Christopher John Rogers is an absolute wunderkind. The 25 year-old Baton Rouge-born designer, whose vibrant creations are Michelle Obama-approved, won the coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last night. As a result, he will receive $400,000 and a mentorship through the Council of Fashion Designers America. And besides taking home the top prize, he also brought some much needed color to the otherwise drab red carpet preceding the event, which is usually haunted by the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg’s many wrap dresses and the bob of Anna Wintour.
Following the colorways of his bold runway shows, Rogers premiered a shockingly red boiler suit and coat combo, replete with a matching boa and pair of mini sunglasses.
The design elements aren’t particularly daring, but it was refreshing to see something ridiculous stand in the vicinity of Anna Wintour’s standard glamour. I’m also obsessed with the pointy, villainous boots of which I’d like a pair immediately. My only wish is that through his mentorship, Rogers can hone his tailoring skills, as the cut on the pant is doing the inseam no favors at all.
The fit on the coat, however, is divine. The gentle slope into a crisp shoulder is elegant, but I wish he would have trimmed the cuffs with the boa instead of the collar. But, I’m also not the one with $400,000 in the bank and the eyes of Anna Wintour on me. I respect the choice, even if I don’t understand it!
The real stars of the night were the women wearing Christopher John Rogers. The fit on Ashley Graham’s dress (center) is beyond stunning, and a welcome addition to the pantheon of “maternity wear.” I also love the bow-tie collar on Kat Graham’s green number, even if the draping could be slightly more refined. (You could probably get away with it on a runway, but the harsh lights of the step and repeat tell no lies!)
More than anything, I’m blown away by his take on the relatively design concept of the “shirt dress.” The neon-yellow is a perfect color on Jameela Jamil. Its also worth mentioning that others have tried (and failed) to staple on fabrics to a simple drape—notably, every FIDM graduate ever—so I absolutely envy her for getting to wear this technical achievement.
In other good news for Rogers: Past winners of the Award like Pyer Moss and Telfar Clemens, who napped the prize in 2018 and 2017 respectively, both saw their brands skyrocket in popularity as a result. Telfar’s “Shopping Bag” was even heralded as the must-have accessory of 2019. Hopefully the prize money will see Rogers open a storefront of other stapled-on shirt dresses, or at least sell them through Opening Ceremony and the like.