After a Fashion

The VHI/Vogue Fashion Awards was a Super Bowl for queens.

VH1/VOGUE FASHION AWARDS "Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear," quoted winner of first award "Celebrity Style/Male," actor Rupert Everett, of his fellow countryman, Oscar Wilde. Everett was an excellent choice to be acknowledged for his fashion leadership, as he manages to present a stylish image that is very contemporary and edgy, yet pleasing for even the most demanding of tastes. He went on to thank his main seamstress, Donatella Versace. Gwen Stefani and No Doubt won "Most Stylish," and seemed surprised that they hadn't received the award previously. Too bad they couldn't have won "She Who Dresses Like a Clown." "Celebrity Style/Female" went to Heather Graham, who went all out for the occasion and wore a jeans jacket. Li'l Kim (inexplicably dressed as a genie) mangled not only her performance, but the English and French languages as well. Announcing the "Avant Garde Designer of the Year" (she pronounced it gar-day), Li'l Kim presented the award to (big surprise) Alexander McQueen, who accepted it decked out in full kilt. Cindy Crawford and a very skinny Isaac Mizrahi (who is usually very funny, but not this night) presented the "Fashionable Artist/Male" award to Lenny Kravitz, who accepted via satellite, wearing, you guessed it, jeans and a jeans jacket. Presenting the "Visionary Video" award, Clare Danes looked really lovely and is beginning to look good in grown-up clothes. The award went to Shirley Manson and Garbage, and ol' Shirley went the extra fashion mile and looked ravishing. Throughout the evening, the nominees for "Designer of the Year" each had a segment. It was the usual suspects: Donna Karan showed enchanting chiffon dresses, though she herself is a bit too chunky to wear them (and refuses to make them in anything over a size 12); Calvin Klein (yawn) showed the usual, but not his new raggedy jeans; Gucci's show was the same lackluster presentation I reported on a couple weeks ago; Ralph Lauren showed fringed leather; and the usually incredible Armani showed a haphazard collection that looked like it was a cross between Pucci and Missoni. Though they're all extremely talented, they are, except for Tom Ford at Gucci, dinosaurs who should be retired to the Fashion Hall of Fame to encourage new, fresh approaches. And the winner? Tom Ford at Gucci.

The running gag throughout the presentations was treating the awards show like it was the Super Bowl, with every "out" queen (except Rupert Everett) crowded around a television, screaming about favorite models and designers in a parody of their beer-swilling, slaphappy Super Bowl counterparts. A later segment featured prominent sportscasters rabidly discussing draft picks for the season as if it were the NFL and not YSL. Also introducing was Andy Dick as "Andrew Tailor," a self-styled fashion maven whose Pokémon-influenced outfit left much to be desired. One segment featured "Tailor" reading the riot act to Sandra Bullock about not being fashionable enough (hee hee, that's what we were thinking!) and suggested she just "go back to Austin and have babies." The routines were silly and entertaining, making fun of the fashion business in a way that most industries are afraid to.

Trends included lots of leather, chiffon, plunging necklines, and shiny, straight Cher-hair (though the latest issue of New York Magazine says Cher-hair is a thing of the past).

THE SMALL SCREEN Have you seen the Nordstrom shoe sale ads on TV? Clever, funny, and well-produced, they take the age-old subject of women and their shoes and turn it into a very effective ad campaign. One spot features a wife who devilishly takes her husband's vintage T-bird and has it crushed so she can have more room in the garage for her shoe collection. I always admire women who have their priorities in order.

SECRET SHOPPER Having had two recent experiences of exemplary customer service, I have nothing but raves for Golden Slipper Modern Boot & Shoe Repair, 1903 S. First at W. Mary. Providing very friendly and knowledgeable service, Golden Slipper, who counted the dearly departed Doug Sahm among their devoted customers, has been in business since 1950. Currently run by Abel & Robert Hernandez, who took over from their father, the brothers do great work and give great service.

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