Last night was the British Fashion Awards, housed in the Deco splendour of the Savoy!
We pulled up in a rather nice merc to save any floor length frocks being munched by the escalator or trapped in tube doors-(this is something that would probably happen to me), but there were purrs from Lamborghinis, Bentlys, and Rolls amidst the black cabs as the designers and glamourous fashion folks emerged.
There were no cameras allowed in the auditorium, but the stage was an angular set of screens and lights showing videos on the nominees and messages from Naomi Campbell, Grace Coddington and Kate Moss. Hosted by Nik Grimshaw and Gemma Arterton (in Stella McCartney) the awards had a nice informal feel with winners thanking fellow designers (even fellow nominees) who had encouraged and inspired them.
Here are the winners
Stella McCartney seemed genuinely surprised to win the two awards. Thanking her team she also told of her time working for an "anonymous" fashion house in Paris. Nudge nudge etc. Making the difficult decision to leave France and start her own label in her home city of London she was told by her boss "no WOMAN has ever launched a label, let alone a label bearing that woman's name and turned it into an international force, anywhere but Paris". Spurring her on to succeed and now bearing the proof clutching her awards like batons in her own strapless but sporty edged jumpsuit you can see why such a determined designer was chosen for team GB's Olympic outfits.
Roksanda Illincic thanked all of the women who choose take a chance on her designs to wear for the big events in their lives and careers. I don't think there's any questioning why a woman would choose one of her stunning designs. Roksanda's dresses last night (as always) really stood out as something very special.
It was touching to see notorious tough cookie Professor Louise Wilson letting her emotions out when recognised for her achievements in teaching the fashion students of Central Saint Martins, she also spoke out for other art colleges and institutions who are educating the designers of tomorrow. Without help and guidance and sharing wisdom there would be no new designers or artists. Even though I was just a spectator to all the prizes, the winner's speeches made me think about all the people I would want to thank, it has only been through talented and suportive family and friends that I can do what I'm doing so massive thankyooooooos to all of them- couldn't do any of this without you all!