Last night’s Fashion Group International Night of Stars event at Cipriani had been on the books for weeks — but, after the sad events of this week, the evening turned into an unofficial tribute to Oscar de la Renta. The brand’s new creative director, Peter Copping, received one of the night’s four Fashion Star awards, and Diane von Furstenberg was awarded the final Superstar award. When she took the podium to receive it, she remembered her friend (tearing up audibly during the speech) and welcomed Copping to New York.
Read her full remarks below.
I guess this is what happens when you get older, people get up for you. [Standing ovation.] Thank you very much, thank you, Margaret, thank you everybody. Thank you, the fashion industry. We belong to this incredible family. Did you know that 25 percent of the world’s population is involved in fashion? That’s a lot. And we are a family; we deal with image, we deal with frivolity, but actually, we are serious, we are philanthropists, we do things. I’m very proud to be a part of the fashion world, and very proud of being in America as part of the fashion world, and very proud to be the president of the CFDA. And I love my colleagues, because you are so wonderful. And I am so proud that we all compete, and yet somehow we manage to still love each other, and support each other, and help each other.
So I was a very good friend of Oscar’s, and every Saturday night, Oscar would come to my house to have Saturday Night Chicken. And every Saturday, we had artichokes and Saturday Night Chicken. And Oscar cared very much. And then we would watch a movie, and I would be next to him on the sofa. And two Saturdays ago, it was getting harder and harder for him to do it, and that day he had driven from Connecticut, to come to the hospital here and get a blood transfusion. And he went back, and Annette said, ‘You know, we can’t come.’ But he wanted to come. And he did come, and when he sat down on the sofa, he said, ‘I’m so glad I made it again.’
And that was the last meal — that was the last meal that he actually had as a proper meal. So today I would like to speak to all of you as if Oscar was speaking to all of you. And he loved life, he really, really did. And he loved to sing, and he loved flowers, and he loved beauty, and he loved to be mischievous, and make fun of people — and he was the best gossiper. And … and the only way that we can actually honor him is by all of us loving life, and loving fashion, and loving gardens, and being, you know, full of life, and enjoying life. And it is the only way that we can honor him, and honor his life, and … and … the wonderful person that he was. I don’t usually cry.
And Peter, I want to welcome you to New York. I want to welcome you in the house of Oscar de la Renta. He was very proud when he told me that he had chosen you.