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<em>Glamorous guests at the 2016 CFDA Awards Ciara Karlie Kloss Olivia Wilde and Laverne Cox<em>

On June 6th, The Council of Fashion Designers of America held their annual awards ceremony. Celebrity attendees such as Jourdan Dunn, Alexa Chung, Ciara, Naomi Campbell, Joan Smalls, Lena Dunham, Oliva Wilde, Karlie Kloss, Laverne Cox,  and Claire Danes all showed up in support of fashion’s most talented. Among established designers, CFDA award recipients included Marc Jacobs who took home the highly regarded prize for Womenswear Designer of the Year while Thom Browne was honored as Menswear Designer of the Year. Norma Kamali received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Donna Karan was given the Founder’s Award. Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, presented ultimate cool kid, Alessandro Michele with the International Award for his work as creative director of Gucci but before she gave Michele the award she delivered a piece of breaking news to the crowd when she excitedly announced that Hillary Clinton is now the Democratic presidential nominee.

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<em>Brandon Maxwell pictured with Naomi Campbell and Alessandro Michele pictured with Gia Coppola both took him CFDA awards<em>

Lady Gaga’s stylist, Brandon Maxwell, was one of the emerging designers who was honored. He took home Swarovski’s award for womenswear, during his acceptance speech he spoke about how fashion gave him purpose when he was growing up in Texas in “very gay in a very small town.” Another award winner who mentioned her Southern upbringing was Beyoncé who surprised everyone when she showed up (with Jay-Z and Blue Ivy in tow) to accept the Fashion Icon Award from CFDA president, Diane von Furstenberg. Wearing a glamorously glittering, pin-stripe Givenchy suit, the megastar gave recognition to her mother and uncle who designed and sewed the singer’s costumes when her career was just starting out with the girl group, Destiny’s Child, and high-end labels refused to dress “four black, country, curvy, girls.” She continued on to urge fashion designers to create clothing that promotes individuality, stating:

“We have the opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eye can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us.”

<em>Beyoncé pictured with Jay Z and Blue Ivy received the Fashion Icon Award<em>

Although Beyoncé did not perform at the ceremony, there was no shortage of musical highlights. Actress, Tilda Swinton, took to the stage to honor her friend, the late David Bowie. Reading aloud from a letter to the rocker, Swinton thanked Bowie for “for all your colors, all your magic, all your vim and vigor” and for bringing out “the freak in everyone.” Following her tribute, actor Michael C. Hall performed Bowie’s classic hit “Changes.” Another musical legend was also  honored in the ceremony. The recently departed icon, Prince, was memorialized through a performance by Jennifer Hudson. She closed out the CFDA awards by giving the crowd an energetic cover of his popular single, “Let’s Go Crazy.”

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<em>Anna Wintour pictured with Bee Schaffer and Diane von Furstenberg both presented awards while Tilda Swinton and Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to David Bowie and Prince<em>

See the full list of 2016 CFDA award recipients below.

Fashion Icon Award

Womenswear Designer of the Year
Marc Jacobs

Swarovski Award for Womenswear
Brandon Maxwell

Swarovski Award for Menswear
Orley: Alex Orley, Matthew Orley, Samantha Orley

Swarovski Award for Accessory Design
Paul Andrew

Menswear Designer of the Year
Thom Browne

Accessories Designer of the Year
Mansur Gavriel: Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award
Norma Kamali

The Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert
Donna Karan

International Award
Gucci: Alessandro Michele

The Board of Directors’ Special Tribute Award
David Bowie

The Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Sheppard
Imran Amed, editor in chief of The Business of Fashion

Images courtesy of Vogue

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