Caitlyn Jenner channels her inner 21st century goddess in Versace at the ESPYs

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Caitlyn Jenner channels her inner 21st century goddess in Versace at the ESPYs.

She received a standing ovation from some of the sporting world’s biggest stars after her 10-minute speech during the annual awards honoring the year’s top athletes and moments. “This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine,” said Jenner, who revealed she was in the process of becoming a woman in a televised interview with Diane Sawyer in April on ABC.

At the ESPY Awards, Caitlyn Jenner was a 21st century goddess on a pedestal speaking to the world about transgender rights: “Trans people deserve something vital— they deserve your respect.” Dressing for a formal event for the first time since her transition, Jenner skipped the preshow flashbulb alley, instead debuting her ruched Atelier Versace gown on stage as she received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, making her fashion choice the most anticipated red carpet look that never was. “Picking out this outfit…OK girls, I get it,” Jenner said, managing to negotiate her long train up the stairs to the stage like a pro. “Fashion police, go easy on me. Noting her powerful celebrity platform, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and current reality TV star vowed “to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how transgender people are viewed and treated.” Abby Wambach of the U.S. soccer team that won the Women’s World Cup presented the trophy to Jenner, whose voice broke as she thanked members of her famous family, including stepdaughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

Founder Gianni Versace, who was murdered on this exact date in 1997, was the first of Italy’s big designers to have the courage to be openly gay at a time when it was not widely accepted. Since speaking publicly about her journey to womanhood earlier this year to ABC’s Diane Sawyer, and modeling a peach satin corset, and Zac Posen and Donna Karan gowns for the July issue of Vanity Fair, Jenner’s everyday outfit choices have suggested she is easing into the high fashion game (unlike MVPs Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie). Rather than opting for the kind of couture labels the K-krew flock to (Givenchy, Balmain, Alexander Vaultier and the like), Jenner, 65, has espoused the look of a Malibu mom of a certain age.

Jenner urged the crowd that included football, basketball, baseball and hockey superstars to remember what they say and do is “absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people.” “If you want to call me names, make jokes and doubt my intentions, go ahead because the reality is I can take it,” she said. “But for thousands of kids out there coming to terms with the reality of who they are they shouldn’t have to take it.” A video narrated by “Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm traced Jenner’s life from the time when she was known as Bruce Jenner to her current transition. She has gravitated toward super short miniskirts (showing off legs that would be the envy of a 35-year-old), body-hugging wrap dresses and skinny jeans by American fashion labels such as Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Herve Leger and ALC. In the case of the ALC striped floral knit pencil skirt Jenner wore out to lunch on July 11 in Beverly Hills, she bought the $325 style herself, according to a PR representative for the L.A.-based brand. (It’s available at Neiman Marcus.) But for the ESPYs, US Weekly reported that Jenner worked with Jen Rade, Angelina Jolie’s stylist, who has put Jolie in Versace on the red carpet a number of times. (Rade would not return emails to confirm the report.) Jenner’s Versace gown was in another league from what she’s worn until now, indicating that she is ratcheting up her fashion game. (Could a Versace ad campaign be in the future?) Unlike so any celebrities who work the red carpet every day, she looked confident, her toned arms rippling through long sleeves. Jenner’s selection to receive the Ashe award named for the late tennis player who died in 1993 after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion generated strong debate online. “I met Arthur Ashe a few times.

I know how important education was to him,” Jenner said. “Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them as well as you can.”

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