The night before the midterm elections the winds of change were blowing through the halls of Casa Cipriani on South Street at the tip of Manhattan, whooshing over the step-and-repeat of celebrity entrances at the 67th annual Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, more colloquially known as “the fashion Oscars.”
They blew past Drake, attending as a friend of Chrome Hearts; past the whole clan Kardashian, there to support Kim who was receiving the Amazon innovation award for Skims along with her co-founders, Jens and Emma Grede; past Trevor Noah, a presenter, in blue velvet and Keke Palmer, another presenter, in ballooning blue florals.
The dress code may have been “Archival American,” but there is a new generation of American designers on the rise: designers uninterested in looking back, designers who took nontraditional routes to the runway and who don’t necessarily have much truck with fashion’s old rules and traditions. And the annual awards, which for years have seemed mired in a miasma of déjà vu, with the same names nominated and winning year after year, have finally caught up to the change. Not least in terms of diversity.

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