Held in the British Museum at the heart of London Fashion Week, Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief fundraiser on Saturday night was as glamorous as expected – with the stars turning out in force to support employability programs for young Londoners through the Mayor’s Fund and UNICEF. While the total figure raised has yet to be announced, the auction alone brought in hundreds of thousands of pounds through the sale of pieces by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Marina Abramović along with iconic photographs of Campbell taken by Ellen Von Unwerth and David Bailey. Meanwhile, the main event, the fashion show, featured more than 80 models in looks ranging from lavish Valentino couture to rhinestone-covered Gucci visors. Missed out on a ticket? Here are five things to know about the most star-studded event on the LFW calendar.
1. The Models Were Out In Force
It’s no secret that Naomi Campbell acts as a mentor to many young models. Tonight, those models returned the favour by supporting her passion project. British Vogue cover girls Adut Akech and Saffron Vadher walked alongside the likes of Erin O’Connor and Leomie Anderson, while Adwoa Aboah, Karen Elson and Fran Summers watched from the front row. However, the moment in the spotlight wasn’t just reserved for catwalk regulars: Afrobeats musician Tiwa Sawage and creatives such as Daniel Lismore walked in support of the cause, too.
2. Designers Did Their Part
Every great fashion show needs, well, fashion, and tonight’s show was a smörgåsbord of the best out there. There were looks from Kim Jones for Dior and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino couture, suiting by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton – who watched proceedings from the front row – while rising Japanese star Tomo Koizumi represented emerging designers. “I really want to do something to give back with my creations because it’s important for my practice,” he told Vogue at the British Museum on the night. “My designs are not all for commercial, I want to bring some joy to the audience and the people watching tonight.”
3. Eve Serenaded The After Party
Guests at the exclusive dinner were treated to a performance by the rapper Eve, fresh from the House of Holland show. “I’m so happy to be a part of this event,” Eve told British Vogue ahead of the gala, adding that Campbell’s annual fundraiser would be a reunion of sorts for the musician and the supermodel. “I’ve known Naomi for many years, but I haven’t seen her in a while,” said Eve, whose performance at the dinner followed stints on stage from Seinabo Sey and rapper Octavian. “I’m just really excited to celebrate her.” The fact that this year’s gala marked its homecoming to Campbell’s native London – and that it will benefit the city’s disadvantaged youth through the Mayor’s Fund – made taking part extra special for Philadelphia-born Eve, who is now largely based in the capital. “London is home to me now… which is kind of crazy to say out loud,” she said. “But I love it here.”
4. Naomi’s Looks
As founder and host, Campbell was without a doubt the star attraction. If Fashion For Relief is a reminder of her work as a humanitarian, then her catwalk appearances were a reminder of exactly why Campbell remains one of the runway’s most enigmatic presences. For her arrival via the British Museums’s dramatic courtyard steps, Campbell chose a sheer gown over an embellished bodysuit. Moments later, before a crowd filled with anticipation, she took to the catwalk in an embellished column dress with dramatic feathered sleeves in a rainbow of colors, before swapping it for a Valentino couture cape and gown that was previously worn by Kaia Gerber for the house’s Paris showcase.
5. The Finale Swapped Supermodels For Students
While the star-studded crowd might have expected to see Campbell close the show, the supermodel instead used the opportunity to shine a light on the next generation. Having recently spoken at the school, Campbell personally invited 30 students from Elmsgreen in Lambeth to close the show in T-shirts emblazoned with Fashion For Relief’s message. A closing note to remind onlookers of the greater impact the organization continues to have 14 years after it’s inception.