NEW YORK (AP) — Rihanna, an undisputed fashion star of the moment, was the big draw Monday at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, which also honor the year’s top designers.
The singer and pop culture star, dressed in a see-through fishnet dress, gloves and headscarf embellished with thousands of crystals, was awarded the group’s 2014 Fashion Icon Award. Previous honorees have been Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman and Johnny Depp.
Also being honored at the glamorous ceremony at New York’s Lincoln Center was designer Tom Ford, who won the CFDA’s lifetime achievement award. The prestigious Founder’s Award went to Bethann Hardison, a former model and modeling agent who has been a vocal champion for diversity on runways.
Joseph Altuzarra won CFDA’s womenswear award while the menswear award went to designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the duo behind the label Public School. Sisters Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen won the accessories award. CFDA’s international award went to Raf Simons, of Dior.
The annual show, hosted this year by director and screenwriter John Waters, draws a mix of fashion insiders and Hollywood. This year, Rihanna was clearly the big name, along with an even newer fashion star: Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, who presented the womenswear award. Others in attendance included Marion Cotillard, Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha, Jennifer Hudson, Anna Wintour and Emmy Rossum.
Speaking of Rihanna before the show, designer Zac Posen called the pop star a fashion risk-taker, who skillfully melds red-carpet glamour with a rebellious streak. Rihanna’s choice for Monday’s event of a sparkling, revealing, body-hugging gown, designed by Adam Selman, epitomized Posen’s description.
“She takes risks and she marches to her own drum and she knows what she likes,” Posen told The Associated Press in an interview. He recalled meeting the singer at his studio before she launched her first album.
“She was a fashion world novice then,” he said, “but obviously she had looks and confidence and little-girl charm. All the ingredients were there for her to be a huge superstar: ambition, strength, and also vulnerability.” Rihanna’s occasional use of shock value, he said, “has kept her current, and balanced how classically beautiful she is.”
Rihanna also has a great appreciation for designers, Posen added: “That’s why people love to dress her.”