Lady Gaga honored with fashion icon award at CFDAs

Lady Gaga accepts the Fashion Icon Award during the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards on June 6, 2011, in New York.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Lady Gaga attends the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards on June 6, 2011, in New York.
AP Photo/Peter Kramer

(CBS/AP) - Lady Gaga had a slightly emotional moment when she accepted her award as this year's top fashion icon at Monday night's Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.

The pop star and style risk-taker, who was decked out in a turquoise wig and a corset get-up by Thierry Mugler, a label now helmed by her friend and stylist Nicola Formichetti, gave a heartfelt thanks to a crowd filled with Hollywood stars and fashion industry elites.

Pictures: Lady GagaPictures: 2011 CFDA Awards

"All of you made me feel like a star before I was," a nervous Gaga told the audience at Lincoln Center that boasted bold-faced names such as Marc Jacobs, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan and Michael Kors. "As much as this award means to me personally ... I just want you to know how much this means to young Americans,"

The songstress recalled getting the text message from Wintour that she had been picked for the prize. She said she mistook the Vogue editor-in-chief for another friend named Anna: "So my reply was, 'Yes, b*tch, we did it!"

"I got a reply that said, 'How lovely,'" Gaga said.

That led to laughter - and so did Anderson Cooper's montage of his early days as a preteen model.

The CNN anchor, who is a longtime friend of CFDA president von Furstenberg, said he decided to show his photos to prove his fashion cred since he was acting as host for the glitzy award show. (He also is the son of late designer jeans magnate Gloria Vanderbilt and worked as a fit model for both Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, who made his tuxedo.)

"There was no way you'd be critical," he joked, "or that's what Diane said, anyway."

Actress Naomi Watts, dress in a metallic T-shirt-style gown by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, presented the evening's top prize of womenswear designer to Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. But she seemed to find the awkward walk across a long stage intimidating in her high heels. "That was easy," she said as she reached the podium. "Fun doing it in a room full of supermodels."

The two standing ovations of the night went to photographer Arthur Elgort and designer Marc Jacobs, who was there for his "half-lifetime achievement award," according to presenter and muse, the director  Sofia Coppola.

"This achievement is born of love, passion, creativity ... and a hell of a lot of hard work," said Jacobs, who is 48.

He added, "I believe we all know and feel the greatest reward is the process itself."

Other highlights:

-Kanye West, saying he was a huge fan, handed the international design prize to Phoebe Philo of Celine. He said he's been known to go into a Celine store and try on the clothes - womenswear, no less - "knowing that would get me bashed by the hip-hop blogs."

-Michael Bastian was named best menswear designer, and Alexander Wang as accessories designer.

-Model Karolina Kurkova, in a striking hooded jumpsuit made of green sequins, presented the winners in the Swarovski emerging-talent categories: Eddie Borgo for accessories, Robert Geller for menswear and Prabal Gurung for womenswear.

- Actress Jessica Alba, showing off her baby bump in a coral-and-purple gown by von Furstenberg, gave the CFDA Founders Award to InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein.

-Kors said he always enjoys this event because he likes being surrounded with "people who have a passion for fashion."

"Tonight is about not only people who make the clothes, but also the photographers, writers and the people who wear the clothes."