Black tie galas tend to gather the well-heeled and best-dressed crowd, but that fact rings true tenfold at the annual FIT Foundation Gala. Ladies in their evening gowns with tuxedo clad gents on their arms, stepped into Cipriani 42nd Street’s cavernous space for the annual event. This year’s honorees were Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, FIT Foundation trustee and chairman Dr. Jay H. Baker and Joan Hornig, the philanthropic jewelry designer who was decked out in a gown by FIT graduate, Cristina Ottaviano. The turnout was a chic who’s who of the fashion industry: Stefano Tonchi, Carolina Herrera, Ariel Foxman, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Diane von Furstenberg, Steven Kolb, Nina Garcia, Giovanna Battaglia, Hamish Bowles, Iris Apfel, and Alina Cho. The event raises funds for the FIT Educational Development fund, offering scholarships to the school’s students, aka the industry’s next generation, non? A collection of intricately adorned statues, titled Fowl Play, were strewn throughout the space. Designed by first-year FIT students, the feather-festooned mannequins were an example of how designers can find inspiration from wildlife. Also breathtakingly gorgeous? The tables, which were a veritable forest of blooms, complete with orchids and more.
Fargo, who was a vision in a bright green one-shouldered Lanvin gown, was given her award by Alber Elbaz, a longtime friend of Bergdorf’s head fashion maven. “Alber and I worked on some of my very first window’s at Bergdorf’s. I remember we would sit up in our little cafeteria and talk about what to do with the hair and how to style the clothes,” Fargo told us. Even though the night was mostly about her, Fargo decided to use it as a showing of gratitude towards those who have helped her out: “The table I put together tonight has all the people I wanted to thank, because they were important to me during my career at Bergdorf’s. Plus, I don’t think I’m going to have another chance like this to hear all these people say nice things about me, except for my funeral. But I won’t get to hear that one!” As for Dennis Basso‘s favorite thing about Bergdorf’s leading lady? “She never disappoints, and she’s always very stylish!” Meanwhile, it seemed that Fargo’s close pal, Neiman Marcus’ fashion director and SVP Ken Downing, has been looking out for her: “I’ve been lighting candles and praying to every deity that I could think of to make sure that it would not rain today! I love Linda dearly and I wanted tonight to be perfect.” Mission accomplished!