A Somber Yet Celebratory CFDA Fashion Awards, and Other News

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Serena Williams at the CFDA Awards. Photography by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic via Getty Images

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A Somber Yet Celebratory CFDA Fashion Awards

This week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America hosted its annual awards show underneath the giant whale at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The “Oscars of Fashion” honors defining members of the vast American fashion ecosystem, from designers and stylists to celebrities—and now athletes. Tennis legend Serena Williams, the first athlete to receive the fashion icon award, was perhaps the evening’s biggest star and dressed to prove it, swathed in an oversized crystal-specked Thom Browne satin dress adorned with a giant bow. “I knew when I was a little girl that I was different,” Williams said. “So I saw fashion and style as a way to, you know, kind of distinguish myself.”

If Serena’s honor was an ace, some winners were perhaps par for the course. Catherine Holstein of Khaite won in womenswear for the second year running; Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row snagged their sixth CFDA Award, this time for accessories, but skipped the ceremony. There were pleasant surprises—Mara Hoffman, who recently debuted a dress made of recycled cotton-polyester fabric, won for environmental sustainability while the International Award went to Surface cover star Jonathan Anderson. Menswear winner Willy Chavarria zoomed out and drove down an important point that set the tone for the evening: “We’re all sitting in the shadow of some really awful things happening in the world,” he said during his acceptance speech. “We all need to stand with those people that are being hurt—in any way. We need to do whatever we can through our business, through our human context or our daily lives, to make others feel loved and empowered.” —Ryan Waddoups

“Tulipes Hollandaises” by Charles Frederick Worth. Photography by Nick Knight, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The next Costume Institute show will focus on sustainability and fashion’s fleeting nature.

In May, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will unveil “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” as its next Costume Institute exhibition. While the title might evoke Disney spectacles, the show will focus on sustainability and fashion’s fleeting nature, drawing parallels to nature’s fragility and ephemerality. Curated by Andrew Bolton, the show will feature 250 garments and accessories, some too deteriorated to display on mannequins and instead showcased in glass “coffins” with holographic overlays. Divided into three zones (earth, air, and water), the show will immerse visitors in a world of environmentally inspired fashion and emphasize the importance of sustainable practices. The show will also incorporate scent, sound, X-rays, video, and even AI to enhance the emotional connection to clothing. 

Burberry Beauty will relaunch next month with a renovated boutique inside Selfridges. 

Burberry Beauty is set to relaunch next month with a boutique inside Selfridges. The British luxury brand has had a somewhat inconsistent history with its beauty line. In 2013, it brought fragrance operations in-house and introduced a cosmetics line led by celebrity makeup artist Wendy Rowe. In 2017, however, the license changed hands to Coty. Now, Coty is expanding the cosmetics line with new products like the Beyond Wear Perfecting Matte Foundation featuring “Trench Protect” Technology inspired by the iconic Burberry trench coat fabric, along with the new Burberry Kisses lip product.

Vesterheim Commons by Snøhetta. Photography by Michael Grimm

Snøhetta designs a commons for Vesterheim, a museum and folk art school in Iowa. 

In the early 19th century, Norwegian immigrants were drawn to the vast open lands of the American Midwest, leading to the establishment of Decorah in northeastern Iowa, known as their “Western Home” or Vesterheim. Today, it stands as the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, a place of craft, art, education, and architecture. Recently, Snøhetta collaborated with BNIM, the architect of record, to complete the 7,600-square-foot Vesterheim Commons, unifying and enhancing the institution. Inspired by traditional boat construction, the entrance canopy features a sweeping design reminiscent of a sail and is built using Douglas fir, contrasting with the new facade’s brick and glass. The project integrates ecological restoration with regional materials, such as mass timber and large bricks, creating a welcoming space with a focus on daylighting and sustainable design.

The Golden Gate Bridge finally installs anti-suicide nets after delays and cost overruns.

Construction of suicide prevention upgrades on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is nearing completion. The project, which began in August 2018 after raising an additional $124 million in funds, faced delays due to a contractor’s breach-of-contract lawsuit and cost overruns, ultimately pushing the final estimated cost to $400 million. While some argue that the project represents an ineffective approach to suicide prevention, with concerns about the netting system’s ability to prevent second attempts, others emphasize the importance of restricting access to lethal means for effective prevention. Since its opening in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge has been the site of more than 2,000 suspected suicide deaths.

The LVMH Prize introduces the Savoir-Faire Prize to honor traditional craftsmanship.

LVMH has introduced a new award, the Savoir-Faire Prize, as part of its 2024 LVMH Prize for Young Designers. The aim of this prize, which will be awarded to a young brand selected among the finalists, is to promote the transmission of craftsmanship skills. The recipient will receive a grant of 200,000 € ($214,000) and a one-year mentorship program from the LVMH Group. In addition to this, LVMH is opening a dedicated space for craftsmanship in Paris, called the Maison des Métiers d’Excellence, in 2025 to showcase the skills of the 280 trades represented across its 75 brands.

Oasis of Eden in Yucca Valley, California, which appears in “Hotel Kitsch” by Margaret and Corey Bienert (Artisan Books). Photography by Margaret and Corey Bienert

Today’s attractive distractions:

Hunter Schafer recently wore a surrealist, mosaic-like dress by Schiaparelli.

Sea urchins are a looming threat to kelp forests, but eating their roe can help.

Colombia doubles down on a plan to recover $20 billion in sunken treasure.

This new book uncovers the sleazy world of adults-only fantasy getaways.

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