An hour-long red carpet churned out London's most renowned fashion folk for the British Fashion Awards last night. With everybody who knew
anybody everybody present, high-profile guests posed gamely for the roving party photographers and, just as often, for each others' cell-phone cameras — though an immaculately coiffed Suzy Menkes opted for the old-school equivalent instead: a wind-up disposable camera. Everyone wanted the chance to snap Valentino, Dita Von Teese, and Rita Ora (one amusing photo op saw her paired with Manolo Blahnik, whose expression suggested he wasn't quite sure who the pretty girl bursting out of her Vivienne Westwood gown was). The downside to all that Instagramming, perhaps, proved to be that no-one wanted to be caught with a canape just in case it hit Twitter. I risked it, and the mini beef Wellingtons were delicious.
With fourteen awards up for grabs, Valentino Garavani presented the night's first trophy, perhaps mispronouncing Alexia Chung's name when awarding her the hat-trick in the British Style category. Chung didn't mind — thanks to her U.S. relocation, she said she was glad to be remembered back home — and her bashful remarks set the tone for acceptance speeches that followed, with each winner striving to sound more self-effacing and surprised at the podium.
Everyone thanked the British Fashion Council, their design teams, families, children, pets, horoscopes, and so on (and on), but nobody had prepared remarks at all — in accepting the award for Emerging Talent in Menswear, Jonathan Saunders opened with, "Oh, crumbs." Central St. Martins professor Louise Wilson got delightfully emotional accepting the Isabella Blow award, despite noting that a "reputation as a nasty mean bitch" meant she should keep her speech stern. Manolo Blahnik also choked up a little receiving his Outstanding Achievement trophy. (With a video clip featuring high praise from Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Franca Sozzani, and a cackling Kate Moss, that's understandable.)
Another common thread in victory speeches was of 'homecoming,' and a very fashionable sense of patriotism buoyed by Great Britain's great year. (Gift bags contained little Union Jacks, which audience members actually waved on a few occasions.) Winning the Menswear Designer award for his work at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones described himself as a London designer through and through, "even though [he's] based in Paris." Stella McCartney took home both the Designer of the Year and Designer Brand of the Year awards. The "very chuffed" designer — in a very sparkly jumpsuit — told the story of how she'd always known she'd need to come home, despite loving her time working at a Parisian atelier. She didn't name the fashion house in question (though it's presumably Chloé) and spoke of a "Mr. Anonymous" in charge who told her she'd be doomed to fail on her return to London, as there'd never been, or would be, a British-based international brand under a lady's name. How you like me now, Mr. Anon? McCartney seemed to be saying, to which everyone applauded.
Click through our slideshow for photos of all the night's guests, nominees, and winners — including Salma Hayek; Jourdan Dunn; Rita Ora; and Princess Beatrice of York (sans hat, sadly).BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Viewed Stories
I Tried Hillary Clinton’s Diet and Now I Sympathize With Her
Blake Lively Reportedly Just Gave Birth, and You’ll Never Guess Who’s Running to the Hospital
Brad Pitt Fights Back Against Angelina Jolie and Her Plot to ‘Destroy’ Him
Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
What It’s Like to Be a Female Reporter Covering Donald Trump
Angelina Jolie Got Everything She Wanted in Temporary Divorce Deal With Brad Pitt
The Best Part of Being a Royal Is Getting to Pet Bunnies
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
Megyn Kelly Roasts Trump’s Campaign Manager for Claiming He Doesn’t Make Sexist Comments
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.