Scaled-Down CFDA Awards Still Swanky

June 11, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Council of Fashion Designers of America's Awards New York Public LibraryMonday, 06.03.02, 7 PM onward
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Three words summarized the 40th annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards: Scaled-down chic. Gone was last year's oversized guest list of 2,000. Left to memory was Sandra Bernhard as M.C. Instead, a pared-down posse of 450 fashion insiders (like menswear designer of the year winner Marc Jacobs and it-newcomer Rick Owens) filled the New York Public Library's Celeste Bartos Forum, along with presenters like Ali McGraw and Shalom Harlow. Decorum replaced delirium.

But don't get the wrong idea: No event held solely to celebrate the fashionista crowd can get away with being less than fabulous. “I can describe the evening's theme: Glamour, glamour, glamour,” said decor guru Colin Cowie, who created the look for the event. “It's about creating an evening that's as chic as possible.”

Using the space as inspiration, Cowie concentrated on a threefold color scheme of taupe, oyster and sable. Raw silk tablecloths, napkins and slipcovers were in taupe and oyster. Because Swarovski was an event sponsor, Cowie incorporated the company's crystals onto the napkins and vases. “It's haute couture for the table,” Cowie said.

Two different table designs prevailed—round tables were surrounded by open-backed chairs with oyster silk cushions and taupe and oyster-bordered cloths while square tables had chairs that were covered in taupe and oyster-trimmed slip covers. With such luxe linens, the look for the rest of the table was what Cowie described as “well-edited.” Simple bouquets of flowers from Absolutely Wild served as centerpieces, while square plates provided a minimalist touch. Wine glasses arrived at the table with each course, instead of being preset.

For the food, Union Pacific chef Rocco DiSpirito designed a menu of poached halibut and Swiss chard, which was executed by caterer Tentation.

--Erika Rasmusson

Photography by Stillman Jefferson Thomas Digital Photography

Read our coverage of last year's awards.

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