Hillary Clinton’s Self-Deprecating Pantsuit Joke at the CFDA Awards

Last night’s CFDA Awards in New York City were, as always, a star-studded event. Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang received special honors, while Proenza Shouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez won Womenswear Designer of the Year and Thom Browne won Menswear Designer of the Year. It wasn’t, though, an actor or designer or even host Andy Cohen who stole the show, but Hillary Clinton — yes, that Hillary Clinton — who presented de la Renta’s Founders Award.

During Clinton’s introduction, she made a couple self-deprecating references to her own style, including, yes, a pantsuit joke:

You know, I have been thinking, now that I have some more time on my hands, I am going to be pitching Andy and others on a new show for Bravo, to fill that gap that is so apparent to some of us. All you really need is a small but passionate audience to be successful. We could call it Project Pantsuit. We have all kinds of ideas. So just call me after tonight, Andy.

Clinton also spoke about meeting de la Renta for the first time, while she was First Lady in the early ’90s:

I first met Oscar de la Renta in December of 1993. I was hosting, along with my husband, the annual gathering for the Kennedy Center Honors, and there was a receiving line in the White House. People were coming through and exchanging small talk and making pleasantries, and along came Oscar and Annette, his fabulous wife. So I reached out to shake Oscar’s hand, and he looked me up and down, and he said, “That’s one of my dresses.” I said, “Really?” [Makes a nervous face.] I was then, as I am now, such a fashion icon myself. [Laughter.] So I said, “Really, well, I bought it to wear for this occasion.” And he said, “Well, turn around.” And I thought, “Oh my god, I’m being examined by Oscar de la Renta!”

Then, during his own speech, de la Renta snuck in a plug for Hillary which went over like gangbusters in a room full of fashion industry insiders who were surely Romney/Ryan supporters. “Perhaps she wouldn’t like me to say this, but I think she’s going to be our next president,” de la Renta said, as Clinton stood to the side, shaking her head. The crowd erupted into applause.

The Cut has the full text of Clinton’s introduction here.