Peter Som Explains What the CFDA Really Does All Day

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Ever wonder what really goes on in meetings for the Council of Fashion Designers of America? After all, its members are those all-powerful masterminds — Oscar, Diane, Marc, Carolina — who decide what we wear and where all our paychecks disappear every season. And they have this eerie ability to show similar trends — colored tights! Layers! Hats! Hats! Hats! — even though they claim not to be in cahoots with one other. So at Monday’s CFDA awards dinner, we demanded answers from an insider, Peter Som, who seems to be unafraid of polyester torture. Or whatever it is the council does to designers who dish.

What’s everyone talking about in there?
We’ve been deciding what the color is for next season.

What is it?
I can’t tell you! I can’t tell you! It’s in the rainbow. Wink, wink.

How does the color get decided?
It’s kind of the vibe in the air. But I can’t tell you. I’d be disbarred from the CFDA.

Isn’t the CFDA really some secret designers’ cabal?
It’s sort of like Hogwarts. There’s some floating candles and we all spin the magic fashion dreidel and then talk to the talking hat, the talking Philip Treacy hat.

Like the one Sarah Jessica Parker wore to the London SATC premiere?
That was the one! I can’t believe she wore it. That acorn talks! So bold. So audacious.

Did you guys also decide where the tents will go when they leave Bryant Park in 2010?
Hopefully just two feet to the left and then they’ll stay. This really is the best location. It’s the center of Manhattan. It’s great for everybody.

How will you change things up for your next show?
I want to have models walk on the ceiling. Everyone upside down. It’ll be very Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter. A zero-gravity show. It’s so chic. It’s so now.

And you probably know that Nina Ricci duped Sarah Jessica Parker into wearing a dress that had already been photographed at the Met gala. Shady?
Well, you know, I personally would make sure there’s full disclosure. I can only speak for myself.

Have you ever done something like that?
We try to be careful and sensitive. It’s like, that was her major New York premiere. I mean, I guess these things happen. —Jada Yuan