Though typically held in midtown Manhattan, this yearâs CFDA Awards took up residence in a refreshing new spotâthe Brooklyn Museum. From Oprah to Busy Philipps, the most influential figures in popular culture took over the stage of the star-studded event, hosted by television auteur Issa Rae, to present awards to icons Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian, and Donatella Versace. But before Hollywoodâs A-list could have their fashion moment behind the brick entryway of Brooklynâs premier destination for art, many of them rushed their way onto the carpet and into the ceremony.
As celebrities, models, and fashion icons traipsed the sustainable black-and-white (but not actually red!) carpet on their way into the museum, photographers and journalists anxiously awaited the arrivals of the biggest names attending what is arguably fashionâs biggest awards ceremony of the year, and W captured every momentâfrom the sincere to the wacky. Here, a breakdown of everything that happened at the 2018 CFDA Awards.
6:20 p.m. Itâs already 20 minutes past the scheduled start time, and the carpet is sparse. Chalk it up to the ceremonyâs new Brooklyn location, but everyone appears to be running late.
6:33 p.m. One of the nightâs presenters, Busy Philipps, arrives in a glimmery green Christian Siriano suit and rushes past the carpet into the museum to post some Instagram Stories before the show gets started.
6:46 p.m. The excitement of the evening becomes more palpable as the photographers begin to shout. Tracee Ellis Ross comes through, looking radiant in Carolina Herrera.
6:49 p.m. The inimitable Diane Lane arrivesâalso in a suitâand quips that this summer, sheâll be reading nothing but scripts.
6:51 p.m. Victoriaâs Secret Angel Martha Hunt walks the carpet in a striking Thom Browne dress, but all eyes are on her, well, eyes, which are dazzlingly bejeweled with Swarovski crystals. âTheyâre one of the few brands that can lend you raw materials to play with your look. I decided to try something more editorial with my makeup because the dress could handle it, and I felt like going couture for the eye,â Hunt said, before citing her own fashion icon Kate Moss as a general inspiration. âI remember the first time I met her, she was one of the few people Iâve been starstruck by,â she admitted. âI didnât know what to say!â
7:02 p.m. Olivia Culpo and Rebecca Minkoff make their way down the carpet to remark that theyâlike everyone elseâare most excited to see âDonatella Versace, Kim, Naomi, everyone!â as they shuffle themselves into the museum.
7:09 p.m. Cynthia Rowley feels a tap on her shoulder, only to jump around and see none other than Diane von Furstenberg standing right behind her. Rowley takes a break from gushing about her friend to the press and congratulates von Furstenberg for being named the recipient of the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. The two embrace in a hug and snap a few selfiesâthe nightâs first genuinely sweet moment.
7:12 p.m. It looks as though Philipps and Lane werenât the only guests who opted for a suit this evening; Erika Jayneâthe first Real Housewife to be invited to the awards show everâwalks the carpet with a custom-made monogrammed Edie Parker clutch and a black-and-white menswear look.
7:14 p.m. Chanel Iman and her baby bump make their appearance on the CFDA carpet in custom Nicole Miller.
7:15 p.m. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels, accompanied by his son, model Liam Daniels, has a confession to make. âNo tea, no shade, I really didnât know what this whole thing was about, I didnât!â he said of presenting Naomi Campbell with the CFDA Fashion Icon award. âNot until my son hipped me to it! My son is modeling and said, âDad, this is like the Oscars.â So now Iâm nervous, but Iâm really happy for her. Sheâs the reason why weâre all here, I think. Sheâs my spiritual icon,â Daniels added.
7:30 p.m. After a slight lull in arrivals, a few gasps from the press become audible as Campbell herself shows up in a fringed Calvin Klein dress.
7:31 p.m. Grace Elizabeth and Jourdan Dunn, both in Michael Kors Collection, make their way down the carpet. Dunnâwho is also quite the chefâtakes a moment to list off her healthy summer menu, which will consist of âa lot of barbecue because Iâm kind of not eating meat anymore; I say kind of because Iâm having chicken like once a week, so grilled fish and vegetables.â
7:41 p.m. Whoopi Goldberg has made her appearance, in the most Whoopi Goldberg outfit imaginable: A giant, bright magenta Christian Siriano hat orbits her head, matching the rest of her magenta ensemble.
7:50 p.m. Anwar Hadid skirts by as photographers on the other side of the wall can be heard screeching that his sister Gigi Hadid has finally graced the Brooklyn Museum with her presence.
8:03 p.m. Donna Karan makes her way down to the press pit on the carpet. When asked who sheâs most excited to see inside the museum, the designer admits that she canât wait to see just about every designer sheâs either worked with or been impressed by over the years. She then swiftly changes the subject, pulls out her phone, and starts showing us all of the photos she took on a recent vacation to Ethiopia. Karan lifts up her shades and tells us that she canât decide whether she should let her 260,000 followers know sheâs stateside. After telling her she could keep them guessing with a few âlatergramsâ this week, she replies, âSo should I post a throwback?â before running away.
8:11 p.m. Suddenly the room goes quiet. The photographers on the other side of the wall have finished snapping their pictures and shouting the names of the various celebrity guests. But that silence doesnât mean the party is over. In fact, it means just the opposite. The woman of the hourâand receiver of the CFDAâs first-ever Influencer AwardâKim Kardashian has finally arrived, long after her sisters Kendall Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian made their appearances. Everyone knows the party doesnât actually start until Kim gets here.
8:55 p.m. But really. Kimâs late arrival means that the ceremony is delayedânot that the crowd seems to mind. After all, more time to hobnob with the starry crowd. The biggest crowd seems to be in the center of the room, where Jenner, Hadid, and Kaia Gerber are huddled together.
9:08 p.m. And weâre off! Host Issa Rae takes the stage, opening with some less-than-glamorous throwback picture of herself. Thereâs also a quick jab at Kanye Westâs recent Twitter rants: âIâm about as fashionable as Kanye is blackâonly when itâs convenient. That joke was my choice, just like slavery.â Unfortunately, no reaction camera to catch Kimâs thoughts on that one.
9:15 p.m. This is not a drill: Oprahâyes, THE Oprahâis here to present the nightâs first award. Naturally, the room goes wild (read: Everyone whips out their phones to get a good Instastory). For those keeping track at home, this single room currently boasts Oprah, two Kardashians, and Erika Jayne. Try to beat that at your next soiree.
9:23 p.m. Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen take home the award for Accessory Designer of the Year, and seem genuinely shocked (or maybe the aftermath of Oprah hasnât worn off).
9:35 p.m. Basically every major American designerâVera Wang! Tommy Hilfiger! Michael Kors!âis on stage to honor Ralph Lauren as he celebrates the 50th anniversary of his iconic brand. Itâs a moment.
9:56 p.m. Weâre at the halfway mark, which means a swarm of waiters comes through the room to replace all the empty bottles of Champagne and wine with some new ones. Itâs a long night, guys. Meanwhile, Lupita Nyongâo takes the stage to present to Donatella Versace.âI keep coming back for more,â she says of the designerâs wares, stepping out from behind the podium to show off the minidress sheâs currently wearing.
10:18 p.m. Kim Kardashian is receiving the Influencer Award, so who better to present to her than the reigning queen of Instastories, Busy Phillips? âKim, we donât really know each other that well, but youâre obviously very beautiful and what is so unique about you is your willingness to take risks,â she says by way of introduction. Kim does indeed make a risk when she gets to the podium: trying out a new comedy bit. âIâm kind of shocked Iâm getting a fashion award when Iâm naked most of the time,â she quips. It kills!
10:38 p.m. Naomi Campbell is not the first award recipient to cry tonight (Hi, Narciso Rodriguez), but she is the most surprising. She gets particularly emotional when thanking âCindy, Linda, Christy, and Kate.â
10:52 p.m. Itâs the final award of the night, and itâs a big one: Womenswear Designer of the Year. An award of this magnitude requires a proper introduction, and boy do we have it: Cate Blanchett, or as she refers to herself, âa white girl from the suburbs of Australia.â And the award goes to . . . Raf Simons for Calvin Klein. His speech is predictably heartwarming, ending abruptly with âAlso, thank you, women.â And with that, good night!