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The Best In Fashion Honored

New York City's Avery Fisher Hall Lincoln Center was turned into a catwalk at the 19th Annual American Fashion Awards hosted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on Thursday, June 15th.

Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Elizabeth Hurley were among those who attended the event honoring the best in the fashion industry.

Oscar de la Renta beat out Donna Karan and Helmet Lang for Womenswear Designer of the Year. Lang, who was not in attendance, won for Menswear Designer of the Year over nominees Kenneth Cole and Marc Jacobs.

The Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear went to newcomer Miguel Adrover. Adrover's fashion show in a former synagogue on Manhattan's Lower East Side was the breakaway hit of the spring/summer 2000 shows last February. He drew attention with his very original collection of recycled fabrics, linings and T-shirts.

Up-and-comer John Varvatos won the Perry Ellis Award for Menswear over fellow nominees Sean John (Sean "Puffy" Combs) and Jason Bunin. Varvatos has been in the fashion business for more than two decades, and held top posts at Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, where he created the CK brand. He went solo just a year ago and presented his first runway show last fall.

In the accessory category, the Perry Ellis Award for Accessory was presented to Dean Harris for his delicate 18-karat gold jewelry. Emcee Sandra Bernhard presented Richard Lambertson & John Truex with the award for Accessory Designer of the Year for their handbag designs.

Jerry Hall presented the International Award to Jean Paul Gaultier who was chosen over nominees Miuccia Prada and Jil Sander.

Jean Paul Gaultier won the International Award

Other fashion royalty in attendance included designers Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, and Randolph Duke.

When asked by's Zoy Avgerinos what will be the fashion statement for next fall, designer Vera Wang replied, "Crocodile is definitely in and will be in next fall as well."

Revlon head Ron Perelman escorted fiancée Ellen Barkin to the affair. Barkin presented an award to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its contribution to fashion.

Other celebrity presenters included actress Ashley Judd, actors Ben Stiller and Sean Hayes, model Gisele Bundchen, model and actress Milla Jovovich and Robert Kennedy Jr.

The CFDA Membership and CFDA's Board of Directors selected the winners of the special awards. Valentino was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Liz Claiborne with the Humanitarian Award for the Liz Cliborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation and Bill Blass with a special tribute for being the Dean of American Fashion. Blass, who has been ill, did not attend.


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