dries van noten maggie gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal poses with designer Dries van Noten at an event in his honor. Photo: Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images

Yesterday afternoon, New York's fashion elite put aside their busy Fashion Week schedules and came out to celebrate the legendary Belgian designer Dries Van Noten as he received FIT's Couture Council Award at a Belgian-themed Cipriani luncheon.

After a video montage of Van Noten's impressive career, celeb fan Maggie Gyllenhaal presented him with the award after explaining her appreciation for the designer that she had never met until that day.

"I think the greatest honor I could give to a designer is to ask them to make a wedding dress for me, which is what I asked Dries to do in the Spring of this year when I got married," she explained to an audience including Van Noten's industry buddies Diane von Furstenberg, Nina Garcia, Iman, Ruben and Isabel Toledo and Phillip Lim. "I had never been in a dress more beautiful. In a way, the way I felt that day is the way I feel often when I'm in his clothes. I think he knows in a way better than I do what is beautiful and sexy on me."

And the gushing continued from every corner of the room. "There's not a better designer that could be celebrated," said Garcia. "He is a true colorist and he has a way of dressing women and making them feel beautiful, special and effortless. The woman who wears Dries is an original."

Perhaps inspired by Van Noten, Lim says prints will play into his upcoming collections. "Print is a bit different for us. It's about a collage and it was inspired by Picasso's Mosqueteros show at the Gagosian," he said. "It's the link between exoticism, primitivism and modernism."

Whoa. Sounds heavy. "No, it's light!" he said. "It's fun clothes, as always."

Lim also said the work-life balance is something he plans to maintain during Fashion Week madness, including keeping up with his reality show favorites. "You need that downtime! I love 'Top Chef' and I love 'Rachel Zoe' and 'Real Housewives.' It's like dessert."

Van Noten, on the other hand, was all about work and no New York play. "We have to go back to Europe tomorrow because we still have to pick out shoes for our show!" he said. However, he would have loved to stick around for the New York shows. "It's nice to see more and more young American designers who are doing very good collections. It's so important."

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