Much like the MET Gala serves wondrous fashion whimsy, the British Fashion Awards too stands as a pool of inspiration for haute-worthy fashion. Today in London, media, models and celebrities arrived at the Royal Albert Hall to honour Britain’s “creativity and innovation in fashion”, and via impossible puffball sleeves, cutaway sequins and tiers of tulle, honour it they did.
It wasn’t just British Womenswear Designer nominee Richard Quinn’s jutting Joan Collins-esque shoulders which stole the show (his polka-dot mini featuring on acting progeny Iris Law), but all forms of puffy volume. It swelled around the hips on models Jourdan Dunn, Winnie Harlow and Adut Akech, who wore a spectacular green taffeta creation seemingly straight from the ’80s. Shailene Woody took her puff quite literally, in Moncler’s spectacular puffer collaboration with Pierpaolo Piccoli, while Namoi Watts pared-back the puff with a balloon sleeve in rich black velvet. Dynasty-dressing redefined, it proved the decade is here to stay.
What would a fashion red carpet be without a dash of sequins? Or in this case, head-to-toe sequins. Naomi Campbell was (of course) a knockout in Alexander McQueen’s embellished fantasy. As always Donatella Versace put the va in va-va-voom in slinky magenta pink, while both Alexa Chung and Michelle Dockerty were demure in their sparkly expression, choosing long-sleeved, high-necked gowns in black. But it was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elsa Hosk who truly topped the sparkle list, resurrecting ’90s glomesh in gown form, the latter proving the power of a sit-up (or a hundred).
Like delicious layers of designer mille-feuille; tulle volutes fell en masse around Poppy Delevigne, while Lottie Moss’s take was a little more macabre in swathes of black tulle. Not quite tulle but close enough, Rihanna draped herself in gauzy mint organza by her own label Fenty, which worn the Urban Luxe award for her contributions to sportswear (and was presented by Janet Jackson nonetheless). But it was Cate Blanchett, draped on the arm of Giorgio Armani who was being honoured for the Outstanding Achievement award, who was a vision in frothy, sea foam creation by the man himself.