American Icons And American Idiots: A Look At USA And Vanity Fair‘s “Character Approved” Awards Party

usa_characters_approved_2.26.10.jpgLast night, while most of New York was firmly ensconced in their homes during the early stages of The Great Snow of 2010, FishbowlNY made the icy trek to Vanity Fair and USA network’s “Character Approved” Awards party at the IAC building. And, friends, it was worth it for the hors d’oeuvres alone.

The party was thrown to honor award recipients in the fields of art, architecture, design, fashion, film, food, giving, music, new media and writing. Find out more about the honorees — and the food — after the jump.


Painter Kehinde Wiley, who specializes in depicting modern-day black men in poses taken from iconic paintings, was honored for his achievements in art, although he probably deserved an award for his video interview alone. Wiley, commenting on Warhol’s famous assertion that “in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes,” announced of his subjects, “Fuck that. I want to make you famous for a lifetime.”

An architect at Pugh + Scarpa and the co-founder of the nonprofit Livable Places, Angela Brooks was awarded for her sustainable, affordable housing designs.

Industrial designer Yves Behar, the founder of San Francisco-based design and branding firm fuseproject, was given the Design award for, among other products, his creation of the “100 dollar laptop” distributed to children in developing nations.

Fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez was given the award in, you guessed it!, Fashion and spoke about his experience dressing the First Lady.

Painter-turned-director Kathryn Bigelow was honored for her work as the director of the Oscar-nominated film The Hurt Locker.

Dan Barber, the executive chef and co-owner of Blue Hill Farm, was honored for his achievements in environmentally-friendly food cultivation and preparation.

Jessica Jackley was commended for her role in founding Kiva, a charitable organization that allows people to lend money to microfinance institutions in developing countries around the world.

Green Day was honored for their musical achievements, including a sampling of their musical “American Idiot,” which opens on Broadway next month.

Director, producer, novelist and screenwriter Nora Ephron was awarded in the Writing category for having penned such works as When Harry Met Sally… and Julie and Julia.

Curiously, Guitar Hero creators Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy won the New Media award. We’ll go with it, we guess.

The honorees were introduced by USA’s own Royal Pains star Mark Feuerstein as guests sipped complimentary (and refreshingly unseasonal) gimlets and nibbled on trays and trays of truffled mini ham and cheese sandwiches, tuna tartare and filet mignon with horse radish.

The crowd, which initially had to be shushed during the cast of American Idiot‘s performance, eventually began swaying or awkwardly bopping to the music, with one partygoer asking another, “Bro, you hard right now? High five.”

Which is to say: A good time was had by all. Although by some, evidently, more than others.