Karl Lagerfeld Was Still A Major Presence
On a night devoted to celebrating the best and brightest forces in fashion, it was only fitting that the industry paid homage to the memory of Karl Lagerfeld. In the middle of the ceremony, Anna Wintour joined Amanda Harlech, a close friend of the legendary designer, on stage to announce that Chanel will now be offering an MA scholarship to Central Saint Martins in his honour. As she pointed out, it’s a fitting tribute for the late creative director, who began his “epic fashion journey” after winning the Woolmark Prize alongside Yves Saint Laurent in 1954. “As he himself once said, fashion is a train that waits for nobody,” she continued. “Get on it, or it’s gone.”
Little Simz Brought East London To The Royal Albert Hall
After walking the red carpet in head-to-toe Gucci, Top Boy star Little Simz performed a “Venom” and “Selfish” medley with the London Contemporary Orchestra in a nod to the series, produced by none other than Drake and set on the fictional Summerhouse estate in Hackney. On display in the Royal Albert Hall while she rapped? Designs by first year students doing Central Saint Martins Fashion BAs for the traditional White Show – in which members of the next generation of design talent are given a few rolls of white fabric to produce an outfit.
Janet Jackson Proved She’s Part Of The Navy
In a highly predictable (and entirely brilliant) turn of events, Rihanna took home the Urban Luxe award for Fenty. There to present her with the well-deserved statuette? None other than Janet Jackson. Taking the envelope containing the winner from Tyler, The Creator, the music icon launched into a shower of praise for the first black woman to helm a luxury fashion house. “You’re loved for your style, your boldness, and your strength as a woman,” Jackson gushed on stage, as members of the crowd screamed Rihanna’s name before her win had even been confirmed. “You’re respected as a successful artist, fashion designer, activist, [and] entrepreneur… Congratulations, Rihanna, for Fenty.”
Daniel Lee Offered Some Pearls Of Wisdom For Young Talent
On stage to accept the award for Designer Of The Year, Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee reflected on his success – and the role of the fashion industry at such a divisive political moment. “What I have learned is, you cannot fake talent. With enough hard work and dedication, you will reach a point where you speak, and it will be heard. The gift of fashion is that it has the ability to create a parallel world filled with dreams and elegance and joy. I think we should all congratulate ourselves on all the love and beauty we have put out into the world this year. The world needs us more than ever before.”
Naomi Campbell Revealed Her Own Fashion Icons
Presented with the Fashion Icon Award by Sir Jony Ive, Naomi Campbell took a moment to reflect on the significance of her win. “I learned today that I’m the first woman of colour to receive this award,” she mused. “That leaves me to say who I consider my style icons: Grace Jones, Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Donyale Luna, Bethann Hardison, Naomi Sims, Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, Janet Jackson, and Tina Turner… I could go on and on, but I want to thank you for paving the way for me and inspiring a generation.”
Adut Akech Brought Down The House
The speech of the night belonged to Adut Akech, who used her moment on stage after winning Model Of The Year to point to the continued need for greater diversity both within the fashion industry and society as a whole. “It is important for all of us to remember that someone like me winning this award is a rarity,” she pointed out after expressing her gratitude for the statuette. “This is for the young women and men who found representation and validation in my work. I want them to never be afraid of dreaming big like I once did. To them, I say this: Whatever it is you want to do, whether it’s modelling or acting or medicine, you should never doubt yourself. Don’t let the world convince you that it is not possible.”
Tom Cruise Made A Cameo
In an evening of surprises, one stood out: Tom Cruise on the red carpet and at the Fashion Awards proper. The Risky Business star made a rare public appearance to support his friend (and long-term collaborator) Giorgio Armani, who of course won the Outstanding Achievement Award – even posing for photographs with Mr Armani, Julia Roberts, and Cate Blanchett. What’s the collective noun for icons?