Lincoln Center may no longer be the official home of New York Fashion Week, but style-obsessed editors, designers, socialites, and shoe fanatics alike click-clacked their best heels into the David H. Koch Theater this morning to celebrate Manolo Blahnik’s latest accolade. Yes, the legendary artisan recently debuted his first-ever line of handbags, but the 72-year-old Spaniard was gleefully in attendance to receive the Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s 2015 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.
A prize previously presented to favorite American clothiers like Carolina Herrera and Ralph Rucci, both in attendance, was bestowed upon Blahnik for the work he’s created for his namesake brand. Actress Uma Thurman, dressed in a paired-down black dress with, of course, matching Blahnik sandals, expressed her love for the legend’s pieces before presenting him with the award. “Manolo Blahnik is a true artist and craftsman … and the exquisitely shaped heels he creates are perfected with his very own hands,” she told the audience, who in between greeting long-time friends and fellow industry leaders indulged in mid-morning appetizers and a bevy of sugar-coated mini-cakes. “[He’s] one of the most extraordinary and lovely and kind men … the only man I can honestly say has been with me every step of the way, literally. No significant event of my life has not included him.”
Before the ceremony commenced, other guests, such as the always-glowing Camila Alves (below), rushed to take their seats—but not before describing their outfits. “It’s couture, so I was trying to be couture but also respectful and classy at the same time, you know?” she said. Hilaria Baldwin arrived hand-in-hand with husband Alec, and revealed not just that her favorite pair of Blahnik shoes are champagne colored, but that “one of the best things about [Alec] is we always have special occasions and he loves to give gifts.”
Model Petra Nemcova took a moment to explain why comfort is the key to finding the perfect shoe, while usual Fashion Week suspects like former CFDA director Fern Mallis divulged her favorite Manolo Blahnik memory: “I have to say the first time I bought a pair of Manolos was the hardest because of the price, the whole thing, making that commitment, but after you buy the first one—piece of cake after that.” Simon Doonan, author and creative ambassador for Barneys New York, went on to detail the luxury department store’s rich history with the designer and described his work as “exquisite, beautiful, and life enhancing.”
So what did the man of the hour have to say to those who arrived in his honor? He wrapped his adorable minutes-long speech with a simple, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
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