It’s enough to make Anna Wintour’s bob frizz: The 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, which aired Oct. 20, continued the six-year-old show’s tradition of being more cheek than chic, creating a schizophrenic ceremony where celebs and models skewered the very folks they were honoring.
Hosted by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Friend-of-Leo Gisele Bundchen, the show (which was repeated through Oct. 24) served up more irreverence than the spoof on Saturday Night Live the following night. Designer/activist Kenneth Cole introduced a sketch on a charity donating haute couture to an unfashionable small town (picture old fogies in gold hip-huggers, and swarthy butchers in pashmina), while another skit featured Henry Rollins and Titanic‘s Billy Zane in a combat zone, spewing ”Prada! Prada! Fendi! Fendi!” as war calls. The most memorable live moments included actor John Leguizamo coyly introducing Lenny Kravitz as every supermodel’s favorite accessory, and presenter Mark Wahlberg giving the voluptuous Bundchen the once-over before remarking that she didn’t ”need to grow.”
Droll moments aside, this year’s presentation managed to skirt the growing pains of the 1999 affair (the first year of VH1 and Vogue‘s collaboration). Hosted by Heather Locklear and Puff Daddy, that show was marred by a too-small venue (it was held at New York’s cramped 69th Regiment Armory; this year it took place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden), and by tensions between a snarky VH1 and a dead-serious Wintour and Co. (who disagreed on everything from whether Claudia Schiffer was hip enough to be a presenter to whether a pre-Oscar Hilary Swank had enough name recognition to justify an appearance), not to mention the inadvertent, suspense-killing publishing of the awards in Vogue the day of the event. But neither the fashionistas nor VH1 got their Natoris in a bunch this time around.
”Walking that line is the toughest thing about the show,” says VH1’s Lauren Zalaznick. ”You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, but we still want to refer to the fact that we know we’re having fun with this…. It’s very necessary for our sensibility as VH1 to be represented up there.” And that includes red-carpet moments like Andy Dick whipping off his wool boxers from beneath his Scottish kilt and Moby extolling the virtues of hair clippers (”If I go five or six days without shaving my head, I start to feel really weird”).
Not that the show lacked for dustups. The biggest postshow gossip: Was Carmen Kass tipped off to her Model of the Year win? In fact, presenter Wahlberg cracked, ”I think the winner already knows who she is.” Says Vogue‘s Patrick O’Connell, ”Everyone thinks they know they’re going to win, but… no one knows until that night.” Stella McCartney certainly looked shocked when her dad, Sir Paul, made a surprise appearance to give her the Designer of the Year prize. ”I had no idea he was coming here,” said a dazed McCartney. ”And I’m a bit freaked out.”
Still, this is one awards show where the prizes are secondary to the scene itself. ”The music people love the clothes, and the fashion people love the music,” says Candy Pratts Price, former Vogue accessories editor and the event’s creative director. ”Like a great party, it’s all in the mix.”