Just when you thought you couldn't cram more of fashion's A-list into one room, who shows up? Karl Lagerfeld. Of course he was flanked by a #squadgoals-style entourage as he ought to be, but he still managed to circulate throughout the room and talk to each of the 21 semifinalists in the fourth edition of the LVMH Prize.
Hosted last week in Paris, the LVMH Prize cocktail party was the definition of high impact/low profile. There were no lines to get in, and in fact, when I got there, no doormen. Just a who's who of fashion industry power players toasting the progress of these lucky 21, and the success of the LVMH initiative. Carine Roitfeld chatted with Jonathan Anderson; Kendall Jenner and Delphine Arnault posed for pictures; Patrick Demarchelier and Lady Amanda Harlech wandered hither (and thither); Peter Phillips, Sarah Mower, Stefano Tonchi, and Suzy Menkes all mixed and mingled; and just like The Whisper's perpetual beat, the list goes on.
Of note, designers with diplomas from Central Saint Martins have dominated the first place of the prize since its inception—Grace Wales Bonner in 2016, Marques'Almeida in 2015, and Thomas Tait in 2014—a testament to that establishment's outstanding program. Prizes have also been won by Vejas, Jacquemus, Hood by Air, and Miuniku.
During Paris fashion week, the 21 designers had the opportunity to meet with and present their collections to a panel of 45 fashion experts including many of those luminaries already mentioned.
From those 21, the experts will choose eight finalists, and the LVMH Prize will be awarded by a special jury including Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, and many more, on June 16 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Stay tuned, as the finalists will be announced in the very near future.