The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recently held its annual awards ceremony, the couture industry’s answer to the Academy Awards, at Alice Tully Hall in New York. It was the CFDA’s 50th anniversary show, and nearly every rising star designer of American fashion was on hand, many of them accompanied by models or glamorous dates borrowed from Hollywood. But on fashion’s big night out, we found ourselves thinking of home—specifically, how these designers and celebrities live and whether they work with interior designers and architects. So we asked. And we inquired the next night, too, at the Gordon Parks Centennial Gala at the Museum of Modern Art, because we ran into a few style icons and couldn’t resist.
On his way into Alice Tully Hall, designer Michael Kors, with supermodel Joan Smalls, told us he likes “to have a little help” when it comes to his home (from decorator Glenn Gissler, in the case of his Manhattan penthouse apartment). “I like to bounce it off someone.” For her part, Smalls said she has yet to seek assistance for her interiors. “The look is minimal,” she said. “Very simple.”
Artist Anh Duong, whose work is collected by designer Diane von Furstenberg, among other fashion insiders, told AD that her architect friend Daniel Romualdez had worked with her in East Hampton, New York. “In one second, he said, ‘Okay, you have to move this staircase, open up the room. And, of course, I said, ‘No, let’s do more.’ And he did another plan, and then we went back to the one that he did first in five minutes.”
Jessica Chastain looked ethereal in a sparkling dress by Prabal Gurung. “At home? Oh yeah, I got help,” answered the actress. “The look is really cozy but modern. And while modern is often cold, I’ve got a lot of color in my house—a lot of warmth.”
Though Gurung turned to Antonio Azzuolo (who was nominated for a Swarovski Award for Menswear) for his tux, when it comes to his living space, he does everything himself. “I would call it useful, functional,” he told AD. “Good enough for now.”
His companion for evening, actress Zoe Saldana, said she prefers “clean spaces” and revealed that her design approach is to “have a party with tons of wine, invite my friends over, and ask for their suggestions.”
Designer Jason Wu, who dresses First Lady Michelle Obama, handles his own decorating. “It’s Jason,” he said. “It looks like me. Something old, something new—but very me.”
After designer Nicole Miller introduced her date for the event, actress Heather Graham, she indicated that she and her husband, Kim Taipale, did their own interior design. “It’s 1950s modern,” Miller said.
“I go for a world-traveler vibe,” noted Graham, who said that she worked with a friend on the design. “I’m into Moroccan, Asian, and Indian. I have a beautiful painted Moroccan table.”
Designer Reed Krakoff, an AD contributing editor who won the CFDA award for Accessory Designer of the Year for his eponymous line, had his wife, interior designer Delphine Krakoff, on his arm. “Delphine and I work with a technical architect,” said Krakoff. “But we do all the design together.” And how would he describe their look? “Warm, modernist luxury,” he answered.
“A very personal mix,” chimed in Mrs. Krakoff.
Zosia Mamet, one of the stars of the HBO series Girls, was dressed by Cynthia Rowley, her companion for the evening. “I did it myself,” the actress said of her apartment. “It’s kind of like my fashion sense—classic and also kind of weird. A little bit all over the place—simple with flair. My office is my favorite room in the house. It’s got a bunch of crazy paintings, a bright blue wall, and books everywhere. I also have red zebra wallpaper and a big blue bed.”
Stylist Brad Goreski, star of Bravo’s It’s a Brad Brad World, was wearing a black-and-white floral-print suit by Kate Spade. He described his home as “midcentury fabulousness,” a look he collaborated on with Los Angeles designer Antonia Hutt.
“It’s gentlemanly,” he added. “Lived in, comfy.”
Among the last to arrive were designer Joseph Altuzarra and actress Kate Bosworth. “I did it myself,” Altuzarra said of his interior. “It’s a mix of cardboard boxes,” he added with a laugh.
“Sounds similar to mine,” offered Bosworth. “Just a mash-up of different design styles, like when you’re in your 20s.”
Backstage at the awards, Pharrell Williams, the prolific hip-hop musician/producer and fashion designer, was wearing Comme des Garçons head to toe, with an oversize bow tie. “I can’t take credit for my place in Miami,” he indicated, speaking of his spectacular space, featuring a ceiling modeled after the one Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the Guggenheim Museum in New York. “I just chose the art,” he told AD. His collection includes works by Takashi Murakami, Keith Haring, and KAWS.
Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet Eisner, meanwhile, described herself as a “design dictator,” adding, “I can’t work with anyone—it’s a little crazy. I do all our stores and offices.”
After he picked up his Swarovski Award for Menswear, Phillip Lim labeled his home—which he designed—“West Coast bohemian.”
During the after-party, in the lobby of Alice Tully Hall, stylist and designer Rachel Zoe explained that she has worked with designers but also relies on her own eye. “It’s Parisian—minimalist with pops of color,” she said. “Lots of natural light, very white, very airy, with Missoni throws here and there. It’s fun.”
Saturday Night Live star Seth Meyers mentioned that his “beautiful girlfriend,” Alexi Ashe, has a “beautiful sister” who happens to be an interior designer: Ariel Ashe of Ashe + Leandro. Meyers gamely described his home as “livable but fashionable.”
The next night, at the Gordon Parks Foundation event at MoMA, Sarah Jessica Parker told us she has often worked with a close friend, Eric Hughes, on interiors. “He’s always a very important eye for me,” she said, adding that her husband, Matthew Broderick, “has got a gorgeous eye.” And the look? “No rules and lots of color,” she said.
Lastly, Karl Lagerfeld, wearing Dior, explained why he takes the time to design even his own home: “I have architects, but I do the interiors myself. I don’t want to live in somebody else’s mood.”