The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards Dinner – Vogue.com

Photographed by Kevin Tachman

Down in Tribeca, a lush, autumnal garden blossomed at Spring Studios for the eleventh annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund dinner, supported by Westfield World Trade Center, which honored the contest’s ten finalists and culminated in the announcement of the winner. Sprinkled throughout were heartthrobs including Ansel Elgort and Joe Jonas who were joined by Eve Hewson and Greta Gerwig (in a dress from last year’s finalists—Tome—punctuated with jewelry by Jennifer Fisher). “I’m here to support Orley because of Jennifer,” said Gerwig before Claire Distenfeld, in Rosie Assoulin, chimed in, “They’ve become the Kevin Bacon of fashion—at some point an Orley has affected your life.”

Taking in the surroundings and dancing to the beats provided by The Misshapes were Ben Stiller, Alexa Chung, Melissa George, and tennis superstars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. There were also plenty of previous Fashion Funders present to dole out advice before the ceremony. “Just remember to eat,” said last year’s runner-up Marc Alary, adding, “[In the end,] it’s about what you’re going to do after.”

And how were the actual finalists feeling on their big night? “A little jittery,” said Eva Zuckerman of Eva Fehren. “This contest has made me realize what I’m made of as a designer and a company.”

The crowd for dinner included everyone from the judges to keynote speaker Stella McCartney to style setters including Marina Rust Connor, Lauren Santo Domingo, and Tory Burch. “I showed my boys the spread of the Fashion Funders in the November issue of Vogue, and they picked Wes Gordon as their favorite,” said Burch, in an oxblood dress by Dolce & Gabbana accented with Tabitha Simmons shoes. Everyone including Quentin Jones in Derek Lam, Kati Nescher in Ryan Roche, Constance Jablonski in Peter Som, Gigi Burris, and previous Funders Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, and Eddie Borgo placed bets on their favorites. “I’m rooting for my guy—Paul Andrew. He does my shoes,” said Vera Wang, in her own design.

After Steven Kolb introduced Anna Wintour, she revealed, “This is the toughest decision we’ve ever had to make,” before noting that the finalists “see fashion in very different ways.”

Diane von Furstenberg then took to the stage to introduce “the prince of New York” Seth Meyers, who led the rest of the evening’s festivities.

“This is where they all gather to have their annual chicken pot pie,” joked Meyers of what’s become a staple entree at the dinner, before introducing keynote speaker Stella McCartney. “I never felt comfortable to say I’m a fashion designer,” said McCartney, “but what we wear reflects who we are.” She then continued to give an impassioned speech to the young designers in the crowd advising them on making the right types of business decisions. “It’s not all or nothing—it’s about making an effort.”

Meyers then joined McCartney for the main event. Zuckerman was announced first as a runner-up and appeared genuinely surprised. “I looked like Harry Potter for most of my life,” said the newly crowned runner-up, “but I will make you very proud. Thank you for this honor.”

Then, Ryan Roche was announced as the next runner-up. “Wow!” exclaimed the humbled Roche, who added, “I’m the cryer of the group—I was rooting for us all!” before McCartney interjected, “You’re going to make me cry now!”

And finally, just as the sweet apple tartine was served, Meyers opened the last envelope and announced Paul Andrew as the winner. There was a roar of cheers from the crowd. “The contest was an experience in and of itself,” said Andrew. “And the award is truly a dream come true.”

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