50 Is the New

The CFDA Celebrates a Half-Century


Shane Gabier, Dree Hemingway, and Christopher Peters   
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The CFDA didn't get two of this year's biggest "gets." But they might've gotten someone better. International Award honoree Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and Fashion Icon Johnny Depp of The Lone Ranger were both no-shows at tonight's Fashion Awards. Coincidentally, it would seem, they both enlisted John Waters to accept on their behalves, and he killed it both times. CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg's first call tomorrow morning should be to Mr. Waters; she should book him now as next year's host.

Not that tonight's host didn't represent himself well. "I hope you like me," the SNL star Seth Meyers began… But "fashion people like hating things more than they like liking things, so I win either way." From there, Valentino, Brad Pitt, and Topshop all got the Weekend Update treatment, although he saved his best material for Marc Jacobs and the designer's black lace Met Ball dress. "That's a long way to go to prove you're wearing a clean pair of underwear, man," he said, only to return midway through the ceremony in a knockoff of Jacobs' sheer frock. "I'm gonna do [Marc] one better," he said. "I'm going to wear this on the subway home."

This year's awards marked the 50th anniversary of the CFDA. To celebrate, the ceremony at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall kicked off with a fashion show of archival pieces from some of its 400-plus members, many of whom tend to go unnoticed and underappreciated at this event. If the 2012 nominees were a familiar bunch, at least the evening's winners weren't all the usual suspects. Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen of The Row beat out Jacobs and the Proenza Schouler boys for Womenswear Designer of the Year, their first CFDA prize. "I'd like to thank you," and "I'd like to thank you," the twin sisters said to each other on stage.

Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Tommy Hilfiger got the evening's only standing ovation and its only serenade from the Princeton Footnotes. But, like we said, the night belonged to John Waters; the man was spitting out quotes faster than the audience could tweet them. "Johnny Depp was a Pirate Pepé Le Pew way before I met him." And "I wear Rei Kawakubo to be fashionable in secret. We know how great her clothes look, but others think we're just poor." The absent Kawakubo, however, provided the ceremony's most potent sound bite: "I think the world and its values are too often lukewarm. I'd like to make them hotter."

Click to see a list of all the CFDA winners ›

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