In an effort to increase its presence outside the insular New York fashion community, Vogue magazine brought the 10 finalists for the Vogue/Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Fund to the Chateau Marmont on Friday for a runway show and tea party.
"These are emerging talents," explained Sally Singer, Vogue fashion features editor. "This is not about being at the beginning of your career. This is about having a body of work and wanting to get to the next level."
The $200,000 award was created last year in response to "a crisis" in the industry, she said. "We noticed that the Old Guard was getting older and the Young Guard was getting older." Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez won in 2004; this year's winner will be announced next month.
Actresses Lindsay Lohan, Selma Blair and Debi Mazar turned up in the front row, along with retailer Tracey Ross and Juicy Couture designer Pamela Skaist-Levy.
Among the highlights of the show of nominees was a white, softly ruffled silk dress by Derek Lam, an orange and blue rugby sweater and cotton skirt with inverted polka dot pleats by Orange County-based Trovata and a micropleated dress in graduated shades of lavender and pink with a matching bolero by Isabel Toledo.
Amazingly, all 10 finalists were in attendance. Because when Vogue says jump, designers ask, "How high?"