformists” which FGI President Margaret Hayes, in her welcoming remarks, defined as those “who create change, dare, and make a difference.” Simon Doonan, the original non-conformist returned as this year’s host. In true non-conformist form, he arrived with husband Jonathan Adler, and as usual, disregarded the dress code (black tie), which is becoming more and more the norm for many, since fashion is increasingly about individuality, self-expression, breaking the rules, and not conforming to mandates and dictums.

Andrew Boulton, Wendi Murdoch and Baz Luhrmann

After a delicious three course dinner (prosciutto and melon, filet of beef or Chilean Sea Bass and risotto, dessert) was served, he took to the podium and wasted no time in remembering the late Bill Cunningham who was after all, a non-conformist in the truest sense. “Let’s start with a show of hands” he said. “Who here tonight has been photographed by Bill?” (There were a number of people who raised their hands).

Simon Doonan & Jonathan Adler
Photo: Randy Brooke

While Bill did not receive a posthumous award, he was lovingly remembered in the program, with a tribute written by Fashion Group International Creative Director Marylou Luther, “Bill Cunningham Was One In a Billion”. Simon referred to Bill as a “punk rock taxidermist” and quipped, “We’ll never know what it would be like to be Bill”. He spoke about the bond between the late great Diana Vreeland and Bill (the iconic editor saw him as a” good luck charm” and she always wanted to include one of his hats in her Costume Institute exhibitions). He ended by observing, “Fashion is about obliterating rules; it’s about transformation”.

The best speeches were short and to the point. The most memorable moments and the best lines:

Kim Hastreiter referred to Levi Strauss as “the original gangster of American style; and if that’s not heritage, I don’t know what is".

James Curleigh
Photos: Randy Brooke

James Curleigh took the stage and immediately began to sing Bob Dylan’s “The Times they are a changin”. “It’s all about relevancy” he said. “Levi’s stays relevant. Heritage does match Levi’s which invented blue jeans and the 501. The times are a changing and we need to change with them. I can’t wait to see what the next 100 years holds.”

(Editor's note: By the way, he looked so rad in his customized Levi denim suit that when Bunny Williams got up to receive her award a little later, she said, “I used to have the hots for Blake Shelton but James Curleigh, you’re looking pretty good.”)

Joe Zee & Polly Mellon
Photo: Randy Brooke

Joe Zee: He explained how intent he was on getting that first interview with Polly Mellen, who was Creative Director of Allure at the time (she was his idol). He wanted to impress her so he went to Century 21 and bought a faux leopard vest which he hoped would impress her. It did- she complimented him on it and he got the job. “Polly taught me I could use fashion to tell a story. It’s about storytelling. I am who I am because of all the people I worked for. Polly, Marissa Mayer, Martha Nelson, Robbie Myers. Incredible mentors in my life. This award is for all of them.”

Erdem Moralioglu & Ruth Wilson
Photo: Randy Brooke

Ruth Wilson: “Erdem is a non-conformist in many ways. He’s grown his label completely independently. He’s an inspiration. His designs are truly captivating. He is a storyteller who brings his stories to life. When I wear him I feel powerful and feminine which is vital and necessary. Go Hillary.

Erdem: “My mother believed in beauty in all its forms. The pursuit of beauty in all its forms is more important than ever.”

Baz Luhrmann & Catherine Martin
Photo: Randy Brooke

Baz Luhrmann: “We have worked with many talented people but we have never worked with anyone like Andrew Bolton. He invented a genre of his own. He has such emotion. He is a fashion oracle himself.”

Margaret Russell: “Personal style is something you care deeply about but don’t give a damn”. “Iris stands as an uncommon beacon for our later years.”

Stefano Tonchi
Photo: Randy Brooke

Stefano Tonchi: “The elephant in the room is that one does not think of Tory Burch as a non- conformist. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Non-conformist she’s not. She’s not flamboyant. She is elegant, discreet, genius, a perfectionist. With Tory, it’s all about friendship, trust, taste, conversation, doing good and empowering women to build independence through her Tory Burch Foundation, founded in 2009. But it is a non-conformist act to do great things and not talk about them. Tory has always taken inspiration from her passions. She’s an anti-conformist with her commitment to stay true to who she is. She is a real life role model. The most reluctant non-conformist I ever met.”

Tory Burch
Photo: Randy Brooke

Tory Burch: “I might not be a non-conformist in a traditional sense but I believe in exploring new ideas and seeing things in a new way. I am proud to be a non-conformist.”

Amy Fine Collins

Amy Fine Collins: “I never saw anything take off like the RealReal. It’s changed the way consumers shop. It’s a green, sustainable economy. It’s a win-win for everybody”

Constance White
Photo: Randy Brooke

Constance White: “Pat Cleveland put the “super” in supermodel and “super” personality both on and off the runway.”

Stephen Burrows
Photo: Randy Brooke

Stephen Burrows: “I met Pat in 1970. She came to me as a mistake and we became lifelong friends.”

Pat Cleveland
Photo: Randy Brooke

Pat Cleveland: “Thank you everybody. You made my life like a flying carpet. Without fashion no peacock would ever be jealous.”.

Dee Hilfiger: “Tommy and I are like the kids at school getting the participation trophy. Call me crazy but isn’t caring for other human beings what we’re supposed to do?”

Andrew Bolton
Photo: Randy Brooke

Andrew Bolton: “Two things I have learned from Anna Wintour: “Less is More” and “No is a very effective word.” “I’m British so I am not generally comfortable with showing my emotions, but Thom (Browne) makes me happier than I ever thought possible”.

Nicki Minaj: “This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life so I want to get it right.” “Riccardo is a talented visionary who has made countless contributions to fashion. And he’s a sexy ass piece of meat! Last but not least, it’s the brand everyone wants to be able to afford.”

Riccardo Tisci: “I know what it’s like to be an outsider. I was a black sheep of the village and now I’m the black sheep of fashion business. Don’t be afraid to be a black sheep.

Iris Apfel
Photo: Randy Brooke

Iris Apfel: “I’m so overwhelmed I almost forgot what I was going to say. All the better for you” she quipped. “I’m living a life I never thought. There, I’m speechless. I can’t believe I’m 95 and a cover girl. How many 95 year old cover girls do you know?Iris went on to say: "“You have only one life. Live every day as if it will be your last because one day, you will be right!”





- Marilyn Kirschner

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