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The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Annual Benefit Luncheon
Honoring 2010 Award Recipient
Karl Lagerfeld
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
September 10, 2010

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Photographed by Nick Hunt of Patrick McMullen

Opposite Photo:
Karl Lagerfeld


The Couture Council of the Fashion Institute of Technology presented the Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award to Karl Lagerfeld, the head of the House of Chanel, on September 10, 2010 (the first day of Fashion Week). The luncheon was held in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, catty-corner to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tents which had been erected for the first time at Lincoln Center (Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was formerly at Bryant Park).

Daphne Guiness

It was a beautiful bright sunny day and "the ladies who lunch" were out in all their glory, many decked from head to toe in Chanel. Lagerfeld muse Daphne Guiness was particularly stunning (as she always is). But elegantly dressed or not, the luncheon guests were a bit awe struck by Lagerfeld. So many people wanted to see him, there was actually a flurry of a crowd control situation, utterly amazing with an illustrious crowd at an elegant event. Well, Lagerfeld IS a rock star.

Vogue Editor Anna Wintour with Karl Lagerfeld

Then it was time for lunch, and Lagerfeld took his place at the table, sitting between film star Diane Kruger and Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. One fun fashion note, Lagerfeld was wearing elegant silver driving gloves; he kept them and his sunglasses on while he ate. Wintour also wore her sunglasses to lunch. Both Lagerfeld and Wintour were dressed in complementing neutral shades; perhaps there was some type of memo beforehand.

The always witty Simon Doonan MC'D the luncheon, opening by saying that Karl Lagerfeld is the Oscar Wilde of Fashion and later saying that Lagerfeld's favorites names is Louis, as in Louis the Fourteenth and Louis the Fifteenth. Doonan also said that being a fashion designer and constantly preparing for Fashion Week is like being a nymphomaniac who can never reach an orgasm.

Dr. Joyce Brown, the President of The Fashion Institute of Technology, greeted the group welcoming them to the luncheon and the start of Fashion Week. Liz Peek, Chairman of the Board of the Couture Council, then spoke and thanked the group for leaving their beach houses to return to the city for the luncheon (there was no sign of sand on anyone present).

Diane Kruger

Then Diane Kruger (dressed in Chanel) came to the podium. Diane has known Lagerfeld for years and is presently his neighbor, owning the apartment next to his in Paris (according to New York Magazine, he wants to buy her apartment to expand his own). Kruger said that every woman in the room either owns a garment by Lagerfeld or wants to own one. Kruger presented the award to Lagerfeld who spoke thanking the Couture Council for honoring him with the award.

Then it was time for the door prizes. Last year Simon Doonan encouraged the winners to run to the podium screaming like winners on a daytime TV show. Strangely enough, no one did. So this year, he simply came to the podium and with the help of actor Alan Cummings and model Elisa Sednaoui, drew the tickets from the hat and announced the winning numbers with dignity. Perhaps next year there can be a special award for the most vocal winner.

Eleanora Kennedy, Dr. Valerie Steele, Liz Peek, Yaz Hernandez, Charlotte Moss
and Alexandra Lebenthal

The honorary committee chairwomen were: Daphne Guinness, Lady Amanda Harlech and Virginie Viard. Chairs for the luncheon were: Deeda Blair, Jen Brill, Amanda Brooks, Susan Casden, Poppy Delevigne, Lauren Santo Domingo, Vanessa Getty, Gretchen Jordan, Coco Kopelman, Marie Josée Kravis, Alexandra Lebenthal, Leigh Lezark, Charlotte Moss, Kara Ross, Allison Sarofim, Caroline Sieber, Lizzie Tisch, Vanessa Traina and Lynn Wyatt.

Luncheon guests included: writer Amy Fine Colins; Andre Leon Talley of Vogue; Angela Chen; Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue; Barbara Tober, Chairman of the Museum of Arts & Design's Board of Trustees; Candy Pratts Price; Daphne Guiness, style icon and Lagerfeld muse; Fe Fendi: Glenda Bailey, editor of Harper's Bazaar; Hamish Bowles, European Editor-at-large for Vogue; fashion designer Gabriel Rivera-Barraza; Vanity Fair and Vogue international editor Ingrid Sischy; Isabel Toledo (the 2008 honoree) and her huband. the artist Ruben Toledo; Jamee Gregory; Jill Kargman; John Richardson; Kathleen Hearst; Linda Fargo of Bergdorf Goodman; designer Lisa Boone; lifestyle guru Martha Stewart; Matilda Cuomo, former First Lady of New York; designer Michelle Harper; Rachel Zoe, fashion stylist to the stars; Robert Verdi; Rosemary Ponzo; Sarah and Whitney Wolfe; Sharon Bush; Somers Farkas; Valerie Steele, director of the FIT Museum; Veronica Webb, model and TV personality; and Yaz Hernandez, Vice Chair of the Couture Council.

Past recipients of The Couture Council Artistry of Fashion Award are Dries Van Noten in 2009, Isabel Toledo in 2008, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin in 2007, and Ralph Rucci in 2006. In 2008, Giorgio Armani also received a special award for Global Fashion Leadership.


Hamish Bowles Karl Lagerfeld
Fe Fendi Michele Harper


The FIT Couture Council’s Annual Luncheon is generously sponsored by the concierge servvice, Quintessentially.

For more information about the Couture Council, log onto their website.




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