Well, sports fans, it's that time again—The Nominees for the CFDA Swarovski honors have just been announced and, semi-expert handicappers that we are, we've picked the likely winners for you. With so many of our most beloved brands on the list this year, it was hard not to play favorites. But give us points for clearing our minds, reading our stats, and being objective on this one. Now, naturally, you may disagree with some of our picks, so go ahead and root for your horses in the comments section. We'll see who walks away with the awards on Sunday at Lincoln Center. It's like the Belmont Stakes but slightly less sweaty!
Award for Accessory Design—Alejandro Ingelmo
While we dig Subversive Jewelry, and Albertus Swanepoel picked up a CFDA-Fund Award a few months back, this has been Alejandro Ingelmo's year when it comes to prominent editorial placement in mags. This alone should have given him the visibility to take home the award, before we even get into his amazing output.
Accessory Designer of the Year—Marc Jacobs
Three big names duke it out for this "supporting player" award. While the other candidates, Vera Wang and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler, have had solid, if relatively quiet years, Marc remains top dog in the New York circle. Technically, voters aren't supposed to take Jacob's work at Louis Vuitton into consideration—but really, who's not going to do that? In any case, we're gonna hedge our bets a little here and say that if Jacobs doesn't walk away with the Womenswear Award, he's going to slip this honor into one of his Sprouse-motif totes. (Photos via WWD)
For our picks for the big awards, follow us below the jump.
Menswear Designer of the Year—Michael Bastian
He's not our pick, but Michael Bastian has continued to augment his status as an inner-industry fave in the last 12 months while Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders (who won the Swarvoski award last year) has been bouncing all over the place with his efforts for BOY. While Italo Zucchelli may have actually turned the bland beast that was Calvin Klein around (he really sort of deserves the award for that alone), a lot of this is about developing a cult of personality, and in the last year, Bastian has done exactly that.
Womenswear Designer of the Year-Rodarte
It would be so easy to pick Marc Jacobs, right? His latest New York collection was perhaps the best of the season, he continues to lead the way in terms of color, attitude, and sensibility, and, for man of ups and downs, he is way, way up. But over the last year Rodarte has emerged as an even greater, though less loud, editorial favorite, Kate and Laura Mulleavy have made some efforts to become more visible as personalities and, let's face it, if they're giving out awards for most beautiful clothes, Jacobs and fellow nominee Narciso Rodriguez are coming in second.
Swarovski Award for MenswearTim Hamilton
Patrik Ervell vs. Robert Geller vs. Tim Hamilton? Oh, this is so hard! We love all of these guys and really couldn't imagine a more evenly matched pool of candidates. Of all categories, this is the one completely dominated by "Refinery" designers. Well, sorry Patrik and Robert—both of you had watershed years with great collections both spring and fall, each season further defining yourselves as unique talents. But the build up around Hamilton has just been too much and, much like last year's winner, Scott Sternberg, he has just launched a women's collection that proves he has dimension beyond menswear.
Swarovski Award for WomenswearJason Wu
This one was just as hard to call, but we took the considerations of the press into account when we picked Jason Wu over Thakoon and Alexander Wang. Michelle Obama (who will receive her own special honor that night) helped on this one by choosing Wu's gown for the Inauguration Balls, thus cementing the link between her and the New York fashion scene. Don't get us wrong—Wu is talented and would be a favorite for the award without Mrs. O. But the connection between the two has created a media storm that brought new eyes to Fashion Week (and to these very awards), and the board will no doubt acknowledge that on top of Wu's spectacular efforts.
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Photos by Thomas Iannaccone