Everyone, say well hello there to Chris Benz. He's the gorgeous face behind the namesake womenswear line known for its edgy, prepster designs. See, male models aren't the only hotties in the fashion scene; there are some hot designers out there too! Lucky for you, we found the cream of the crop, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and soak in the manjoyment . . .
>> This year's CFDA Awards are coming up on June 15, and for the accompanying CFDA Journal, which is handed out at the ceremony and showcases all the nominees, Craig McDean and Karl Templer enlisted all 21 designers to model their own work (last year, Raquel Zimmermann did the honors).
Womenswear Designer of the Year nominees Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte go rosy-cheeked, International Award winner for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, sports a pair of the bunny ears from his latest show, Accessory Designer of the Year nominees Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez wear their handbags like boxing gloves — perhaps a cheeky nod to recent events — and Swarovski Womenswear Designer nominee Jason Wu layered one of his evening gowns over a suit, playing on the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers duality of himself and his designs.
While the Journal won't be available for public consumption, the CFDA has introduced a Popular Vote Award this year, so that anyone can nominate their favorite designer to win until June 9.
>> While Jack McCollough is recovering from surgery and the accompanying drama, his Proenza Schouler design partner Lazaro Hernandez announced this afternoon that they have been chosen as the special guest of the Pitti W precollection event, which takes place in Florence June 16-19, and will show their Pre-Spring 2010 collection June 18 at a sixteenth-century Medici villa. This marks the duo's first time to show a collection in Europe.
The show won't involve a runway — “Two runways a year are enough for us,” Hernandez explained. "We didn't want to do a traditional runway show." Instead, they've invited three performance artists to react to their clothes: the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black will perform, Haim Steinbach plans an installation, and Kalip Linzy has directed a video guest-starring Chloe Sevigny and Liya Kebede, among others.
Highlights from Inside the 2009 Costume Institute Gala: Gisele Dumps Galliano for Versace, Carine Roitfeld Showed
>> Despite all the drama before and after, the Costume Institute Gala itself furnished plenty of notable and quotable moments; for those who were wondering, Carine Roitfeld did attend, even though it was reported that Julia Restoin-Roitfeld would not.
Gisele Bundchen pulled out of John Galliano's table at the last minute, choosing to ride in with the Versace camp instead; it sounds like she might be returning as the label's Fall 2009 face — the New York Times reports that her custom Versace dress "was conceived while she was modeling for [Donatella’s] next ad campaign." Helena Christensen, meanwhile, joked of her Zac Posen dress, which read "Vogue," the V formed by a plunging neckline: “It’s so I can remember whose party I’m at."
And while Kate Moss was on hostess duty (and presumably her best behavior) for Anna Wintour, she still managed to be herself, pulling a big wad of gum out of her mouth when asked about being a muse: “I’m amused. I think it’s quite interesting for somebody to go outside of the box and think that a model actually has had some input into fashion. A lot of the time, the models don’t really get a say.”
>> THE MODELIZER —A bottle of peroxide has been splashed heavily among the model ranks lately — Iekeliene Stange, Ana Claudia Michels, Daul Kim have all been doused — and the most recent head to be hit by the bleached blonde is that of Raquel Zimmermann, who showed up last night at a pre-Met cocktail party "feel[ing] like a different person." She says she'll be accompanying Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough in Proenza Schouler to the Costume Institute Gala tonight. [Style File]
UPDATE: And while we're on the topic of the Met gala, Anna Maria Jagodzinska is to accompany Joseph Altuzarra, wearing a red silk dress and red fur-trimmed sandals, all by the designer.
>> The 2009 CFDA Award nominees have just been announced, and Marc Jacobs has already won an award — the International Award for his work at Louis Vuitton (he's nominated in two more categories). Last year's Swarovski Award winners, Rodarte and Band of Outsiders, have both been bumped up to compete in the respective major league categories, and 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund contenders Albertus Q. Swanepoel, Alejandro Ingelmo, and Jason Wu have all entered the Swarovski Award ring this year.
We'll have to wait until June 15 to see who wins what, but the ceremony might mark fashion's first Michelle Obama event appearance — she's being honored with this year's Board of Director's Special Tribute for her style choices and penchant for up-and-coming talent.
>> Designers have been dealing with the possibility of flagging Fall 2009 sales in different ways — some have opted to stay close to their brand identity, and some, like Marc Jacobs, have ignored it all and gone full steam ahead with whatever they were feeling. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez look to be in the former category, in that instead of innovating and experimenting with new looks and shapes like they have for the past few seasons, they have gone back to their Fall roots — bustier dresses, tailored pieces, and coats in dark colors and jewel tones. Not to say that it means the brand has become stagnant — the set of looks with crushed velvet jaggedly intermeshed with sheer panels will definitely sell in the right crowd — the one Proenza is aiming for anyway — and the PS1's next iteration as puffy oversized clutch is sure to create as much fervor as its predecessor.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Proenza Schouler fans may have buying the new PS1 bag at the top of their lists, but here's a good secondary, not to mention cheaper, option: watching Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez in action. The designing duo is said to be joining the long list of guest stars on Ugly Betty, featuring a Proenza fashion show. [Nylon]
>> INSIDER WIRE —When they're not out showing off their new covetable line of bags, the boys of Proenza Schouler might be at the organic farm they own in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough will even "go and take care of the animals," but they leave the slaughtering to the professionals: "It's intense." [The Cut]
Sigh, how I envy the lifestyles of the rich and fabulous. While normal folks worked their 9 to 5, fashion folks attended Proenza Schouler's Ball collection luncheon in Beverly Hills. Like their beautiful designs, the Proenza boys give only the best to their VIP guests. Guests included Lisa Eisner, Vogue West Coast Editor Lisa Love, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Samantha Traina (seen left with McCollough). The collection of cool handbags and sculptural shoes are beyond beautiful. And leave it to the darlings to send each guest off in style with a beautiful leather clutch. Color me jealous!
To see more from the festivities, read more