c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

NEW YORK — The designer Tom Ford has cultivated a hedonistic image, but who knew that among those to have seen him naked is Anna Wintour. When Ford was vacationing on St. Barts in the early 1990s, Wintour was staying near the nude beach, and — whoops — there she was when he sauntered by in the buff.

“It was like that dream where you’re naked in front of the entire school, except it was real,” Ford said Monday night at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s awards dinner, now in its 10th year.

Started after the 9/11 attacks, the fashion competition awards young designers with seed money and mentorship. This year’s top prize was $300,000, and virtually every big name in American fashion was there.

Zac Posen arrived in a spiffy gray suit, arm in arm with the model Crystal Renn. Prabal Gurung wore a tux and escorted Joan Smalls, who wore an army-green dress by Gurung. Jenna Lyons of J. Crew chatted with Joseph Altuzarra. On a sofa nearby were Vera Wang and Kenneth Cole. A short distance away was Orlando Bloom, one of the many celebrities present.

After the cocktail hour, guests took their seats inside the main hall of Spring Studios, overlooking the TriBeCa skyline. Julianne Moore introduced Ford, who offered advice for young designers. “Never sell a controlling interest in your company,” he said.

In a moment that caught some by surprise, Baz Luhrmann made his way to the podium next, where he unveiled a short film he made about Wintour, in tribute to her 25 years at Vogue.

Harvey Weinstein appeared on-screen and spoke about Wintour’s loyalty through good and bad. Oscar de la Renta praised her generosity. “The glasses are not there to push people away,” he said. “They’re to hide how much love is there.” Grace Coddington couldn’t imagine a future without her. “When she’s 90, she’ll probably still be” at Vogue, she said.

Wintour, who seemed both genuinely moved and slightly uncomfortable with the attention, gave the briefest speech of the night. “I think we should put the finalists out of their misery and get to the news of the night,” she said.

First, the fund announced the second runner-up: Marc Alary, who started his jewelry line four years ago. Then came the runner-up, Juan Carlos Obando, a womenswear designer based in Los Angeles. Both won $100,000.Finally, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School were named this year’s winners, as their table mates, who included Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks; Wintour’s daughter, Bee Shaffer; and the Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg, whooped and hollered.

“Wow,” Osborne said, before going onstage. It was quite a turnaround from three years ago, when the duo lost their financing, Barneys dropped them and they went out of business.

“We didn’t know what to do,” Chow said. “Then the CFDA took us into the fashion incubator and everything changed.”