“Leave room in your life for the unperfected. You’ll have enough time later to refine and to edit, but love lies in the raw. Keep your imagination free of editing.”
These sage words were part of a passionate and advice-filled keynote address that designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo gave to kick off the Fashion Group International Rising Star Awards on Thursday at Cipriani 42nd St. Creativity and spontaneity were a timely theme, considering that many of the event’s attendees are busily preparing for their upcoming Fashion Week shows next month.
That pre-NYFW energy was palpable among the Rising Star nominees and the industry luminaries in attendance, including Project Runway’s Nina Garcia, designer Catherine Malandrino, and GILT co-founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson.
Designer Wes Gordon, who tied with designer Misha Nonoo of Nonoo for the Women’s Rising Star RTW award, said, “It is such an honor to be here. It’s a room full of people whom I admire so much and look up to. I’m only 25 and really early in my career, so it’s exciting to receive this nomination.” He also shared that his Fall 2012 Collection “will be a little darker. I was thinking what do you want to wear in New York in Fall? You don’t want to wear pink. You want something that has a little narrative to it, a little bite. We’re playing with peplums, longer hems, trains and cutaways. Oxblood is one of our main colors, and I’m obsessed with it.”
“I think FGI is an incredible institution, and they have deep roots within the fashion industry," Nonoo said. "I’m honored and delighted to be a part of today.”
Besides Gordon and Nonoo, the big winners of the day included:
-Blythe Harris of online/direct sales jewelry retail powerhouse Stella and Dot, who took home the Accessories Rising Star. She told the crowd that she was “proud to be part of a company that helps women.” Project Runway All-Star Rami Kashou, who has designed a forthcoming bridal collab with Bebe stores, presented the award to her.
-Indie fragrance brand D.S. and Durga, who won the Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur award, given to them by fellow beauty businesswoman Maureen Kelly of Tarte.
-Wendy Brandes, winner of the Fine Jewelry prize, who thanked fellow Rising Star nominee Stacy Lomman for the futuristic, hip-detailed sheath dress she wore to the awards.
-Menswear designer Simon Spurr, in an amazing grey skinny suit, was awarded the Menswear Rising Star by Thom Browne, who himself wore a signature cropped leg suit of his own. Spurr charmingly thanked his wife, whom he said was a pediatrician busy saving lives at Mount Sinai Hospital.