Five Women Receive 2012 DVF Awards
IF you were to host a party for 500 guests to celebrate five courageous women from around the world, where would it be? How about the United Nations cafeteria?
“It looks so beautiful,” Diane Von Furstenberg said Friday night upon her arrival.
In a matter of hours, this pedestrian space had been transformed into a club lounge with couches and pillows and globes of pink blossoming branches. The lighting? Hot pink, of course.
It was, after all, the eve of International Women’s Day, and the occasion was the 2012 DVF awards, supported by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to honor extraordinary women.
Tina Brown, one of the evening’s co-hosts, had just come from the second day of her Women in the World Conference at Lincoln Center, an event she had whipped up through her latest media arsenal, Newsweek and the Daily Beast.
“It’s so nice to come into a beautiful space like this,” said Ms. Brown, lovely in a lacy Diane Von Furstenberg cocktail dress as the room started to fill with security-cleared guests. “I love giving a party. A great mix is what it’s all about.”
That it was. During cocktails and a light supper, Jessica Alba (who would be presenting an award later to Panmela Castro, a Brazilian graffiti artist and activist) said hello to Ms. Von Furstenberg, who gripped Ms. Alba’s chin. “You’re so tiny!” said the designer, who would be giving Oprah Winfrey an award.
Fran Lebowitz talked to fans. Julie Taymor talked to Nancy Pelosi. Debra Winger mingled with Maria Bartiromo, who would be presenting an award to Chouchou Namegabe, a radio broadcaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Diane Sawyer was there, too. “The women getting these awards tonight have such courage,” she said. In her own way, she did, too, when she discovered a nearby guest wearing the same tight-fitting cobalt blue DVF dress she had been given to wear.
“Come on, can I get a picture of us together?” asked her doppel-dresser, Alyse Nelson, the president of Vital Voices Global Partnership, which supports women around the world who do beneficial work. The gracious Ms. Sawyer laughed and posed, and the two looked like cast members of a flight attendant musical.
Ms. Brown had on the same lacy periwinkle dress as Jane Harman, a former congresswoman and the widow of Sidney Harman (who bought Newsweek in 2010 and gave Ms. Brown her job). They seemed to be avoiding each other.
“Can you believe I’m in the same dress as Tina Brown,” she said. “Hilarious!”
Given the gravitas of the evening’s concerns, seething was out of the question. “More Champagne, please, waiter!” Ms. Harman said.
Teri Agins, the author of “The End of Fashion,” winced at the fashion mashup, which seemed either a practical joke or a test of courage in the face of festive adversity. “You want to get as far from that other person as possible,” she muttered to another guest, as they lounged with drinks. “And you better hope that you’re the one who looks better.”
Actually, all four of the women in both dresses looked fabulous.