It was a suitably sparkly affair at the 2017 British Fashion Awards Monday evening. With Swarovski as a partner for the event, a sea of guests descended in shimmer and shine on London's Royal Albert Hall, ready to celebrate the finest creative visionaries in the fashion and beauty industries.
While the Hadid sisters were set to battle it out again (Gigi won last year), the much-anticipated Model of the Year Award went to Adwoa Aboah. Presented by Erykah Badu, the accolade rounds off a hugely successful year for the Gurls Talk founder, who most recently starred on the cover of Edward Enninful's first issue of British Vogue last month.
Raf Simons scooped Designer of the Year for brilliantly bringing his minimalist take to the all-American Calvin Klein, with a slew of fresh faces and the biggest names in popular culture (see Solange's latest turn) fronting his campaigns.
Following a victorious year, Jonathan Anderson came away with two awards: the first for Accessories Designer of the Year for Loewe (beating heavyweights Alessandro Michele for Gucci and Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga), the second for British Designer of the Year Womenswear for J.W.Anderson. After the recent news that his line with Uniqlo is returning for a second time, plus excitement mounting for his collaboration with Converse, it's clear he's one of today's most revered and influential creative talents.
Maria Grazia Chiuri received the Swarovski Award for Positive Change for her contribution to women's empowerment in the fashion industry. Not only did her 'We Should All Be Feminists' T-shirt inspire people to express their politics with pride this year, but in 2016 she became Dior's first female creative director in the fashion house's 70-year history. On receiving the award — first given last year to the late Vogue Italia editor, Franca Sozzani — Chiuri said: "The feminist movement, that has been mine for the longest time, has finally struck a resonant chord in society, and this recognition sends a powerful message to all women battling on a daily basis."
Meanwhile, Stella McCartney was given the first Special Recognition Award for Innovation "for her commitment to sustainable fashion, material innovation, and using her influence to create a positive environmental impact on the industry." A tireless campaigner for change in fashion, she said: "I hope I can inspire other design houses to follow suit and to make this the most prestigious award, not just a one-off.”
Continuing to celebrate the industry's powerful women, legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath was presented with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator. The accolade celebrates our most creative and innovative players, with past winners including British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, photographers Nick Knight, and the late professor of fashion design, Louise Wilson. With two decades of makeup artistry under her belt, plus the 2015 launch of her hugely successful collection Pat McGrath Labs, McGrath has been the force behind the creations of Giorgio Armani, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana's cosmetic brands.
The third female designer to be honoured last night was Donatella Versace, who received the Fashion Icon Award in recognition of her work as artistic director of Versace, and honors the 20-year legacy of her late brother and founder of the label, Gianni. “We have celebrated empowerment, joy, and, of course, glamour. We have championed a community of people who share our values and together with them have created truly iconic images in the world of fashion," Versace said. "I am truly humbled by how Versace has been embraced across the decades, across the world and across the generations. Thank you to the industry for your support of us, thank you to my team for their loyalty and incredibly hard work, thank you to my family and friends who have supported me more than they can know and thank you to the genius that was my brother Gianni. His incredible spirit is in everything we do and everything we stand for.”
A tribute to legendary designer Azzedine Alaïa, who passed away in November, was led by Naomi Campbell. Surrounded by other models who were dear to the designer, she said: "He was the most generous, kind, compassionate, and humble man I've ever known, with a mischievous sense of humor in the glint of his eye."
Anna Wintour presented Christopher Bailey with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Fashion, a celebration of his triumph in making Burberry one of the most revered shows on the London Fashion Week schedule. Having served as president and chief creative officer at the brand for 17 years, Bailey announced his departure in October.
For the second year running, Marco Bizzarri received the Business Leader Award for his work at Gucci. He recently announced the brand's plans to stop using fur from its spring 2018 collection onwards, and that Gucci would be pledging €1 million as a founding partner of UNICEF’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative.
John Galliano presented Charles Jeffrey with the British Emerging Talent Menswear Award for his label Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, and Pamela Anderson gave Michael Halpern, the designer dazzling the fashion scene right now, the British Emerging Talent Womenswear Award for Halpern. Designer du jour Virgil Abloh won the Urban Luxe Award for Off-White, while Craig Green won British Designer of the Year Menswear for his eponymous label.
See below for the full list of winners:
Accessories Designer of the Year
Alessandro Michele for Gucci
Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent
Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
Jonathan Anderson for Loewe [WINNER]
Stuart Vevers for Coach
British Designer of the Year – Menswear
Christopher Bailey for Burberry
Craig Green for Craig Green [WINNER]
Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner
Jonathan Anderson for J.W.Anderson
Martine Rose for Martine Rose
British Designer of the Year – Womenswear
Christopher Kane for Christopher Kane
Erdem Moralioglu for Erdem
Jonathan Anderson for J.W.Anderson [WINNER]
Roksanda Ilincic for Roksanda
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
British Emerging Talent – Menswear (including accessories)
Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty for Cottweiler
Charles Jeffrey for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy [WINNER]
Henry Holland for House of Holland
Phoebe English for Phoebe English Man
Samuel Ross for A-Cold-Wall*
British Emerging Talent – Womenswear (including accessories)
Faustine Steinmetz for Faustine Steinmetz
Matty Bovan for Matty Bovan
Michael Halpern for Halpern [WINNER]
Natalia Alaverdian for Awake
Rejina Pyo for Rejina Pyo
Adrian Joffe for Dover Street Market
Guram Gvasalia for Vetements
José Neves for Farfetch
Marco Bizzarri for Gucci [WINNER]
Tom and Ruth Chapman for Matchesfashion.com
Designer of the Year
Alessandro Michele for Gucci
Jonathan Anderson for Loewe
Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior
Phoebe Philo for Céline
Raf Simons for Calvin Klein [WINNER]
Model of the Year
Adwoa Aboah [WINNER]
Urban Luxury Brand
Fenty Puma by Rihanna
Special Recognition Award for Innovation
Swarovski Award for Positive Change
Maria Grazia Chiuri
Fashion Icon Award
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator
Outstanding Contribution to British Fashion Award