It was an RBG love-fest — sometimes literally — in Washington, D.C., earlier this month
On Feb. 19, the 11th DVF Awards were held for the first time at the Library of Congress.
“It smells and looks like knowledge,” Diane von Furstenberg said as she walked onto the red carpe (after saying she really wanted to comb her hair, and asking if anyone had a comb). “I am overwhelmed.”
The designer, 73, wore a necklace that said “in charge” in sparkly script along with a black-and-gold sequined dress.
She told reporters that she has always respected and loved Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was honored with a lifetime leadership award.
“She’s like the sun,” von Furstenberg said. “She goes over everybody and warms everybody.”
What does DVF like the best about the judge, who has experienced a new level of fame in recent years after a documentary and biopic?
“I admire her work and how she stands for justice — and how she stands for equality,” von Furstenberg told PEOPLE. “I love the clarity of her mind, which absolutely reflects through her blue eyes.”
Model and activist Iman told PEOPLE she couldn’t believe that she was being honored alongside Ginsburg, 86. “The same sentence — ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I’? The same room? Yeah.”
Iman, 64, said she absolutely could not wait to meet Ginsburg “because she is supreme. She is beyond supreme.”
“I don’t know any female who doesn’t want to meet her. It’s not just in the United States — anywhere in the world,” Iman said.
She’d also forwarded to her daughter a picture of Ginsburg rocking silver, sparkly heels from earlier in the week, a fashion choice that quickly went viral.
“That’s it,” Iman said. “She’s feminine, but she’s tough.”
On stage, von Furstenberg declared Ginsburg “the true rock star.” Iman added, “The honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a combination of Mt. Everest and Vesuvius.”
When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the stage in a long white jacket and black pants, there was a standing ovation. She introduced Ginsburg and declared her “a hero, a trailblazer, an icon.”
REALATED: Katie Couric Praises Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ‘Grace,’ as Justice Says ‘Young People Are My Hope’
“She is the subject of books, movies and countless memes. Those of us who have attempted her famous workout regime know just how tough she is,” Clinton said.
She said she’d always admired Ginsburg and was thrilled when her husband, Bill Clinton, nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court.
“I knew personally, and professionally, what a difference her pioneering work on gender made. I couldn’t get a credit card in my own name after I was married. I kept applying for credit cards. I made more money than my husband. A common experience throughout our marriage.”
The audience erupted in laughter.
Ginsburg walked on stage in a voluminous, billowy black jacket that evoked her black robe while in court. The flowy jacket was over a black cocktail dress with a gold, shimmering belt. She wore her hair pulled back in a black, sparkly scrunchie, and wore black patent leather heels.
“In my long life, I’ve seen great changes and that’s what makes me an optimist for the future,” she said.
On her hands were lacy black gloves, and she carried a black-and-white snakeskin clutch.
“God bless you,” von Furstenberg said, giving Ginsburg a hug at the end of the awards ceremony when all the honorees and presenters gathered on stage. “We all want you to live very, very, very, very, very long.”
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