Proteins and molecules are rarely used in the same sentence with things like silk and textiles. But last night, at New York’s 10th annual Vilcek Prizes at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, those disparate variables added up to one oddly perfect algorithm.
“Electron microscopes—they are a beautiful thing, for those who work in the fashion industry who have never seen them,” said Rockefeller University professor Günter Blobel, as he presented one of the evening’s awards in front of a crowd that included Anna Wintour, Thom Browne, Cecilia Dean, and the Costume Institute’s Harold Koda. “In fact, you should look more, they might be a good source of design inspiration.”
In the fashion category, the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton took home the $100,000 prize, while Siki Im, Natallia Pilipenka, and Tuyen Tran picked up Creative Promise awards.
Bolton, the curator behind the Met’s hugely successful Alexander McQueen show, admitted his transition from England to Manhattan wasn’t a terribly hard one. “Fashion is often the first to welcome the outsider,” he said. “To be honest, I never really felt like an immigrant. Actually, now I feel like more of an outsider in London.”