The fashion awards 2017 marked a new era in the business, rounding off a year of innovation and change not only within British fashion, but throughout the industry. Within the relatively traditional setting of the Royal Albert Hall, the event celebrated a diverse and innovative collective of rule-breaking creatives within fashion.
Marking the end to a major year, West London’s Adwoa Aboah took home Model of the Year, trumping last year’s winner Gigi Hadid and beating her sister Bella. Having most recently debuted on Edward Enninful’s first cover of British Vogue, the star has pioneered a new kind of fashion through her initiative Gurls Talk – a community for young women to voice concerns over mental health and wellness. Adwoa has also featured on every major catwalk this year – from Chanel to Burberry – engendering recognition among old school fashion advocates and across social media in equal measure.
The Fashion Awards 2017 reflected in general the richness of talent throughout the industry this year, with binary smashing performance-centric designer Charles Jeffrey taking home the prize for emerging menswear design.
Donatella Versace, having staged a remarkable tribute to her brother Gianni this season in Milan, was honoured in the Fashion Icon Award which, she reportedly noted, ‘I deserve’; Pat McGrath, who has also joined the British Vogue team as a beauty editor at large, was honoured with the Isabella Blow Award this year. The legendary make-up artist paid tribute to Azzedine Alaïa, calling him ‘a true visionary’. Following on from their Positive Fashion initiative, Creative Director of Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri received the Swarovski award for positive change in the industry – nodding to her feminist and statement t-shirts and additional activist literature, which most recently included Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay ‘We Should All be Feminists.’
Speaking ahead of the event, Chiuri commented that ‘The feminist movement that has been mine for the longest time has finally struck a resonant chord in society, and this recognition sends a powerful message to all women battling on a daily basis. It also offers a timely opportunity to pay tribute to Franca Sozzani who, last year, was the recipient of the very first award.’
And while Anna Wintour’s tribute to Christopher Bailey was certainly a highlight, the evening peaked with Naomi Campbell’s beautiful tribute to the late Azzedine Alaïa. Bringing together 13 of the designer’s most cherished models and muses, Campbell and the ‘Alaia daughters’ offered a fittingly glamorous tribute to a man famed for his groundbreaking, idiosyncratic designs – and fondly remembered as ‘Papa’.
Winners at the Fashion Awards 2017
Winner of British Emerging Talent, Menswear: Charles Jeffrey for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
Winner of British Emerging Talent, Womenswear: Michael Halpern for Halpern
Winner of British Designer of the Year, Menswear: Craig Green
Winner of British Designer of the Year, Womenswear: Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson
Winner of Model of the Year: Adwoa Aboah
Accessories Designer of the Year: Jonathan Anderson for Loewe
Designer of the Year: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein