Designers Robert Geller, Eddie Borgo and Prabal Gurung and the 2011 CFDA Awards.
The CFDA Awards, often dubbed the Oscars of fashion, are just days away—taking place this Monday at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. "Saturday Night Live"’s Seth Meyers is on hosting duty. Jessica Chastain, Jessica Paré ("Mad Men"), Matt Bomer and Lily Collins ("White Collar") will all present awards. Tommy Hilfiger will be there to scoop up the coveted Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. He told us he was “humbled” to receive it, following in the footsteps of designers like Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors who have been honored in past years.
For those hoping that Johnny Depp, who is picking up this year’s Fashion Icon Award would be there to accept his award in person, news has already broke that he is too busy filming "The Lone Ranger" and won’t be in attendance. Designer Rei Kawakubo also won’t accept her award in person—she’s receiving this year’s International Award. In an interesting twist, filmmaker John Waters is stepping in to accept both of their awards on the big night.
The most tightly contested award category each year is the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row are nominated. Both Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler have won in this category several times leaving open the possibility for the former child stars to take the big win. Joseph Altuzarra, who scooped up the top prize for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last year, seems like a shoe-in in the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear category (he’s up against Creatures of the Wind and Suno). Reed Krakoff will likely take the Accessory Designer of the Year Award—he is battling it out with Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler who have both won in this category in past years. And all eyes are on the Menswear Designer of the Year category—Patrik Ervell, Billy Reid and Simon Spurr are nominated. Spurr abruptly left his namesake label earlier this year after disagreeing with investors over the direction of the company. It seems likely that CFDA members will want to honor his work.
Wondering how the nominees and eventually the winners are selected? Nominations for each category are submitted by the CFDA Fashion Awards Selection Committee, which is comprised of the more than 300 CFDA members, along with a group of hand-picked fashion retailers, journalists, and stylists. Nomination forms are sent out in February and returned in early March, then the nominees are selected based on the plurality voting system—meaning each committee member can only nominate one person for each category. Designers are restricted in this part of the process and can only nominate in their respective specialty (like accessories) and for the special awards like the Lifetime Achievement Award. Beginning in May, Ernst & Young deliver the final ballots to the Selection Committee members to cast a vote in each of the six categories. It's very much a fashion insiders process.
One of the most exciting twists to this year’s awards is that they will be broadcast on Style.com the day following the awards, June 5. So for those whose invite somehow got lost in the mail, rest assured you’ll get to partake in all the fashion fun.