This year’s Fashion Awards in London is easy to understand – at the end of a tumultuous year in British politics, in a war that has split Europe in two, just a few days after the Cop Zhou 27 re-emphasizes the urgency of the climate crisis – which is frivolous. Frankly, that’s probably because it is. However you try to circle the circle, it’s a night of mutual bragging and self-congratulation in an industry that, while slowly growing and trying to expand its reach — and invite public ticket-buying members to its biggest night yet — still feels like Insider’s game.
Does this mean the Fashion Awards are useful? Oddly enough, yes. First off, it’s all pure escapist spectacle. Walking up the steps of the Royal Albert Hall on a cold December night is spectacular, but how a fashion label wearing barely-there Nensi Dojaka and Knwls dresses survived the trek without contracting pneumonia is medically mystery.
Bridgerton star Simone Ashley arrives early in floor-length dress 16 Arlington hooded dress sparkled with powder blue Swarovski crystals, followed by Erin O’Connor in a Scottish widow chic Erdem gown in lace mesh , decorated with mourners’ veils. FKA Twigs wore distressed ombre Rick Owens denim (and, of course, graphic alien makeup), while Kristen McMenamy wore a pink PP Valentino haute couture flamingo adorned with stork feathers, paired with Pink feathers adorn her eyeshadow frames. If that’s just the exciting transformative power of dressing up as a ninth you’re looking for, then the red carpet itself delivers.
followed by awards. Grace Wales Bonner took home the well-deserved award for best independent British label, though not before one of the evening’s more glamorous, off-the-cuff moments. Awards co-host Burna Boy and Heartstopper breakout Yasmin Finney couldn’t quite catch the text on the distant teleprompter. Cue Burna Boy invites Stormzy to explain from a nearby table, causing the trio to blow up and Finney herself forgetting her speech cue cards. Don’t worry: Wales Bonner still wins – but it’s just the kind of cute silly moments the London Fashion Awards should rely on .
Since then, Steven Stokey- Daley capped off a remarkable year by winning the BFC Foundation Award, and he already took home the LVMH Prize in June. (For context, the stratospheric rise of Stokey-Daley’s label SS Daley began two years ago, when Harry Styles wore a baggy white shirt and upcycled floral trousers in a music video. Since then The menswear designer has been that way since then—slightly askew bridal head revisited preppy fashion is almost unstoppable.) Says the visibly bewildered Stokey-Daley? “Omg I’m on stage at the Royal Albert Hall – I feel like Adele.”
Afterwards, Tilda Swinton wears a Charles Jeffrey silk gown featuring William · Blake (William Blake) illustration, her trademark short blonde hair combed exaggerated ducktail braid. Presenting the award to Jefferson Hack, founder of independent London magazines Dazed and AnOther,, Swinton is delighted to wax Lyrically, she recalls walking with Huck many years ago near her Highland home in Nairn, where they spotted a seal pup and eventually decided to leave alone. “Jefferson and I have often spoken of this magical encounter that has become a symbol of our friendship,” she said, laughing before dedicating Hack’s victory to “custody of the baby seal.” (Never change, Tilda.)
The ceremony ended with a gorgeous double punch by Pierpaolo Piccioli, receiving the Designer of the Year award from Florence Pugh, followed by a closing performance by modern disco queen Jessie Ware, her studio 54 – The band “Free Yourself” at the ready, with a group of backing dancers high in the air.