LONDON — Group hug!
British fashion figures were feeling the love — the familial love — on Monday night at the annual British Fashion Awards, offering up more than the usual thanks to mothers, fathers, siblings and children. What is traditionally a celebration of industry, creative achievement, and one’s hardworking colleagues became a big thank you to relatives — and old friends. John Galliano, who handed Anna Wintour her Outstanding Achievement Award at the London Coliseum on Monday night, said the veteran editor “reached out to me when I had become an outcast. No words can express my gratitude to her.”
Wintour, who took the stage a few minutes later, ended her speech — in a tearful, wobbly voice — with a tribute to her two children, “by far my most outstanding achievement.” On a lighter note, the Canadian-born Erdem Moralioglu — who won the top award, Women’s Wear Designer of the Year — thanked his sister for letting him dress her Barbies and his father for accepting the fact that he was never, ever going to be a hockey player. Victoria Beckham, who walked away with Brand of the Year, thanked her parents — who were in the audience — for their unconditional love. No easy task, she quickly added, “because I am a pain in the bottom.”
Then there was Men’s Wear Designer winner Jonathan Anderson, whose father convinced him to write a speech simply for the sake of exercising his brain, and New Establishment winner Simone Rocha, whose few words of thanks were dedicated to her “beautiful parents Odette and John.”
Arguably, though, it was Poppy Delevingne who gave the most tear-jerking tribute of the evening — to her little sister Cara, who won Model of the Year. She recalled the four-year-old Cara, in the bathtub, expressing a desire to be Claudia Schiffer. “You are the brightest star in my galaxy,” she said. “My beautiful sister.”
Other award winners included Nicolas Ghesquière for International Designer of the Year; Alexander McQueen for Red Carpet, and Preen, which received the Establishment award, given to designers or labels that have built solid, sustainable businesses.
The late Louise Wilson was honored during the ceremony with a lineup of models wearing looks by designers she had taught — and nurtured — as course director for the M.A. fashion program at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Models wore looks by designers including Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou, while the soundtrack featured “Remember Me” by Diana Ross, and words from Samuel L. Jackson. Wilson died last May at age 52.
The emerging women’s wear designer prize went to Marques’Almeida, while Craig Green won the men’s version of the prize. Prism won for emerging accessory designer.
Emma Watson scooped the prize for British Style, while Louis Vuitton won for Creative Campaign. Photographer Chris Moore received a special recognition, and Edward Enninful walked home with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator.
Other award presenters included Kate Moss, who gave the Red Carpet prize; Naomi Campbell; Charlotte Gainsbourg; Kylie Minogue; Harry Styles; Michelle Dockery, and Lewis Hamilton.
More than 400 members of the global fashion industry vote on the awards, which took place in partnership with Swarovski, and more than 2,000 people attended the event, including Valentino, British First Lady Samantha Cameron, Lana del Rey and Courtney Love.