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Pharrell honored, Kimye steals the show at fashion awards

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/2/2015 By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer
Betsey Johnson attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Betsey Johnson attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — It was Pharrell Williams who was being honored as a fashion icon, but it was another music superstar who got a lot of the attention at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards on Monday night.

Kanye West and wife Kim Kardashian West pose with Pharrell Williams and wife Helen Lasichanh at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kanye West and wife Kim Kardashian West pose with Pharrell Williams and wife Helen Lasichanh at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Introducing Pharrell, the producer-singer-songwriter who was receiving the evening's Fashion Icon award, Kanye West took the opportunity not just to praise his friend, but to express frustration at the fashion industry — for, he suggested, its cool reception to his efforts to be a serious fashion designer.

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West arrive at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West arrive at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

"It is very difficult to break perception," West said. "Fashion had to be the hardest high school I ever entered. At least I had a big brother," he said, referring to Pharrell, who "talked me through it and kept me going."

Ashley Judd poses with Mark Badgley, left, and James Mischka at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Ashley Judd poses with Mark Badgley, left, and James Mischka at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Pharrell, in turn, thanked many fashion figures who've been influential in his career and in his personal style, and concluded by saying: "I'm not a style icon. I'm just inspired. And I'm OK with that."

Chrissy Teigen arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Chrissy Teigen arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The emotional highlight of the evening, which honors the year's top designers, was when Betsey Johnson, whose colorful, whimsical designs have been gracing the fashion world for more than 50 years, came onstage to accept her lifetime achievement award.

Betsey Johnson attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Betsey Johnson attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

An ebullient Johnson, 72, treated the crowd to one of her signature cartwheels, and ended it with a split. She then called over her friend, presenter Kelly Osbourne, to help her up off the floor so she could give her speech.

Victoria Beckham attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Victoria Beckham attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Chelsea Clinton was another high-profile speaker, paying tribute to the late designer Oscar de la Renta, a good friend of her family. "I miss him every single day," she concluded. And Kim Kardashian presented the media award to Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who repaid the favor by calling her, in his speech, "the Queen of Instagram."

Julianna Margulies attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Julianna Margulies attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The evening's top design awards went to sisters Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for womenswear for their high-end, minimalist label The Row, and to Tom Ford for menswear. Ford noted that last year, he'd been given the lifetime achievement award, and said he was "so glad to know that there is still life after lifetime achievement."

Kim Kardashian attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kim Kardashian attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The award for accessories went to British designer Tabitha Simmons. The annual Swarovski awards for emerging designers went to Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air for menswear and Rosie Assoulin for womenswear.

Donna Karan attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Donna Karan attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Also honored: Millard "Mickey" Drexler, CEO of J. Crew, with the founder's award, and Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli with the international award. James Corden of CBS' "The Late Late Show" hosted the evening, making frequent jokes about the healthy length of many of the speeches.

Kelly Osbourne attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kelly Osbourne attends the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

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Julianna Margulies and designer Michael Kors arrive at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Julianna Margulies and designer Michael Kors arrive at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Online: http://cfda.com/cfda-fashion-awards

Thom Browne arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Thom Browne arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Taraji P. Henson arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Taraji P. Henson arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
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