Taking in the chic shindig, which was hosted at the scene-stealing River Pavilion at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, were Emily Ratajkowski, wearing a blush-tone slip dress from Jacobs; designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne; and Wes Gordon. Any advice from the designers to the new class? “Run, run out of this industry,” implored Osborne with a laugh, with Chow adding, “Turn around and don’t look back!” But the pair of designers, who won almost every major fashion award last year said, “Stick to your guns and your point of view. And work hard.” That sentiment was shared by contemporary Charles Harbison. “Do what you do exceedingly well,” he advised. “You can really push through in an effective way if you concentrate on craft.” But overall the designers in attendance had a similar message. “Go out and see the world,” exclaimed Donna Karan, with Gordon adding, “they are embarking on the most exciting and stressful journey one could imagine.”After cocktails, guests including Danielle and Jodie Snyder, Amirah Kassem, Natalie Joos, and others proceeded into the pavilion for a fashion show from the graduating class. This year’s womenswear designer winner, Lucy Jones, created a line meant for seated individuals manipulating fabrics and designs that work for those in wheelchairs. But one thing was clear. The crowd was thrilled at the new visions of American design with the students presenting a smattering of collections taking cues from the London club kids, androgynous runway staples, all with a subversive slant. But then it was time for the main event: The presentation of this year’s awards to Marc Jacobs and LVMH. Anna Wintour, _Vogue’_s Editor in Chief and Condé Nast Artistic Director, introduced her friend Jacobs, saying, “Marc is an intellectual. Collector of art. A man who tries to imbue everything he creates with meaning. He’s one of the few designers with whom you never know what you’re going to get on the runway. It’s always a complete surprise. Fashion should bring joy to the world, Marc once said, but Marc it’s you who brings joy to the world.” After boisterous applause—and a few hollers!—Jacobs took to the podium and thanked Wintour before thanking Parsons for introducing him to his longest relationship. “I worked hard and learned a lot at Parsons,” said Jacobs, visibly humbled and moved at receiving the award. “At the end of my senior year, on a night just like this one, I got to show my work. That night was to be the luckiest night of my life. it was then that Robert Duffy recognized the talent in me and begun the longest and most wonderful relationship I’ve ever known.” With the applause roaring, what was everyone thinking about the man who changed the landscape of American fashion? “I think he’s someone that I’ve admired for a classic but feminine silhouette,” Ratajkowski said. “I love the way he’s evolved over time while still staying true to his brand and image. And he’s a great person!”
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