December 3, 2019
Held in London’s historic Royal Albert Hall, this year’s British Fashion Awards celebrated diversity, sustainability and emerging creativity.
Adut Akech delivered the most inspiring speech to anyone that has a dream even one that seems impossible. Dressed in specially designed green Valentino Haute Couture, when accepting Model of the Year she said,
Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee – the house’s creative director since 2018 – accepted all four awards he was nominated for, including Brand of the Year and British Designer of the Year Womenswear.
Dressed in an encrusted Alexander McQueen gown, Naomi Campbell’s speech when named Fashion Icon became very emotional when the supermodel realised she was the first woman of colour to receive the award. She paid tribute to designers such as Azzedine Alaia, who took her under his wing when she was a teenage model in Paris, and thanked her mum by pointing out, “You raised me single-handedly, you were my mother and my father.”
Rejina Pyo took home the award for British Emerging Talent Womenswear. Her clothes don’t follow trends and instead, encourage individuality. It’s thanks to her puff-sleeve midi dress that she has gained a legion of fans.
Giorgio Armani was awarded for his outstanding contribution to the global fashion industry. On the red carpet, he was surrounded by Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett in a tulle gown with a ruffled neckline, Julia Roberts in a crystal-embellished jumpsuit and Lauren Hutton. The designer is widely known for his philanthropic work including his Acqua for Life campaign helping provide safe drinking water to the world’s children.
It was also a big night for sustainability.
Phrases like, ‘climate emergency’ were written on banners. The food menu for the guests was plant-based using locally sourced produce. And on the red carpet, the fashion industry, which is responsible for being the second largest polluter in the world, took note.
Models Karen Elson, Joan Smalls and Amber Valletta were all dressed by Stella McCartney and Atelier Swarovski.
“Sustainability is at the core of everything we do,” McCartney told Vogue.
“It was important to me that these women felt confident, and could proudly say they’re wearing looks that were made sustainably.”
Elson’s off the shoulder dress with a gold metal neckline, Smalls’s one-shoulder mini dress adorned with silver neckline detailing and Valletta’s V-neck cape mini with mesh side inserts were all made from a material called cady, formed from sustainable viscose and sourced from protected trees in Sweden.
The model’s jewels were made in a laboratory from carbon with Atelier Swarovski’s aim
“is to demonstrate that luxury can go hand in hand with sustainability.”
Elson wore drop earrings and a ring set in fair-trade gold. Smalls chose a pair of concentric earrings and Valletta opted for a collar, cuff and double ring.
My Wardrobe HQ convinced Arizona Muse, Mary Charteris (in Giambattista Valli), Millie Mackintosh (in Emilia Wickstead), James Blunt, Sofia Blunt (in Needle and Thread London) and Alice Naylor-Taylor (in Peter Pilotto) to all borrow their clothes instead of purchasing.
The e-commerce gives pre-owned and past-season goods a new lease of life and helps the environment by extending the garment’s life cycle. The site has also partnered with Blanc Living dry cleaners who use non-toxic, biodegradable detergents and Green Courier for delivery.
The Award for Positive Change presented by Amber Valetta and Halima Aden went to the Signatories of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action – the first win of the night.
To end the night on a high the crowd was serenaded by Eric Clapton.