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Last night's Glamour's Women of the Year Awards held at Carnegie Hall—honoring the likes of Fergie, Cher and Tavi, yes, Tavi Gevinson the fourteen-year old fashion blogger—kicked off with a fabulously energetic performance by the tuxedoed and pompadoured singer, Janelle Monae. Her moves could best be described as, "If James Brown had been an attractive young woman." Monae even had an assistant bringing out a cape for her from the wings.
Then came the actual awards. Arianna Huffington, dressed in a black ruffled jacket—like a Gothic Santa Claus—introduced Jordan's Queen Rania. Arianna listed the Queen's many humanitarian accomplishments, including the fact that she has 1.3 million followers on Twitter. Queen Rania, attired in a blue and gray sequin gown, gave a gracious acceptance speech. We would have paid closer attention to it, if we hadn't been distracted by the fact that her evening gown had short sleeves.
Next up, was Hilary Swank, in a gold and beige corseted gown—covet! The two-time Oscar winner was there to introduce award recipient Donatella Versace. The designer, who along with fellow Woman of the Year, Cher, could easily be seen as an example of why (Ed: ahem, alleged) plastic surgery should be done in moderation, wore a lovely peach evening gown. Helping Swank honor Donatella was Janet Jackson. The singer explained that she felt a kinship with the designer—as they'd both lost their brothers and collaborators, "way too soon." Janet shared that when Michael died, she asked Donatella to dress the whole family for the funeral. Yes, when we think "proper funeral attire," we immediately think Versace.
Other high profile award recipients included the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie and actress Julia Roberts. Fergie was inducted by her BFF, actress Kate Hudson, and both women turned up in evening gowns with thigh-high slits. We imagine their pre-show "What are you going to wear?" conversation, was similar to ones we used to have in junior high. Julia Roberts was introduced by a pant-suited Oprah—whom the crowd went completely crazy over. Julia then bounded onstage, in a calf length, low cut, fitted black dress. She was funny, self-deprecating and completely lovable. But that still wasn't enough so to make us want to see Eat Pray Love.
Katie Couric gave the first truly moving presentation of the evening, introducing the crowd to Somalia's Dr. Hawa Abdi and her physician daughters, Dego and Amina. The doctors have taken on the responsibilities of helping 90,000 Somalis in the displaced persons camp they run. Another inspiring winner was Constance McMillen, the teenaged lesbian who successfully sued her Mississippi high school for the right to bring her girlfriend to the prom. We liked Constance, not only for her bravery, but for the humility and excitement she expressed in receiving her honor.
Later, Chelsea Clinton came onstage to pay tribute to twenty other outstanding young women. Standing in the two side balconies, spotlights focused on each recipient as Chelsea introduced them. Many had helped the underprivileged or the sick. The last recipient introduced, however, was fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson. Attired in gold sequins and wearing her trademark specs, the fourteen year old responded to Chelsea's flattering introduction by rolling her eyes.
The world's nineteen female heads of state were also honored, and impressively, four of them actually appeared at the event: Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, Prime Minister Iveta Radicova of Slovakia and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago. Presenter and UN Ambassador Susan Rice shared that twenty years ago, when these awards were first given out, there were fewer female heads of state. Of course, back then, Lithuania and Slovakia weren't countries.
The show closed with a presentation to Lifetime Achievement winner, Cher. We wondered who could possibly follow presenters like Susan Rice and Oprah. We guessed perhaps Meryl Streep. Nope. It was Cher's Burlesque co-star, Stanley Tucci—the celebrated actor we cornered at the Nanette Lepore Fashion Week show back in September. While onstage, Cher, who has been actively involved in helping our country's troops with her charities Operation Helmet and The Heroes Project, received thank you mementos from two wounded soldiers. In the process, she tripped over the long train of her asymmetrical black skirt. Though Cher's subsequent cursing brought big laughs from the audience, our favorite Cher moment of the evening was when she said, "I never believed in 'no.'" Yes, we confess, Cher ended up inspiring us.
· Women of the Year [Glamour]