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CFDA’s Winning Evening

Fashion News
Gucci's Alessandro Michele at the 2016 CFDA Awards where he was presented with the prestigious International accolade.

By Jessica Michault

The coverage of this year’s CFDA Fashion awards, which took place on Monday, was dominated by one woman and one designer: Beyoncé and Gucci’s Allessandro Michele.

Beyoncé was the surprise attendee of the event. Many doubted that she would be able to make the soirée considering that she is in the middle of her “Formation” world tour. But show up she did, wearing a Givenchy gold metal striped suit and a wide-brimmed black hat. Sartorially she has come a long way from the days of Destiny’s Child, when each singer in the girl-group wore thematically similar outfits.

“I want to say thank you to every designer that worked tirelessly to make people feel like they can write their own story,” said Beyoncé in her acceptance speech. “You all are fairy godmothers and magicians and sculptors—sometimes even our therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power that you have. Or take it lightly. We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own refection,” she added as her mother (who designed those Destiny’s Child outfits) and her mini fashion plate daughter, Blue Ivy, looked on.

Anna Wintour introduced this year’s International Award winner, Michele, and it was quite a sight to see the Chanel and Prada stalwart wearing one of Michele’s whimsical bird and floral embroidered Gucci designs. Wintour’s daughter Bee Shaffer also showed up wearing Gucci. She went for a more daring look that featured one of the designer’s now signature trompe l'oeil sequined collars. The designer’s own pink suit was also quite eye catching as he took center stage.

Tilda Swinton was on hand to give a special tribute award to David Bowie. She noted in her speech that it would have been Bowie and his wife Iman’s 24th wedding anniversary that night and that it was Iman who had personally asked Swinton to attend the awards in her place. She then read aloud a letter she had written to David saying that in terms of the award itself “there is pretty much no year out of the last 40 that this would not have been a good idea.”

This year’s winners are:

Fashion Icon Award: Beyoncé
Womenswear Designer of the Year: Marc Jacobs
Menswear Designer of the Year: Thom Browne
Accessories Designer of the Year: Mansur Gavriel: Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel
Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Brandon Maxwell
Swarovski Award for Menswear: Orley: Alex Orley, Matthew Orley, Samantha Orley
Swarovski Award for Accessory Design: Paul Andrew
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Norma Kamali
The Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Sheppard: Imran Amed, editor in chief of The Business of Fashion
The Founder's Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert: Donna Karan
International Award: Gucci: Alessandro Michele
Board of Directors' Tribute Award: David Bowie


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