Oh how I adore an awards ceremony. Over the past year I’ve been lucky enough to attend the WGSN, Drapers and British Fashion Awards but without doing the others a disservice, Glamour Magazine’s 10th annual celebration of fabulous females really was above and beyond anything I’ve experienced. I still get almost giddy with excitement over everything from fashion week to an extravagant evening event. During the hours before the Glamour Women of the Year Awards I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I felt slightly sick with sheer anticipation and didn’t manage to get anything remotely productive done all day. If I ever get the chance to attend the Met Ball (fingers crossed!) I suspect I might actually faint.
As I mentioned in my outfit post yesterday, I had been invited to go as a guest of iconic jewellery brand, Pandora who were sponsoring the event for the third year running. According to my monochrome invitation (the oh-so-on-trend SS13 version of a “golden ticket”), the evening kicked off at 7pm with a champagne reception. By quarter past six I could wait no longer and hopped in a cab to Berkeley Square ignoring the fact that it takes twenty minutes tops to get from my house to Mayfair. Suffice to say, I arrived un-fashionably early and had to lurk around the corner until a paparazzi flurry confirmed that the first celebs had arrived.
Uncool though it is to admit, the guaranteed A List quotient was one of the (many) reasons I was particularly thrilled to be attending the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. An afternoon spent reading up on previous years attendees confirmed that Eva Longoria, Florence Welch and Zoe Saldana. Well, this time the guest list was every bit as fabulous with everyone from Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell to Victoria Beckham and the cast of Downton pitching up for dinner. After making my way up the red carpet, posing for a few snaps and finally entering the amazing, tented space I realised that a) I was really, really early and b) no one I knew had turned up yet. Queue more lurking and several nerve settling glasses of champagne. Luckily it wasn’t long before the room filled up with familiar fashion faces and all at once, I was totally in my element. But among every group of people I knew was at least one major designer or serious celebrity. In between being introduced to Chloé Creative Director, Claire Waight Keller, Preen’s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi and quite literally bumping into a certain JOAN COLLINS the whole thing felt more than a little bit surreal.
As it neared 8 o’clock the organisers began encouraging everyone into the dining room with increasing
irritation urgency. It seems that at this kind of thing there’s an unspoken idea that the later you take to your seat, the more important you must be. Unsurprisingly, I was one of the first to give in and totter to my table which put me in prime people watching position when everyone else finally filed in. I quickly realised that said table was in equally prime position, sandwiched between those of Kylie Minogue, Jessie J, Rita Ora and Cara Delevigne. After sneaking a few not-so-subtle snaps of Kylie on my iPhone, I decided it was time to stop being quite so lame and chat to my table mates. With insanely chic Parisian born blogger, Mademoiselle Robot on one side, the lovely folk from Pandora on the other and a coterie of editors and journalists in between there was no shortage of banter as we laughed, munched and instagrammed our way through the first two delicious courses.
By the time our plates were being cleared away I’d almost forgotten about the point of the evening, the Glamour Women of the Year Awards themselves. With our wine glasses refilled and incredible make up shaped chocolate puddings in front of us, a hush fell over the room as this years host Graham Norton took to the stage. I’ve always been a fan of Graham’s and last week he was on such hilarious form that I nearly choked on bronzer shaped brownie, definitely not chic. I won’t list every award as then we’d be here all day, plus you’ve probably seen them already (click here if you want a reminder) so instead I’ll just mention a few of my personal faves…
Man of the Year – Daniel Radcliffe
I was very much of the Harry Potter generation and grew up first reading about, then watching Harry, Ron and Hermione cast spells and vanquish Voldemort on the big screen. When Daniel starred in Equus my cousins and I insisted on going to see it and giggled loudly throughout. Immaturity aside, Danny Rad was a permanent fixture for me growing up and I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Now he’s left the Potter franchise behind and managed to go from child star to bonafide thespian, I couldn’t think of a more deserving Man of the Year. He also looked mighty sharp on the night.
Fashion Designer of the Year – Claire Waight Keller
I’ve adored Chloé ever since a cornflower blue silk dress of their’s made me fall in love with fashion as a teenager. Claire has done a fantastic job of continuing the house’s legacy of providing beautiful clothes for strong, modern women while raising three children and flying the flag for British design talent in Paris. Having met her earlier that evening, I can confirm that she’s also utterly lovely.
Accessories Designer of the Year – Emma Hill
The women who brought us the sell-out Alexa handbag and made co-ordinating your dog’s outfit to your own chic… Need I say more? Since writing this post it’s been announced that Emma will be parting ways with Mulberry after six phenomenally successful years. Where will she go next and who could possibly replace her?! Exciting times ahead…
Presenter of the Year – Clare Balding
The phrase “National Treasure” is bandied about almost as recklessly as “style icon” or “rock n’ roll royalty”. If anyone is truly a national treasure, it’s Clare Balding. A driving force behind the London 2012 Olympics, renowned journalist, avid campaigner for women’s sporting and political freedom and began her acceptance speech by informing us that the House of Lords had just voted 2:1 in favour of Gay Marriage. Clare is an absolute inspiration who makes me proud to be female.
Solo Artist of the Year – Rita Ora
A fave partially because I like her music, partially because she’s fearlessly stylish and clearly a lot of fun but mostly because Cara Delevigne presenting the award to her “best friend” Rita who then proceeded to dance up to the stage in a Marchesa gown was just too brilliant.
As you’ve probably gathered, there were a LOT of awards and after several hours drinking, clapping, cheering and lolling many of us were perhaps a little worse for wear as we got to our feet. But was the night over yet? Was it hell! What would an awards ceremony be without an after party?! After “Woman of the Year” Victoria Beckham’s speech drew to a close my fellow guests and I poured, tottered and wobbled back out into the main area where music was baring and freshly poured cocktails awaiting.
My night in Instagrams…
The rest of the night was a beautiful blur of fun, friends, sharing an iPhone charger with Keisha from the Sugababes and indulging in some very silly photo booth behaviour. A huge, HUGE thank you to Pandora and Glamour Magazine for an evening I’ll remember forever.
Love Ella. X
Images courtesy of Dave Bennett