The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize is a big one but just to make it a bit more interesting this year, they've decided to treat the finalists to a bonus trip to Paris.
According to The Cut, Tommy Hilfiger is sponsoring the program, which enables these designers to show their collections in Paris to ensure that their collections are seen by those press and buyers who couldn't make it to New York Fashion Week. The lucky ten designers are Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Simon Spurr, Billy Reid, Eddie Borgo, Monique Péan, Ohne Titel, George Esquivel, Gregory Parkinson, and Pamela Love.
Last month it was revealed that Sophie Theallet and Giles Deacon would design a shoe collection for Nine West and last night saw Theallet unveil her collection - set to hit stores in May - to press in New York's meatpacking district.
The theme of the collection is 'Sophie From Paris Takes a Trip to NYC' and features heeled espadrils in different shades of pink stripes with bows which is exactly what "a French girl would wear on the Riviera with rolled up blue jeans and a little T-shirt," the designer explained.
The Council of Fashion Designers 2009 included the likes of Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Oscar De La Renta and the Olsens but this time round there are some newer additions to the table. Sophie Theallet, Steve Allen and L'Wren Scott form part of the 2010 class, which has a total of 25 designers. The newer members are welcomed at a party in October at Vera Wang's house where they can get to know the good company they are in, even better.
There are pieces that CFDA winners have designed for Gap that have undoubtedly gone down in history - think Philip Lim's white blouse, or Alexander Wang's khaki motorcycle jacket - and there are pieces that have made such little impact we couldn't remember them if we tried, however this year's winners seem to have left quite a mark, as Fashionista's Lauren Sherman reports from the Gap pop up shop, located Midtown New York.
This year's jewellery comes from Monique Péan, who has created a 12-piece collection using her socially responsible ethos, working with local artisans in Columbia to produce pieces made from green coconut to water snakeskin to seeds. Womenswear came from Sophie Theallet, who designed a collection similar to that of her ready-to-wear designs, with a French feel about the clothing, fitting perfectly in with Gap's classic personality. Despite designing the menswear additions to this year's collaboration, Patrik Ervell's collection was even admired by Vogue's Sally Singer - who was said to be lusting after a silk tweed blazer - with a menswear range that could easily have unisex appeal.
After being promoted from accessories editor to special-events planner in July, Vogue's Sylvana Soto-Ward unsurprisingly has a lot on her plate right now - after all, she is planning Vogue's annual Costume Institute Gala, otherwise known as the Oscars of the East Coast. Whilst we'd imagined that such a fashionable event would take an unprecedented amount of preparation, just like we are, Soto-Ward was "... Shocked the planning started so early, but it does. It takes almost a year," she told The Cut, "You get two months off and then right back at it".
In previous years, sponsors of the event have been Marc Jacobs and Giorgio Armani, however this year, American retailer Gap will be funding the ball. "I think the Gap is perfect for the theme" she says, speaking of the Gala's exhibit, which is devoted to the fashion of American women between 1890 and 1940. "Yes, it's been sort of these high-fashion companies, but particularly in this economy and in this world right now where it's not all about high fashion but its about the mix between high-low, you know?" she continued, "It's certainly something we're trying to portray in the magazine and everything else we do".
Although we often think of the Gap for its accessible line of basics, this year, we'll associate the brand with an event that's decidedly more high-fashion: the highly anticipated annual Met ball. The Gap is sponsoring the gala this year, and is - sort of - outfitting famous guests as a result. Gap designer Patrick Robinson will team up with Alexander Wang, Rodarte, Thakoon and Sophie Theallet to create gowns for Monday night.
M.I.A. and Zoe Kravitz have selected looks by Alexander Wang for Gap, while Kirsten Dunst, not surprisingly, has chosen Rodarte for Gap, as has Jamie Bochert. The brand's collaboration with Thakoon will be seen on Riley Keough and Kerry Washington, and Vera Farmiga and Jessica Alba reportedly will opt for Sophie Theallet. After the gala, the celebs' dresses will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Costume Institute.
In other event news, Taylor Swift - like Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel - is rumoured to be a guest of Ralph Lauren, while Michael Kors will take Chanel Iman, Natasha Poly, Carolyn Murphy, Brooke Shields and Diane Lane. Going with Kenneth Cole? Matthew Morrison of 'Glee' fame, plus Stanley Tucci and Emmy Rossum. Check back next week for full details...and first looks of all the great styles.
Although New York Fashion Week is now in full swing, a dark cloud continues to hang over the air at Bryant Park after yesterday's announcement of the untimely death of Alexander McQueen.
The designer's stores in both London and New York have had their windows covered, and the ground has quickly been adorned with flowers and tributes from fans and passers-by. According to Fashionologie, Barneys reportedly sold more than 500 McQueen scarves since the sad announcement was made, and many press and buyers will reportedly cut their New York trip down to rush to London in light of the news.
Over the course of the day, many shows have started with a one-minute silence of rememberance, and Kate Moss has reportedly cancelled the Longchamp party she was set to host to launch her new collaboration with the brand.
As the fashion world continues to mourn for McQueen, industry figures continue to leave tribute messages expressing their grief.
Donatella Versace: "Alexander McQueen...The fashion world has not only lost an icon but we have also lost a very special friend"
Philip Treacy: "In a world where every man and his dog is a designer, Alexander McQueen was the real deal. His talent was supersonic."
Last year, the Bloomberg administration, alongside the CDFA, set up the Fashion Incubator initiative. In order to be eligible, entrants had to be "working designers" with orders from retailers, to have been in business for more than a year and a half, have a member of staff to support, have been in receipt of "substantive editorial coverage" and to submit a business plan, detailing this. As a reward for jumping through all those hoops, a chosen 12 would win the main prize of moving into one of the design spaces in the Fashion Incubator space. Aside from being situated in the heart of the Garment District, the spaces (800 to 1000 square feet) would be rentable at subsidized rates ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, knocked down from $2,900.
So who are the lucky 12? That would be Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Jolibe's Joel Diaz, Alice Ritter, Gemma Redux's Rachel Dooley, Bibhu Mohapatra, Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi of Public School, Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry, Ruby Kobo's Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo, Grey Ant's Grant Krajecki and Lewis's Alison Lewis. They'll soon take up residence in the spaces, which each come with a two-year lease. We look forward to seeing what fashion-forward creations come out of what will clearly be such a creative hub.
Sophie Theallet started her week off right: Last night, she took home a $200,000 prize for top honours at the Sixth-Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. The Brooklyn-based womenswear designer addressed the crowd at New York's Skyline Studios by saying, "I'm French, so I'm going to try to do my best...Thank you for making my American dreams come true."
Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz and Nicole Kidman gave out the awards, which saw runners-up Monique Pean, a philanthropic jewellery designer, and menswear designer Patrik Ervell take $50,000 apiece. Facing a crowd including Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg and Karen Elson, Pean vowed, "I won't disappoint you."
Wintour said at the event that she had met with the French minister of culture to discuss starting a similar fund in France, and the UK and Italy already have their own schemes. The editor reported that China, Russia, Brazil and India aren't far behind, but admitted still that "New York is the place to come for young designers to show what they're capable of."
Amongst the many highlights of the fashion calendar lies the Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards, and adding to the glamour and excitement of it all came the release of a Norman Jean Roy editorial, featuring fabulous shots of the various nominees, photographed alongside their designs. With stakes high for the awards, the editorial is refreshingly fun, and showcases some unusual, and delightful pairings - Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin alongside Karlie Kloss and Chanel Iman modelling pieces by Sophie Theallet, for example - along with some expected groupings, Angela Lindvall and Waris, being one. Take a sneaky peak at the slide show, here.