Fashion’s finest, political fixtures, and some of Hollywood’s most iconic faces reunited for last night’s annual CFDA Fashion Awards—also known as the Oscars of fashion—at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, making for one of the most colorful red carpets the event has ever seen (and we’re not just talking the pastel backdrop). Each year, designers and their muses attend the gala dinner and awards ceremony to honor fashion’s top talent, this year recognizing the accomplishments of Monse’s Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, and more.
“I’m psyched! I just got off the plane. I’m glad I made it on time and am not late. But I’m excited—it’s super surreal and definitely hasn’t hit me yet,” said Virgil Abloh, who was nominated for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent. The designer had supermod Bella Hadid on his arm, who opened Abloh’s Fall 2017 show in Paris this March and wore one of his shocking pink designs. “Bella pulled up an amazing reference of Helmut Newton in the ’90s,” Abloh added. “It was such an exciting vibe to bring out to the red carpet, especially with a supermodel like Bella, who’s been on a million [magazine] covers every month. I think it’s a cool statement for young girls and women to see a power suit again!” As for Bella’s take on the look? “I’m not one to wear a lot of color, but I’m so excited about how bright and easy this is,” she told us.
Other beauties who walked the carpet included Gigi Hadid with The Row’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Brooke Shields with Sachin & Babi designers, Martha Hunt with Milly’s Michelle Smith, Riley Montana with Brandon Maxwell, Hailey Baldwin in Cushnie et Ochs, and Adriana Lima who attended with Donna Karan and got adorably star-struck when meeting Nicole Kidman (in Oscar de la Renta) for the very first time—just check out our Instagram! A star who made a surprise appearance? Actress Meg Ryan, who opted for a sexy Christian Siriano sequin ombré gown featuring a deep V-cut in the front and the back. More fun pairings continued, including Anna Cleveland with Yigal Azrouel, who first met yesterday—”Today’s our first date! Yigal saw many pictures of me and we started talking,” Cleveland told us—and Heidi Klum with Zac Posen, who begin filming the 16th season of Project Runway today. “We spend our summers together!” Posen told us.
Sailor Brinkley Cook also walked the carpet in Zac Posen, her debut at the awards. “I’m nervous! I’m handing out the trophies tonight, so it’s a big responsibility!” she shared with us. “I’ve just been trying to keep calm and not think about it until I get up there…I’m trying to be emotionally and physically prepared.” More shining stars included Priyanka Chopra (in Michael Kors), Kerry Washington (in Prabal Gurung), Janelle Monae (in Christian Siriano), Hilary Rhoda (in Marchesa), Kate Bosworth (in Brock Collection), Sara Sampaio (in J. Mendel), Constance Jablonski (in Tory Burch), Chloe Sevigny (in Proenza Schouler), Lily Aldridge (in Jason Wu), Imaan Hammam (in Adam Selman), Diane Kruger, Erin Wasson, and Kasia Struss (in Monse), May Musk (in Rosie Assoulin—a major moment!), the Haim sisters and Karlie Kloss (in DVF), Olivia Palermo (in Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo), and Elsa Hosk (in Alberta Ferretti).
This year, the awards had a more politically-infused lineup, with honorees like legendary feminist/activist Gloria Steinem and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, as well as attendees like Huma Abedin. The 2017 CFDAs was more than just a celebration of the head-turning red carpet style and inspiring beauty looks—it was also about celebrating humanity. “It was so exciting for Planned Parenthood since we’ve been on the frontline of delivering healthcare to women, particularly in this really difficult political time,” Richards told The Daily on her honor. She donned a royal blue Gabriela Hearst dress and came with Teen Vogue and Allure‘s Phillip Picardi. “It’s amazing to see that women are doing more than they thought they would ever have to, not only to stand up for Planned Parenthood, but for women’s ability to control their bodies and get access to affordable healthcare.” Vera Wang also weighed in: “I think that a lot of things that have happened politically lately have of course affected our industry, and I think we’re very strong, all of us together. We bring so much creativity and influence and culture to our world and I think it’s nice that we can all galvanize together and make our own statement.” Wang wore head to toe Rick Owens to the awards (with the exception of her necklace) in honor of her pal, who was being honored. “He sat with me at the CFDA Awards as my guest during his first year here, and we’re going to be sitting together tonight! We’ve come full circle.”