As far as fashion awards ceremonies go, most tend to be largely fatuous, back-slapping affairs interesting only to the instagram-hungry people attending them. The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Awards ceremony, which has been celebrating the best and brightest of American fashion since 1981, is different. There is genuine integrity to the event, drawing in as it does the most important minds in the fashion industry, and it has become a calendar fixture not entirely unlike the Met Ball: both glamorous and eagerly anticipated by those even outside the industry.
The event, which occurred on June 4th at the Brooklyn Museum, was most notable for its inaugural “Members’ Salute”, the subject of which was the venerable designer Ralph Lauren and his remarkable 50-year career of evolving, revising and redefining what it is to look ‘American’ in the most sophisticated and elevated sense. Ralph Lauren is a man we at The Rake have long been saluting because he, above all others, has remained a conduit for the rest of the world’s understanding of modern Americana. Encoded into his clothing is this palpably clear sense of optimism - as if the very reason for their existence was to give expression to one man's vision for the American Dream. More than that, the clothes evoke humility, understatement, nonchalance and effortless cool, while drawing inspiration from the myriad cultural facets of an extraordinary nation. His is an expression of a singular sense of extremely clear taste.