Fashion can often feel like a dog-eat-dog world, but the recent British Fashion Awards have shown us that UK fashion mavericks aren’t afraid to support each other, and that fashion is everything from the local to the global.
Each year, the best names in fashion are celebrated during a 2000-strong ceremony, known as the British Fashion Awards. This year, over 800 members of the worldwide fashion industry voted for their favourite successes in the fashion industry over the past 12 months.
On Monday 23rd November in the London Coliseum, the winners were announced by the British Fashion Council. There were some very recognisable faces among those who attended the event. Attendees included the Beckhams, Vogue cover star Karlie Kloss, Poppy Delevingne and Lady Gaga.
Inclusion and variation
What impressed me with the awards was the variation of red carpet arrivals, presenters and winners, who all came together to share their love of dressing well. Fashion may often be criticised for not being inclusive, but this night showed how this isn’t always the case.
Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie has inspired women everywhere for being someone they can identify with. She has described herself as “recognisable” in an interview with Vogue which discussed the obstacles she’s had to overcome in acting, and that night she was just as gorgeous in a shimmering metallic dress by Giles Deacon. It was no wonder then that she won “British Style – Red Carpet Ambassador”.
Karl Lagerfeld snapped up the “Outstanding Achievement Award”, given to him by none other than Anna Wintour. He looked space-age chic in a silver jacket and brooch, whilst Anna Wintour was the picture of elegance in statement jewels and a floral coat. In his acceptance speech the winner said, “They have a lot of talent, they are daring, they are never boring – and it is quite exciting. I am flattered I got this award.”
Whilst the British Fashion Council were giving out the awards, their global reach didn’t go to waste and nominees and winners were from across the world.
Fashion muse Alexa Chung wore a strapless, tapestry-patterned Erdem dress as she presented the award for ‘Establishment Designer’ to the same brand whose roots lie in Canada and Turkey.
J.W Anderson had a fantastically successful night, as the Irish designer won both the ‘Menswear Designer’ award, presented to him by actor Orlando Bloom, and ‘Womenswear Designer’ award.
Jonathan Anderson has this year shown how he can effortlessly combine nostalgia with a refreshingly new style. Namely, he brought 80s fashion into the present with the black-and-white SS16 ready-to-wear collection.
Jourdan Dunn was striking in a monochrome Mugler gown as she accepted the ‘Model Award’, presented to her by French fashion designer Olivier Rousteing. The designer recently caused shopper frenzy with the launch of his Balmain x H&M collection, which caused fights, sold out almost instantly and saw people selling the goods on for double the price via eBay. Jourdan Dunn won out over Georgia May Jagger and Malaika Firth for her efforts over the past year. Her high neck, open back gown set the tone for the rest of the arrivals. Despite being set in a gloomy, rainy London, those who graced the red carpet couldn’t have appeared more Hollywood.
British style was still the main focus of celebration, and FKA twigs was awarded the title of ‘British Style – Fashion Innovator.’ On the red carpet she wore a black silk number from the Calvin Klein Collection. The trousers were wide and touched the floor, whilst a structured top had tasteful cutaways. This powerful look accompanied by her curly up-do is evidence of her knack for unique style.
After this she blended an American football style jersey with some abstract patterns in a black and yellow trim shirt dress.
Burberry won ‘Creative Campaign’ of the year for their Billy Elliot inspired shoot, whilst Tom Ford was king of the Red Carpet. The award was accepted by Lady Gaga on his behalf, who looked ravishing as she wore a sequined, lacy red dress Ford had designed.
Well rounded show
The awards acknowledged upcoming designers like Thomas Tait, Grace Wales Bonner and Jordan Askill, giving everyone an insight into the future of fashion.
During the show a fashion showcase saw models storm the stage, each one chosen and styled by a British designer, with a live backing soundtrack by pop legend Alison Moyet showing the best about London fashion. Designers like Topshop Unique, Victoria Beckham and Christopher Kane took part in the show.
Overall the night wasn’t just about celebrating some great contributions to fashion, but also making fashion more inclusive, spanning across borders and personal style choices.
Here is a list of all the winners on the night:
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