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British Fashion Awards show how much we have to celebrate

It was a weighty list of names that took home prizes at last night’s British Fashion Awards, held at the Coliseum Theatre in Central London, despite few wins being much of a surprise.

In fact, the predictions made by Drapers earlier this year when the nominees were announced were very close to the mark, with the front-runners being easily distinguished.

What struck me about the list of winners is the incredible breadth of talent that has emerged from Britain. The more recent emerging names such as JW Anderson were heavily rewarded; the designer took home the new establishment prize in the same year that LVMH snapped up a minority stake in his eponymous label, with the same being said for Accessory Designer of the Year Nicholas Kirkwood who took home the prize for the second year running after the French luxury goods group invested in a majority stake in his label this year.

It was lovely to see innovative brands such as Agi and Sam take home the Emerging Menswear award, particularly after the recent success of the designers’ Topman collaboration this June. Similarly Simone Rocha, another young name who has been making waves at London Fashion Week for the past few seasons stepped out of her father’s shadow to win the Emerging Womenswear Designer award.  

Better established names like Burberry also had a successful evening, with the British favourite taking home two prizes for Designer Brand of the Year and Menswear Designer of the Year. Christopher Kane took home Womenswear Designer of the Year for 2013, the same year which saw Kering acquire the label, rounding off the recognition for the British labels which have been invested in by major luxury goods groups this year. The BFC’s Caroline Rush may have called for more domestic investment into UK brands, but there’s no denying that international attention has pushed British brands and our home-grown talent onto the world stage.

Some of the awards were a little less exciting – with Kate Moss receiving a special recognition award for continuing to be Kate Moss and Harry Styles the rather dubious choice for the British Style Award (shouldn’t that be Harry’s Stylist?) – but overall, the night highlighted the wealth of labels old and new that we have to shout about, and with LC:M coming up quickly in January, it’s a lovely pre-Christmas boost for British talent.


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