Pharrell honoured but West steals the show at fashion awards
NEW YORK: It was Pharrell Williams who was being honoured as a fashion icon, but it was another music superstar who got a lot of the attention at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards on Monday night.
Introducing Pharrell, the producer-singer-songwriter who was receiving the evening’s Fashion Icon award, Kanye West took the opportunity not just to praise his friend, but to express frustration at the fashion industry — for, he suggested, its cool reception to his efforts to be a serious fashion designer.
“It is very difficult to break perception, West said. “Fashion had to be the hardest high school I ever entered.
Pharrell, in turn, thanked many fashion figures who’ve been influential in his career and in his personal style, and concluded by saying: “I’m not a style icon. I’m just inspired. And I’m OK with that”.
The emotional highlight of the evening, which honours the year’s top designers, was when Betsey Johnson, whose colourful, whimsical designs have been gracing the fashion world for more than 50 years, came onstage to accept her lifetime achievement award.
An ebullient Johnson, 72, treated the crowd to one of her signature cartwheels, and ended it with a split. She then called over her friend, presenter Kelly Osbourne, to help her up off the floor so she could give her speech. Chelsea Clinton was another high-profile speaker, paying tribute to the late designer Oscar de la Renta, a good friend of her family.