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Around Town: Karl Lagerfeld, Iman and More at the Gordon Parks Awards Dinner

Karl Lagerfeld, Iman

Karl Lagerfeld was among those honored for creativity at Wednesday’s Gordon Parks Foundation Awards dinner. We asked the Chanel creative director which of his creative endeavors, which include fashion design, photography, filmmaking and publishing, he enjoys most.  “I never compare,” the Kaiser said. “So, I like fashion, I like movies, I like photos, I like books, I like all that, but they are so different that you cannot put them on the same level and make degrees of preference, eh? There are no degrees of preference; I’m mad for all of them.”

Why does the icon, now in his late-70s, continue to work so hard? “You know, days have only 24 hours, there is not so much time left. And years have only 365 days, so it’s really a full time job,” he explained cheerfully.

Karl’s friend Ingrid Sischy alluded to his work ethic in her introduction during the award ceremony. “When other fashion designers are kicking back after a day’s work, a show, or a long season, Karl is almost always off doing a photo shoot for a brand-new magazine or a powerful, established glossy, or a campaign, or a personal project he has assigned to himself,” Sischy told the crowd.

Lagerfeld’s acceptance speech was uncharacteristically short, thanking the organizers and saying how the photographs of the late Gordon Parks that he saw in Life magazine while he was growing up were an inspiration to him. “When I get a prize, I’m very flattered and very happy, but in a way I always feel ashamed because I think I could do better,” he said. “I consider myself lazy. In fact, I’m never pleased with myself, the best thing is to go ahead.”

The evening’s other honorees were no slouches either: Arianna Huffington, director Spike Lee, creativity and innovation expert Sir Ken Robinson, and Lincoln Center Fashion Week mastermind Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.

Even with these VIPS plus Iman, Donna Karan, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, and J. Crew’s Mickey Drexler in the house, musician Rufus Wainwright claimed not to be nervous about performing. “I’ve always had quite good luck with celebrities only because I’ve managed to stay so rarefied over the years,” he said. “So it’s worked to my advantage; they think I’m a little secret.”

At Thursday’s gala for the Fresh Air Fund, an organization that sends city children to summer camp, Tommy Hilfiger revealed that he was an entrepreneur even as a kid. “I delivered newspapers and saved enough money to pay my own way to summer camp when I was ten years old,” the designer said. Hilfiger loved every minute of it, and continued to earn money for camp in the ensuing summers. “But honestly, when I was in my teens, I preferred working because then I could really earn money to do the things I wanted to do,” he said. “I was dying to buy my own car when I was 16. I did.” It was a 1960 Oldsmobile, he added, laughing.

Olivia Wilde, Carmelo Anthony, Ann Curry, and Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and David Neville all came out to support on a breezy, sunny day ideal for outdoor pursuits.

Photo: Iman and Karl Lagerfeld