New Guard

CFDA Awards reflect fashion's changing scene.

While the CFDA awards usually feature a marathon dinner and exhaustive speeches, this year’s event—perhaps in step with the economic mood, perhaps the instinct of a good party planner– featured a Cliffs Notes version, speeding through the ceremony and then offering short ribs in the lobby. The awards honored a diversity of young and old designers, illustrating the mood, perhaps, of fashion’s uncertain moment. While everyone from Diane Von Fursternberg to Donna Karan packed the house, newcomers like Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders and Calvin Klein men’s Italo Zucchelli walked away with awards. But there were more than enough honors to go around—Ralph Lauren received the “Popular vote” award—garnering 16,000 votes online—which made him what the New York Times calls “the Kris Allen of fashion.” And, for a banner event in the farthest thing from a banner year, The Times writes, the event felt “more like a pep rally than a glamorous event.”