Adwoa Aboah, Stella McCartney, Pat McGrath, Jonathan Anderson and Christopher Bailey were among the British names to take top prizes at The Fashion Awards this evening, presented at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Calvin Klein creative director Raf Simons was named Designer of the Year, while Donatella Versace was crowned Fashion Icon.
London-based Aboah (wearing a suitably sparkly jumpsuit by Emerging Talent winner Michael Halpern) scooped Model of the Year, one of the most talked-about awards of the night, despite being up against stiff competition from international stars. 16 year-old newcomer Kaia Gerber, who is Cindy Crawford’s daughter, was considered a key contender thanks to a remarkable breakthrough season of catwalk appearances this September, while Canadian Winnie Harlow and American sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid were also finalists. Aboah ultimately won, however, and was presented with her award by American singer and activist Erykah Badu. The 25 year-old was credited for her work on digital platform Gurls Talk, and as a campaigner for mental health causes and promoting diversity in the modelling industry, plus was applauded for an exceptional year of modelling jobs that included contracts for Marc Jacobs and an appearance on new editor Edward Enninful’s debut British Vogue cover.
The best dressed at The Fashion Awards 2017
Naomi Campbell, who had opened the evening with a tribute to the late Azzedine Alaia, went on to present Donatella Versace with the night’s Fashion Icon award, as Rita Ora sang to the audience of 4,000 - a mix of fashion industry insiders, students and members of the public. This month Versace marks 20 years since her brother Gianni Versace, the house’s founder, passed away and at Milan Fashion Week in September she had celebrated his legacy with a supermodel moment, as Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni wore gowns made from his signature gold chainmail on the catwalk. Guests on Donatella’s table tonight included sportsmen Lewis Hamilton and Conor McGregor, and Versace took to Instagram earlier in the evening to confirm how excited she was to be flanked by them on the red carpet.
Outgoing Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey received an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Fashion, presented by American Vogue editor Dame Anna Wintour. After 17 years at the helm, Bailey last month announced that he would be stepping down as chief designer as of March 2018 and was tonight credited with helping transform a once-waning Burberry into a global fashion powerhouse.
So excited to walk the red carpet with these two champions! #fashionawards @lewishamilton @thenotoriousmma
A post shared by Donatella Versace (@donatella_versace) on Dec 4, 2017 at 11:16am PST
Sir James Dyson presented Stella McCartney with a special award for Innovation honouring her use of sustainable and futuristic fabrics, while Bianca Jagger presented Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri with the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. In her first year at the helm of the storied Parisian house (and as the first woman ever in the role) Chiuri is credited with putting activism and feminism back on the fashion agenda with her best-selling We Should All Be Feminists t-shirts.
Jonathan J.W. Anderson was the only name to go home with two awards; Accessories Designer of the Year for his work at Spanish house Loewe, and British Womenswear Designer of the Year for his eponymous, London Fashion Week-showing line.
Makeup artist Pat McGrath received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator a prize that, in previous years has been given to editor Edward Enninful, the late Central Saint Martins professor Louise Wilson and photographer Nick Knight. McGrath’s 2017 has certainly been more successful than most as she launched her Pat McGrath Labs cosmetics line in full, and was named a beauty editor-at-large at British Vogue.
Post show, the celebrations can now begin, with editors Derek Blasberg and Lauren Santo Domingo set to throw the biggest after-party of the night.