By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 03, 2003 01:00 PM

One of Sarah Jessica Parker and Salma Hayek’s favorite couturiers, Narciso Rodriguez, was named the nation’s top womenswear designer by the Council of Fashion Designers of America for the second year running, the Associated Press reports.

Known for his for sleek, form-fitting gowns, Rodriguez received his award — considered the fashion industry’s Oscar — Tuesday night in Manhattan from Parker and his mentor, veteran designer Calvin Klein, for whom Rodriguez worked until 10 years ago, when he set out to launch his own label.

“A few nights ago, (Klein) said that I was doing it and I was doing it well,” said a teary-eyed Rodriguez.

Ironically, Parker, the evening’s host, wasn’t sporting a Rodriguez on her back at the ceremony, which was held at the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Instead, says AP, she wore a dress designed by each of the gala’s three chairmen: a strapless pink and white polka-dot dress by Carolina Herrera, a nude-colored dress with a white sequin hem by Vera Wang and a black dress with spaghetti straps and a handkerchief hem by Klein.

Her escort was design legend Oscar de la Renta.

When “The Pianist” Oscar winner Adrien Brody presented Chanel designer Michael Kors with the menswear design award, the actor didn’t plant a kiss on Kors, as he had on Halle Berry at the Academy Awards. But Brody, 29, did quip, “Security was tight. They checked my label at the door.”

Renee Zellweger tells AP that she wore elegant long gloves (complementing her ivory-colored Herrera gown) because her date, Vogue editor-at large Andre Leon Talley, who received a fashion journalism award, is a fan of a lady in white gloves.

In response, Tally told Zellweger: “You are my postmodern Audrey Hepburn.”

Previous fashion icon award winner Lauren Bacall collected Nicole Kidman’s fashion icon award because “The Hours” Oscar winner was unexpectedly called to the coast to finish work on the film “The Human Stain.”

Bacall, 78, said she admired Kidman’s work ethic, fashion sense and ability to look “pretty great” at 6 a.m. without the benefit of any makeup. “I’m jealous,” Bacall joked.