The British Fashion Awards have been celebrating homegrown sartorial brilliance for over 20 years and with Stella McCartney and Sarah Burton among the 2011 winners, they’re basically the London fashion equivalent of The Oscars. In the past I’ve watched the awards online and poured over the press release the next morning, longing for the day when I might actually get to watch them in person. So when a velvet clad invitation to this year’s ceremony arrived on my doorstep, I nearly fainted from sheer delight. Once I had recovered from my initial over excitement and the full blown freak out over what the HELL I was going to wear that followed, I spent the days running up to the event pretty much counting down the hours. And unsurprisingly the British Fashion Awards more than lived up to my expectations.
Despite (briefly) considering arriving fashionably late, I ended up at The Savoy Hotel quarter of an hour early and had to lurk in a nearby Starbucks in an attempt not to seem overly keen. Barely five minutes had passed before a flurry of pap activity signalled the first A-List arrivals so I knocked back my latte and hot-footed it back across the Strand to navigate my way through some pretty tight security before being ushered into the theatre reception area and presented with a glass of champagne. Generally speaking I don’t like to go to an event sans guest on the off-chance I wouldn’t know anyone there. On this occasion I was so bloody lucky to snag an invite at all that I certainly wasn’t going to push it by asking for a plus 1! As usual I needn’t have worried and between catching up with the Matches team and causing carnage by trying to leave my coat in the wrong cloakroom, it was time to take our seats before I knew it.
Naturally the awards started half and hour late (prompt by fashion standards) and I was conveniently seated next to Drapers’ Fashion Director, Ian so we got to reminisce over our late night antics at their own awards the previous week. Two glasses of champagne and one pack of Propercorn (great goodie bag filler) later it was time for the main event to begin so TV presenter Nick Grimshaw and actress Gemma Arterton took to the stage to announce this years’ winners. I’m sure you probably already know who one what, possibly even as a result of my twitter feed as this time I actually remembered to live tweet! But jsut in case, here they are again just in case…
British Style Award: Alexa Chung
Emerging Talent Award for Ready-To-Wear: J.W.Anderson
Emerging Talent Award for Menswear: Jonathan Saunders
Emerging Talent Awards for Accessories: Sophie Hulme
Red Carpet Award: Roksanda Ilincic
Accessory Designer: Nicholas Kirkwood
Designer Brand: Stella McCartney
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Louise Wilson
Model: Cara Delevigne
New Establishment Award: Erdem
Menswear Designer: Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton
Designer of the Year: Stella McCartney
BFC Outstanding Achievement in Fashion: Manolo Blahnik
Special Recognition Award: Harold Tillman
Despite the number of awards, the whole thing seemed to fly by. Not least because the calibre of presenters kept me glued to my seat. Think Mr.Valentino, Samantha Cameron, Amber Valetta, Salma Hayak and even Princess Beatrice! But even after the last talented winner left the stage, our evening was far from over. Next thing I knew pop Princess du jour, Rita Ora was on stage, all trademark red lips and white blonde hair to treat us to an AMAZING performace of a Notorious B.I.G cover.
After that we all piled out into the courtyard where, after a much needed cigarette, I made for the nearest cab and headed across town to the afterparty. I won’t go into great detail about the hours that followed, largely because they’re a blur of cocktails, dancing and a rather embarassing rendition of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. In short, a lot of fun was had by all and I swore off Elderflower Martinis forever the next morning.
My night in Instagrams, clockwise from top left: The Savoy Theatre entrace, Rita Ora performing post awards, with my friends Charlotte and Cloudia at the afterparty & with British Fashion Council PR, Will at the after party.
Love Ella. X