As I may have mentioned once or twice (or thrice, sorry I was too thrilled!), this year I was given the enormous honour of being shortlisted for Fashion Blogger of the Year in the inaugural Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards. Being nominated, let alone shortlisted, for a journalism prize is the kind of thing that I could never have imagined happening as a result of “giving this blogging thing” a whack three years ago. The fact that Fashion Monitor is basically the industry’s online bible and my fellow shortlistees were Reem Kanj, Susie Lau, Abi Marvel and Menswear Style’s Craig Landale was enough to very nearly give me a heart attack. Suffice to say, when the big night finally arrived I was a in a state of both over excitement and blind panic. So much so that I, once again, turned up unfashionably early and had to spend fifteen minutes lurking in a nearby loos. Not chic, but such is life.
Given that Fashion Monitor was hosting and Hilary Alexander, Vogue’s Lucinda Chambers and Business of Fashion Founder, Imran Amed were among those up for awards, I expected the London fash pack to be out in force and it most certainly was. Within seconds of walking in to the champagne reception I spied British Vogue Deputy Editor, Emily Sheffield and Company Magazine Editor, Victoria White to Forward PR Founder Courtney Blackman. There was also the usual spattering of celebs including Rosie Fortescue, Oliver Proudlock, Lilah Parsons, Kate Nash and, rather randomly, ex Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts.
Courtney Blackman & Stylenoir Magazine Editor, James Joseph
Rosie Fortescue & Oliver Proudlock
Ashley Roberts, Nick Ede & Lilah Parsons
In between ogling everyone’s outfits and catching up with my favourite fashion friends, cocktail hour whizzed by and before I knew it the curtain serving as one of the room’s walls drew back revealing a magnificent dinner set up illuminated in pink and black.
Several increasingly firm “dinner is about to be served” announcements later we were all in our seats and Nat Mag’s former President and CEO, Terry Mansfield CBE and Fashion Monitor Publisher, Hannah White treated us to opening speeches. Three courses, numerous glasses of Pinot and a fair bit of table hopping to catch up with late arrivals (Reem Kanj and Nik Thakkar I’m looking at you!) later it was time for the awards themselves to begin. The evening’s presenter was the lovely Laura Whitmore who, I have to say, did a cracking job as per usual. Vogue picked up the prizes for Feature Writer of the Year (Jo Ellison) and Editorial Shoot of the Year (Lucinda Chambers), while Elle won both the Fashion – Long Lead (Stacey Duguid) and Online Beauty (Amy Lawrenson) categories. Stylist won both the main short lead categories for Fashion (Alexandra Fullerton) and Beauty (Joanna McGarry). Among the other winners was Hilary Alexander OBE, who won the Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Media, recognising her longstanding position at The Daily Telegraph and work with Graduate Fashion Week. Click here to see all the winners and shortlist.
Now I know everyone says this when they’re up for a prize and don’t win but I really, genuinely did not expect to in any way, shape or form. Given that Susie Lau is both a pioneer of blogging and one of the most intelligent writers in the industry, it would have been frankly bizarre if she didn’t take home the trophy this time. However, knowing that this would undoubtedly be the case didn’t stop me being so pathetically nervous I basically shook through the entire ceremony. It was only after Imran Amed had been named overall winner, the charity raffle had finished up and it was time for the after party that I felt a little less like I might throw up at any minute. With a flight to Berlin at at unholy hour the next morning, the sensible thing for me to do would have been to head home to bed straight away. Surprise, surprise, I did not. Instead having a fabulous few hours indulging in some slightly embarrassing dance moves with my friends. The 6.30am wake up call that followed was pretty unpleasant but hey, you only live once.
Thank you again to everyone who nominated me, the judges who shortlisted me and of course Fashion Monitor and my table hosts, F+F for a wonderful evening.
Love Ella. X