Donatella Versace

The British Fashion Council has spoken. Their annual awards celebration took place overnight at the Royal Albert Hall in London honouring the most credited names in fashion. And, non-surprisingly, the power-players of the past year took precedent.

Christopher Bailey  (whose outstanding 17-year tenure at Burberry has come to an end) received a surprise award while Gucci (whose revenue skyrocketed to a staggering 49% increase in the third quarter of the year, a feat given the fickle industry) took out the business leader award. Adwoa Aboah took home model of the year, Virgil Abloh’s cult-come-mainstream label Off White won the urban luxe category and the creative director of Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, received the Swarovski award for positive change.

But the star of the evening was undoubtedly Donatella Versace who, twenty years ago, was tasked with building her late brother’s fashion empire. To commemorate Gianni, she staged one of the biggest moments in fashion history in September when Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer and Helena Christensen returned to the runway in gold chainmail. Versace took home the fashion icon award and was only eclipsed by the tribute to the late Azzedine Alaïa.

Mere months post the 20th anniversary of Gianni’s murder, Versace spoke to GRAZIA. “At which point did I feel strongest in my career? I feel that point is yet to come,” she wrote in an exclusive essay for us. “My late brother Gianni always told me to be strong and to be true to myself. He was a real individual, with his own mind and his own beliefs. So much has changed in the world in the 20 years since he was taken from us. It’s impossible to imagine the incredible ways he would’ve been inspired by the positive changes in societies globally and the changing role of women. All I know is that he had achieved so much, but had really only just begun. He had so much more to give to the world.”

Let’s cast our eyes to the red carpet – they just don’t come anymore sparkly than this.

Selena Gomez
Adwoa Aboah
Kaia Gerber
Erykah Badu
Alexa Chung
FKA Twigs
Hailey Baldwin
Naomi Campbell
Stella Maxwell
Suki Waterhouse
Zendaya
thoughts?