4th Annual Cinemoi Cinefashion Film Awards honor Dionne Warwick and Donna Karan
By: Audrey Rock
Hollywood, California (The Hollywood Times) 10/12/2017 – “I wasn’t really fashionable when I was rapping, that’s why I stopped rapping,” he laughed. “I think that the environment that rap brought me into is what made me understand fashion a little bit better.” Akon told The Hollywood Times.
Now well indoctrinated into the fashion world, out of his baggy clothing, and presenting for the Cinefashion Film Awards, Akon told THT that his favorite designer is Roberto Cavalli.
The Cinemoi Cinefashion Film Awards, this year honoring Donna Karan, Rosanna Arquette, and Dionne Warwick, gave virtually every sector in the entertainment industry an opportunity to consider how fashion influences their careers. Whether it’s Karan herself, for whom fashion has been the epoch, or Akon, for whom fashion didn’t appear to matter at all at one point–fashion ultimately winds up playing a part.
On the red carpet at Hollywood’s historic El Capitan theatre on the Walk of Fame, Akon admitted to wearing his very first tuxedo among Hollywood’s elite for the event–a smooth velvet number with a red bowtie. Akon, incidentally, is one of those reasons premieres and events along Hollywood Boulevard turn into spectator sports for tourists, who jammed themselves against barricades to see the stars walk the carpet, and were ultimately swept off the street just prior to Donna Karan’s arrival. Fashion week especially seemed to have brought out a fanatical crowd.
American Horror Story: Cult director Miguel Sagaz talked with THT about why fashion is so important in the horror genre over the roar of the fans. “Fashion plays a very strong character in any genre,” Sagaz said. “But in horror, specifically, it’s basic to tell the story, especially in a different time.”
Sagaz gushed over the opportunity to work on the iconic series and with the designers attached to the program. “I have to say, I got to work with some incredible designers,” he said. “Everyone in this show is super talented. It was an honor for me just stepping on to the set. It was surreal, and really truthfully, one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life.”
Sagaz had trouble narrowing down his favorite designers– “I have many to list–it depends on what they’re working for,” but he did mention Dior and Calvin Klein, among others.
The carpet was a dizzying powerhouse of A list and socialite glitterati–Carmen Electra, Ed Begley Jr, Melanie Griffith, Maria Bello, Tara Reid, and Donna Karan all made appearances before heading inside. (Blac Chyna was scheduled to appear, but was a no-show.)
The theme was “A Tribute to the Ziegfield Follies,” and the show opened with prelude organ music; after which dancing chorus girls in elaborate white feathered costumes, led by a boisterously singing Obba Babatunde, performed.
Other performances included 80’s icon Stevie Wonder (who, alongside actress Beverly Todd, presented the timeless icon award to Dionne Warwick) singing “You Won’t Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart).” And an evening gown showcase of Adolfo Sanchez’s designs set to a live performance by rapper Nicky D. Sanchez was the recipient of the emerging designer award.
“Dionne Warwick and I have shared some very special moments together in this industry,” said Wonder. “But throughout life, we’ve always had each other’s back; through the highs and lows. That’s what friends are for!” Akon also present the Peace Icon Award to Forest Whitaker, who was not present. “It’s about how we treat each other, how we speak to each other, how we respect each other, how we don’t judge each other,” said Akon. “And how we look at each other from the standpoint of understanding that that person’s equal to me.”
Actress and director Rosanna Arquette received the CineSpotlight award for her web series episode “:DRYVRS: Bob’s Direction Home.” Melanie Griffith had been scheduled to present the award to Arquette but had broken her toe and left the ceremony. Rosanna paid tribute to Alexis Arquette, (who died a year ago on September 11, 2016,) and dedicated her award to Tom Petty.
The final major award was given to iconoclastic fashion designer Donna Karan, presented by actress Maria Bello. “I was a 22-year-old struggling feminist actress in New York City,” said Bello. “And I’m sure, like many of you here, the first image I ever had of a female president was in 1992, in a glossy magazine ad.
And it was called ‘In Women We Trust’ By Donna Karan.” Bello’s remarks were met with enthusiastic applause.
Karan herself took the stage, wearing sunglasses, and made remarks regarding the Las Vegas shootings. “Enough is enough,” she said. “How many times do we have to hear the story? It’s not going to happen by our presidency. It’s going to happen by every one of you sitting here tonight…so I ask you all; each and every one of us, to stand up, love, and do what you can to help change this world.”
The show’s hosts were “The Real’s” Adrienne Bailon and entertainment commentator AJ Gibson. Proceeds from the event go to the nonprofit group Children Uniting Nations. The show, complete with all award winners, will air October 29th on Cinemoi Network.