The Royal Albert Hall played host to the British Fashion Awards 2016 last night in London. The 4,000-strong audience included some of the industry’s finest, such as winner Bruce Weber, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Alessandro Michele. Gigi Hadid, however, was the clear star of the evening, wearing Atelier Versace as she was crowned International Model of the Year to rapturous applause. Hadid credited her 26 million Instagram followers as part of her meteoric rise: “I know that I’m in the generation of social media… You guys are the ones that I’m here for,” the model shared in her emotional acceptance speak, after Donatella Versace handed her the sleek glass BFA award. “You guys know who I am. Thank you for inspiring me,” added Hadid, as reported by The Business of Fashion.
Gigi Hadid / Instagram
The requirements for winning the coveted award (“A male or female model that has contributed most to the international fashion scene in the past year and has demonstrated influence beyond the catwalk”) were met by Gigi with aplomb. In the past 12 months, the LA-based model with Palestinian heritage has featured on several international editions of Vogue, including teaching Vogue Arabia’s readers Arabic for the digital launch. The millennial It-girl turned designer for Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring 2017 collection, with its breakout “see now, buy now” collection, closely followed by her collaboration with Stuart Weitzman. In a tearful acceptance speech, the star also thanked the industry as a whole for supporting her, name-checking Mario Testino and Carine Roitfeld.
Natalie Massenet / Instagram
Pressure was on for the British Fashion Council to deliver a globally-relevant event: “It’s going to be the most sweeping, beautiful, magical, sparkly, twinkly, elegant red carpet you’ve ever seen,” Dame Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council told BoF in April 2016. She didn’t disappoint––guests were welcomed to the red carpet by Fredrikson Stallard’s “Prologue” installation, a glittering disc of 8,000 golden Swarovski crystals.
Karlie Kloss in Versace, photographed by Bruce Weber. Chicago 2016.
Bruce Weber scooped up the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: “I’m still a student. I have to work for it every day, just like somebody starting out,” he told The Telegraph. David Beckham presented Ralph Lauren with the Outstanding Achievement Award; after accepting the trophy, the designer gracefully noted, “My whole life is in this room.” Lauren was the first American designer to open a store on London’s Bond Street, and remains at the helm of his global empire.
Adding Hollywood glamour to the attendee list, a Gucci-clad Jared Leto presented his friend Alessandro Michele with the International Accessories Designer of the Year award. Notably, Demna Gvasalia was the only designer to take home two BFAs––one for his reinvention of the long-standing French fashion house Balenciaga, topping the International Ready-to-Wear Designer award category, and one for the directional brand Vetements, winning International Urban Luxury Brand. Finally, British Vogue closed its centenary year with the Special Recognition Award.