New York-based glossy fashion industry gossip sheet the Daily Front Row, a mainstay of fashion weeks around the world in print and a daily presence online, decamped to the City of Angels Thursday night to hand out its first ever Fashion Los Angeles Awards to an impressive list of honorees that included Jeremy Scott, Christian Louboutin and model-of-the-moment, Gigi Hadid.
Equally impressive were the A-list attendees – many of them award presenters – that gathered at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood, including Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Drew Barrymore.
West kicked things off as only West can – holding forth for the better part of 10 minutes in a stream-of-thought speech that touched on French flea markets, smiling (“Not smiling makes me smile,” he said), the importance of fashion (“being naked is illegal”) and the assertion that “the world can be saved through fashion,” before presenting the Fashion Innovator of the Year award to Mazdack Rassi, the founder and creative director of the fashion industry hub Milk Studios.
Then Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) took to the stage to present the Womenswear Stylist of the Year award to Ann Caruso (who has worked with Oprah, Claire Danes and the Clooney family), followed by pop star Ciara, who presented Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli with the award for Menswear Designer of the Year (barely three days after his Milan runway show) and Armie Hammer (“The Lone Ranger”), who presented Ilaria Urbinati (whose clients include Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans and Ty Burrell) the ribbon-wrapped scroll representing the Menswear Stylist of the Year award.
For the record
10:14 p.m.: An earlier version of this post reported that stylist Ann Caruso had worked with Amal Clooney. Caruso has worked with the Clooney family.
Drew Barrymore effusively presented the award for Fashion Media Brand of the Year to InStyle magazine’s editor-in-chief Ariel Foxman. Model Dylan Penn (daughter of Sean Penn and Robin Wright) presented Emerging Designer of the Year honors to August Getty (grandson of John Paul Getty Jr.). A pink-haired Nicole Richie presented Model of the Year to Hadid, and Kerry Washington presented Louboutin with Shoe Designer of the Year in an exercise in mutual admiration that culminated with the designer saying: “Yes, I say ‘Je suis Charlie’ because I am French but, tonight Je ne suis pas Charlie, je suis Kerry.”
The penultimate award of the evening – presented by Minka Kelly – was a special anniversary tribute to Max and Lubov Azria in honor of their Herve Leger brand’s 30th year.
If there was an appropriate counterweight to West’s kicking things off it was Cyrus taking the stage just a short hour later to wrap things up by presenting the award for Womenswear Designer of the Year to Scott. “There are two things that are different about tonight,” Cyrus said, referring no doubt to her appearance with Tom Ford at the AmFar Awards, where she wore a barely-there gown. “For one I’m sober and two I’m wearing clothes. … You can thank [Jeremy] when I don’t have my [breasts] hanging out.”
Scott took to the stage, offering thanks to nearly everyone in the room including Louboutin (for providing shoes for some of his early shows), Rihanna (“I don’t think she has a single video in which she’s not wearing something of mine,”) and Katy Perry (“I’m looking forward to doing the Super Bowl halftime show with her”) but saved the most hearfelt, teary thanks to longtime boyfriend Pablo Olea. “When critics liked me, he was there. When critics didn’t like me, he was still there.”
The star power packed into the intimate space at the Sunset Tower Hotel shined so brightly it overshadowed the fact that the Daily Front Row’s existence is defined, by and large, by its proximity to fashion weeks around the world, where copies of the magazine, founded by Brandusa Niro in 2002, are distributed free outside show venues. And Los Angeles doesn’t have a unified version of fashion week. (Similar Daily Front Row awards are handed out during New York Fashion Week.) Fewer than half the honorees have more than a tangential connection to the Los Angeles fashion scene (members of which were noticeably absent from the audience). But the oversized glossy published a special January 2015 Hollywood edition for the occasion, and managed to reel in a high-wattage crowd. We’ll be interested to see if the mag’s fledgling Fashion Los Angeles Awards event has (model-length) legs.
For the latest in fashion and style news, follow me @ARTschorn