10 things we learnt from The Fash­ion Awards

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FASHION - By VIC­TO­RIA MOSS and BETHAN HOLT

On Dec 5 night the big­gest names in fash­ion gath­ered at the event for­merly known as the Bri­tish Fash­ion Awards as it pre­sented its su­per sized, sex­ier, re­branded ver­sion, known sim­ply as The Fash­ion Awards.

The brain­child of Bri­tish Fash­ion Coun­cil chair­man, Dame Natalie Massenet (and founder of Net-a-Porter), the new high-oc­tane con­cept was de­signed to bring Glam­our, Glory and Money to the UK’s fash­ion in­dus­try. (Money be­ing the op­er­a­tive — Massenet has pledged to raise £10 mil­lion over the next 10 years to fund Bri­tish fash­ion ed­u­ca­tion, in the form of work­shops, ap­pren­tice­ships and schol­ar­ships.) Hence the event was moved back to its pre­vi­ous home, the Royal Al­bert Hall, com­plete with an ex­pan­sive red car­pet, gi­ant Swarovski crys­tal pos­ing gong (FYI — it cre­ates great back light­ing, some­thing to con­sider with your sea­sonal party plan­ning) and a soupedup in­ter­na­tional flavour.

As ever at fash­ion events, sar­to­ri­ally the guests di­vided into their nat­u­ral style habi­tats. The in­sid­erin­sid­ers stuck to chic neu­trals (black, black and black), while Alexa Chung of­fered a jaunty take on evening py­jama style in a feather-trimmed Prada two-piece as an al­ter­na­tive to those more in­tent on At­ten­tion — a fab­u­lous, if rather un­cov­ered Naomi Camp­bell — pea­cocked their way along that car­pet for all it was worth. Spe­cial recog­ni­tion here to X Fac­tor judge Ni­cole Sherzinger for ser­vices to Julien Macdon­ald, and ice-dancers the world over.

In­side, the hier­ar­chy of the fash­ion world was ar­ranged as acutely as ever, with grad­u­ated lev­els of seat­ing. Front and cen­tre were guests in­vited on to ta­bles (which cost up to as much as £48,000 a pop, and seated 10 to 12 guests); be­yond there were boxes for those just out of reach, and up in the gods — well, there cer­tainly wasn’t any wait­ered ta­ble ser­vice.

The place was decked out with gi­ant pink origami flow­ers, the car­pet (all 1,000 square me­tres of it) and ta­bles a taste­ful blush pink: all in all it had a cosy, womb-like ap­pear­ance that made a fit­ting back­drop for the po­lite back-slap­ping which marked the night.

Be­sides Jack White­hall’s open­ing to­ken Trump jibe — “To all the mod­els, if you work re­ally hard you too could end up mar­ried to a psy­chotic nut­ter” — there was lit­tle in the way of con­tro­versy. Cer­tainly, when pressed, de­sign­ers were shrewd enough to dodge the would-they-dress Me­la­nia ques­tion. “I am def­i­nitely not go­ing to an­swer that,” Sarah Bur­ton, said when asked if she’d like to see the fu­ture First Lady in the Duchess of Cam­bridge’s favourite Mc­Queen.

All in all, it was a daz­zling, show-y, fab­u­lous, Evian- (it was a Mon­day night, af­ter all) and cham­pagne(Louis Chau­rer via M&S if you’re in­ter­ested) fu­elled soirée. Bravo, Dame Natalie for serv­ing up a keen re­minder that Bri­tish fash­ion can glam it up as well as the rest of them.

And The Tele­graph’s Fash­ion Awards go to ...

1 Best voice of a gen­er­a­tion: Gigi Hadid:

Fresh from last week’s flesh-fest that was the Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret show, the el­der Hadid sis­ter took to the stage in an ice-blue Ver­sace trouser/cape top com­bi­na­tion to col­lect her In­ter­na­tional Model of the Year award from Donatella Ver­sace. (The younger Hadid sis­ter, Bella, had also been nom­i­nated, but didn’t win and didn’t turn up.) Hold­ing back tears, an emo­tional 21-yearold Gigi ac­knowl­edged that as much as she is “blessed” to be from the “so­cial me­dia gen­er­a­tion” (a nod to her 26 mil­lion fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram), it was the ven­er­ated fash­ion au­di­ence in front of her that means the most. When you can ca­su­ally drop the first names of Anna (Win­tour), Mario (Testino) and Bruce (We­ber — the photographer who was there to col­lect the Is­abella Blow Award for Fash­ion Cre­ator), you know you’ve made it in style.

2 Best vel­vet: Kate Moss and David Beck­ham:

If you’ve been keep­ing even half an eye on The Tele­graph’s fash­ion cov­er­age, you will know that if you want to be Of The Mo­ment right now, you need some­thing vel­vet-y in your wardrobe ar­se­nal. Clearly Moss and Becks have been pay­ing at­ten­tion. They both sported sen­su­ously gor­geous vel­vet num­bers. KM was el­e­gant in her grown-up maxi num­ber (teamed with a black fur coat, which she was over­heard de­scrib­ing to Mario Testino as “very Lib­er­ace”), while Becks (sans Vic­to­ria) was ever so hand­some in a Ralph Lau­ren vel­vet tuxedo jacket. Note the olive and black tones. Chic.


The pa­tron saint of Bri­tish fash­ion was the true Queen of the Night. At­tired in a not dis­sim­i­lar style to a fairy atop a gi­ant, style-con­scious Christ­mas tree — in a shred­ded white Ralph & Russo num­ber, com­plete with tiara-es­que sparkling hair­band — she was re­splen­dent in over­see­ing the el­e­gant ex­trav­a­gance of her cre­ation. Guests were shrewd to note her pa­tron­age: every win­ner thanked her first. A fash­ion god­dess duly hon­oured.

Best Bro­mance: David loves Ralph, Jared loves Gucci, Mar­i­lyn Man­son loves Demna: 4 Best Dame: Dame Natalie Massenet:

In pre­sent­ing Ralph Lau­ren with his Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment Award (cue an Amer­i­cana film mon­tage which served as a whole­some salve against the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal predica­ment), Becks let slip what a fan he was of the pony-mo­tif la­bel. He gamely re­called meet­ing Mr Lau­ren for the first time ear­lier this year at Ox­ford­shire celeb coun­try re­treat Soho Farm­house, at­tired head to toe in RL, obvs. Mean­while, in edgier love-ins, Hol­ly­wood ac­tor Jared Leto de­clared his ob­ses­sion with Gucci cre­ative di­rec­tor Alessan­dro Michele; while sur­prise — but, on re­flec­tion, not that sur­pris­ing — Mar­i­lyn Man­son ap­peared to fur­nish the arch-provo­ca­teur (and his dear friend) Vete­ments and Ba­len­ci­aga de­signer Demna Gvasalia with one of his two awards of the night.


Hayek’s decol­letage reached ever-more im­pres­sive pro­por­tions in her cus­tom-made Gucci dress — so help­ful to be mar­ried to François-Henri Pin­ault, the CEO of Ker­ing, which owns Gucci. Mean­while, Ms Dunn took on the cur­rent vogue for a crop top with aplomb. Both knock­out. Who said fash­ion was anti front-flumps? Not us.

6 Best boobs: Salma Hayek and Jour­dan Dunn: Best ap­pro­pri­a­tion of black-tie:

Ralph and Ricky Lau­ren: Prov­ing that in these heady mod­ern times jeans have a home at any oc­ca­sion, Mr Lau­ren teamed his sig­na­ture blue den­ims with a full tuxedo on top. While his wife, Ricky, neatly twinned with her hus­band, sport­ing a whitetie tux (com­plete with bow-tie) and el­e­gant black court shoes. Now that’s how to in­ter­pret a dress code.

His name may not be quite trip­ping off your tongue yet, but he has un­doubt­edly been the man of the year — and the Fash­ion Awards, where he picked up two gongs. The first was for the la­bel Vete­ments (which he leads with his brother) and the sec­ond for his work as cre­ative di­rec­tor of Ba­len­ci­aga. His in­dus­try-shift­ing ap­proach has turned £800 jeans, bright yel­low DHL T-shirts, striped leather logo mar­ket bags, ditsy printed midi dresses (the rea­son you are see­ing a tea dress re­vival) and Ti­tanic (yes, the film) branded sweat­shirts into cult, sell-out items. His work maybe provoca­tive, but it’s also shrewd and The real win­ners

Bri­tish emerg­ing tal­ent: Bri­tish menswear de­signer:

US model Gigi Hadid; Gucci de­signer Alessan­dro Michele (left) and US ac­tor Jared Leto; De­signer Ralph Lau­ren and wife Ricky Anne Loew-Beer; Maye Musk; Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can ac­tress Salma Hayek; Welsh fash­ion de­signer Julien Macdon­ald (left) and US singer Ni­cole Scherzinger. Best de­signer: Demna Gvasalia: Bri­tish wom­enswear de­signer: Si­mone Rocha for Si­mone Rocha Spe­cial recog­ni­tion: 100 Years of Bri­tish Vogue Bri­tish brand: Alexan­der Mc­Queen In­ter­na­tional busi­ness leader: Marco Biz­zarri for Gucci In­ter­na­tional ur­ban lux­ury brand: Vete­ments Is­abella Blow award for fash­ion cre­ator: Bruce We­ber In­ter­na­tional model: Gigi Hadid In­ter­na­tional ac­ces­sories de­signer: Alessan­dro Michele for Gucci In­ter­na­tional ready-to-wear de­signer: Demna Gvasalia for Ba­len­ci­aga Out­stand­ing achieve­ment: Ralph Lau­ren Swarovski Award for pos­i­tive change: Franca Soz­zani 8

“Every 68-year-old should try a slit!” pro­claimed the ra­di­ant model Maye Musk. Her look — a long dress with afore­men­tioned slit and an over­sized metal­lic jacket by Zaid Af­fas — man­aged to do what few red car­pet en­sem­bles ever man­age: play to glam­our and prac­ti­cal­ity all at once. She was even wear­ing tights, a woman af­ter our own hearts. “Bri­tish style is more ex­cit­ing than New York style; you’re a lit­tle cheekier,” Musk winked, hot-foot­ing down the red car­pet to show the kids how it’s done.

Best dressed: Maye Musk:

Her Majesty might have been miss­ing from pro­ceed­ings — how we’d have adored to see her pre­sent­ing Ralph Lau­ren with his award — but she was never far from hearts and minds. “My Bri­tish style icon has to be the Queen, she’s amaz­ing,” said de­signer Si­mone Rocha, who won the Bri­tish Wom­enswear De­signer of the Year award. “I’d love to see her in my clothes.” In­deed, one of Rocha’s de­con­structed trench coats would make ex­cel­lent Bal­moral at­tire. A re­gal air was also lent by sev­eral at­ten­dees sport­ing State Ban­quet-wor­thy tiaras.


What can we learn from a crowd who prac­ti­cally party for a liv­ing? “Dye your hair pink. Be cre­ative! ’Tis the sea­son af­ter all,” en­cour­aged Erin O’Con­nor, wear­ing Giles Cou­ture, hair slicked back and sprayed cop­per. Get­ting ready in ex­tra-quick time was the evening’s most pop­u­lar hum­ble­brag: “I just want to get there!” quoth Molly God­dard, who con­fided that she’d wiped off most of her pro­fes­sion­ally ap­plied makeup. While It Girl Laura Jack­son of­fered some prac­ti­cal notes — wash your face with co­conut oil and a hot cloth be­fore bed to give you last­night-never-hap­pened glow the next day.

10 Best style icon: The Queen: Best party beauty tips:

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