More than 350 Ladies Who Lunches – and some men too – pulled out their best Dior ensembles as they descended at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater to kick off New York Fashion Week, despite Wednesday’s gloomy weather.
The event was to honor Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of haute couture, prêt-à-porter and women’s accessories collections for Dior, who was awarded the Couture Council 2022 award for Artistry of Fashion from the Museum at FIT’s Couture Council.
Chiuri showed up in a fitted black Dior trouser suit and plain white trainers.
“It’s because of the rain,” Chiuri said. “When it rains, I prefer comfortable shoes. I want to be safe ”.
The Italian designer – who arrived at the event surrounded by friends and fans, including her daughter Rachele Regini – said she was “very honored to be here at the FIT; I never imagined in my career to receive this award. FIT is an important fashion and culture institute. And we need to support all women in all different careers and push other women to fulfill their dreams in fashion. Plus, fashion isn’t easy. I think it is important to recognize this [career] it could absolutely be hell.
The guest of honor – who joined Dior in 2016 through Fendi and Valentino – added that he had only made two trips to New York during the pandemic. “So I’m very excited to be here,” Chiuri said. “It seems like [New York Fashion Week] somehow he came back to life ”.
Chiuri wasn’t the only one feeling the excitement in the air. Halston Creative Director Ken Downing; Ali Wentworth; Nina Garcia; Candace Bushnell; Kat Graham; Mallis fern; The decades-old boutique owner Cameron Silver and Francisco Costa were just some of the attendees who flocked to the West Side lunch, drinking rosy cocktails surrounded by freshly cut flowers. Many were hoping to take selfies with Chiuri.
“I’m certainly blown away by her talent,” said Veronica Webb, who was also dressed in Dior. “His technical mastery of everything he does is perfect. It is really exciting to see her honored for everything she has done in fashion ”.
Samira Nasr, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, who presented Chiuri with the annual award, said: “The meeting with her was a confirmation of the way in which Maria Grazia approaches fashion. It is not an escape from the world, but as a way to welcome it. A way to make sense of it and to embrace everyone and everything she has to offer “.
The lunch was co-chaired by Julie Macklowe, founder and CEO of The Macklowe Whiskey, and jewelry designer Kara Ross. Timo Weiland DJed the event, which was sponsored by Nordstrom and helped raise nearly $ 1 million for the museum.
“We are still trying to establish ourselves and to be successful everywhere, we need to be connected to the communities we serve,” Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer of the department store, told WWD. “And this is a great way to do it.
“And I walked in and I saw this beautiful room and I thought, it was so beautiful, the possibility of being together again in person; it’s great, ”she added during her speech. “Everything looks great and there is such a great and positive energy here.”
Previous recipients of the Couture Council’s annual award include Wes Gordon, Christian Louboutin, Narciso Rodriguez, Manolo Blahnik, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Rucci, among others.
“We are proud to honor Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female creative director of the haute couture, prêt-à-porter and women’s accessories collections for Dior, with the Couture Council Award 2022,” said Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum in FIT. “How [Chiuri] says, ‘When you’re a woman who makes clothes for women, fashion is not just about how you look, it’s also about how you feel and how you think.’ “
Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT, added: “Maria Grazia Chiuri believes that fashion is a fundamental part of life and, consequently, designs with elegance and grace for women of all sizes, all ages and all shapes. . Her vision – that you can be both feminist and feminine – is reflected in all of her collections. For aspiring designers, such as FIT students, it is a source of inspiration and it is our honor to recognize her work and her contributions to the world of fashion ”.