I Photobombed Gigi Hadid, and Other Insights From the CFDAs

Aemilia Madden

Below, you'll find a photo of me at last night's CFDA awards. Yes, I look fancy, but that's one fun part about being a fashion editor. I'm lucky enough to borrow a dress from a designer I love and play Cinderella for a night. But while it all looks plenty fancy with an Instagram filter, there are plenty of unexpected moments the cameras don't capture. From the dangers of wearing a dress with a train (there was a lot of accidental tripping going on) to the unexpected run-ins with inspiring women from Planned Parenthood, other publications, and even a celebrity or two.

Below, I'm sharing a few of the things that struck me most over the course of the evening. While I can't promise each is truly groundbreaking, I hope you'll find some humor in my roller coaster of an evening. One thing I'm most happy to report: Comfortable heels can work in even the most glamorous setting (phew!).

Read on for a breakdown of my first CFDAs!


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Here's a picture of me posing in the Instagram #content booth that was the most popular photo spot of the evening. Sidenote: Makeup and mirrored glass meant lots of Windex breaks were necessary to keep the box in tip-top content-creating shape.


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There are certain fashion celebrities who cause models and editors alike to simultaneously squeal with delight and whisper in hushed tones. Notoriously private designers like Raf Simons and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen top the list, but Bella Hadid has to be up there too.


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At this year's Met Gala, the bathroom was hands down the place to be. I can't say exactly why everyone seems to end up in the bathroom at fancy parties. Maybe it's the prevalence of selfie-worthy mirrors or the fact that it's a chance to get up from your table. But while clearly there were content opportunities to be had last night when I finally made my way there at the end of the night, by then it was, sadly, just an empty, florescent-lit bathroom.

While celebrities disembark from their Escalades and face an onslaught of paparazzi on their way to the red carpet, I found myself paired with a disgruntled Uber driver. Instead of being let out in the usual drop-off line, I was strongly advised to leave my car mid–traffic jam. As a result, I found myself sneaking behind Gigi Hadid, trying with all my might to avoid ending up lurking in the background of her photos.


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From Pat McGrath's acceptance speech to Anna Wintour's teary tribute to Franca Sozzani to the inspired words of Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, and Janelle Monáe, it was an award show that brought palpable emotion to the room. Even from my spot on the balcony, it was clear that the audience connected with everything happening on stage.

Whose look was your favorite from last night? Let us know in the comments! 

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