For Nicole Richie (in Giorgio Armani), practice made perfect as the actress and designer took the mic in Lincoln Center Wednesday to host the 10th Annual Style Awards, the official start to New York Fashion Week. “How do I prepare?” she told InStyle.com before the show. “I rehearse a lot and just kind of wing it, go with it, have fun.” And fun marked the spirit of guests and honorees that included Lily Aldridge (presenter, in Louis Vuitton), Rachel Zoe (stylist of the year), Jessica Paré (presenter) and Zac Posen (designer of the year), who marveled at their company and the night. “I’m excited to see everybody,” Zoe told reporters. “It’s such an honor,” Posen admitted to InStyle.com on his win. “I’m really proud of my studio and everybody I work with.” But the true star of the ceremony, which recognized 10 top industry talents and included a music performance by Ariana Grande, was model of the year Kate Upton. Joking between takes, the 21-year-old, seated at Christie Brinkley‘s table, was as lively as she was gracious when she took the stage to accept the honor, the last of the night. “I’m very proud of Kate Upton winning her award,” Aldridge shared with InStyle.com before the show. “It’s very exciting!” Catch the Style Awards yourself September 14 at 7 p.m. EST on CNN.

Plus, see more pictures from this week’s parties.

See the Photos

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—Alyssa Bailey