WHY EACH AND EVERY WINNER AT THE FASHION AWARDS 2016 WAS PERFECT

This year the Fashion Awards dropped the ‘British’ in its attempt to become a truly global celebration of the worldwide fashion industry. With this came the promise of an ultra-glamourous Oscar style Award show housed at London’s very own Royal Albert Hall. Although, this lavish extravaganza may not have achieved the Academy Award status it wished, it was a night not to be missed. Each and every winner was perfectly suited to the award they were presented with and I am going to show you just why that is.

British emerging talent – Molly Goddard

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Goddard’s vibrant fun-frilled designs have been making waves within the fashion industry since 2013, when her collaboration with ASOS sold out in seconds. Since then the West London designer has been on the rise and Goddard’s brand continues to question the status quo of the fashion industry. This year the designer invited us to an interactive exhibition, in which visitors could channel their inner-designer by decorating seven-metre long tulle dresses.  Goddard’s designs have caught the eye of top models, with the likes of Adwoa Aboah likely to be found draped in a bright frilly Goddard piece. As such, it should not come as a shock that this rising star was awarded the British Emerging Talent Award.

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator – Bruce Weber

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Bruce Weber’s creative eye has had a significant impact on the fashion industry over the years and is responsible for capturing some of the industry’s most iconic campaigns. His most notable works include the infamous photograph of Olympic athlete Tom Hintnaus in white briefs for Calvin Klein and his shots for Ralph Lauren’s winter 2006 Collection. Constantly working with big brands and names clearly rubbed off on Weber, in 2003 he revealed his own fashion label Weberbilt. Weber’s career has clearly had a tremendous impact upon the fashion industry and therefore it makes perfect sense that he be awarded the Isabella Blow Award to honour his outstanding contribution to the industry.

Special Recognition: Celebrating 100 Years of British Vogue –  Alexandra Shulman

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The British fashion bible’s centenary year has certainly been eventful. We saw the Duchess of Cambridge grace the centenary issue, a two-part BBC documentary, an exhibition housed in the National Portrait Gallery and the publication of the memoir of the Editor-in-Chief, Alexandra Shulman. Thus, it seems fitting that the publication and its impact on the industry be recognised formally at the Fashion Awards 2016.

International Accessories Designer – Alessandro Michele

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Since being appointed Creative Director of the Italian fashion powerhouse, Gucci, Alessandro Michele has become a leading figure within the industry. Under his reign Gucci’s sales have risen dramatically and continue to do so as he redefines the brand with his unique vintage inspired designs. Michele’s quirky style is also evident within his accessories line, often featuring exotic beasts mixed with traditional Gucci patterns and customs. It is of no surprise that Michele’s role in shaping the fashion industry was acknowledged by this award.

International Urban Luxury Brand – Vetements

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If 2016 has been any brands year, it’s got to be Vetements. The brand has come a long way since the release of its first collection in 2014 and has since been featured on the cover of Vogue and is likely to be found in department stores amongst the works of well-established fashion houses. This edgy, grungy brand was bound to win this award leaving no room for competitors.

International Model of the Year – Gigi Hadid

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Over the last few years Gigi Hadid has taken the fashion world by storm and has become a household name. The supermodel has bagged herself sixteen Vogue covers worldwide, she has been the face of numerous high-profile campaigns and has collaborated with the American fashion house, Tommy Hilfiger, to produce the Tommy X Gigi Collection. Gigi’s domination of the industry is sure to continue and she is likely to go down in history as a fashion icon. This award credits her influence beyond the catwalk and her reign over the industry.

British Menswear Designer – Craig Green

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Green’s impact upon menswear has been pivotal over recent years. In 2012 his namesake label was born and since, British menswear has never been the same. Green’s emotive and dramatic shows often highlight the beauty of his subtle signature pieces and act as a juxtaposition. The iconic worker jacket, which constantly remerges, is a clear example of this. Ultimately, it is right that Green’s distinctive approach and vision be recognised through this award.

Swarovski Award for Positive Change – Franca Sozzani

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Franca Sozzani is by far one of the most influential women within the fashion industry. She has achieved plenty in her career, overcoming numerous hurdles and braking down barriers within the industry by constantly questioning the status quo. The Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue helped create the phenomenon that is the ‘supermodel’, dedicated an entire issue of the renowned publication to the beauty of black women and in 2011 launched Vogue Curvy celebrating plus-sized figures within the industry.  It was necessary that such an influential woman and her efforts towards positive change be acknowledged.

British Womenswear Designer – Simone Rocha

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This Irish born designer has come a long way since her London Fashion Week debut in 2010. Since then she opened her flagship store in London in 2015 and now the likes of Rihanna are to be found in a Rocha original piece. It comes as no surprise that she inherited her father’s (British designer, John Rocha) keen eye for style and raw talent. It seems appropriate that her sheer skill and talent be recognised through receiving this award.

International Business Leader – Gucci’s Marco Bizzarri

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Whilst Michele’s quirky redefinition of the biggest Italian fashion house has had a crucial role to play in the reprise of the brand, credit must also be given to the brands CEO, Marco Bizzarri. Since he began his role in January 2015 and since Michele provided the visionary turnaround the brand was in desperate need of, Gucci’s sales have climbed by 17%. The redevelopment of the brand has been a clear success and it is necessary that those responsible be credited for such a dramatic turnaround.

New Fashion Icons Award – Jaden and Willow Smith

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The choice of recipients of this award saw the rise of the millennials. Jaden and Willow Smith’s attitude to fashion embodies the modern views challenging societies established norms. Jaden has long been an advocate of gender fluidity and drew attention to the cause when he was made the new face of Louis Vuitton’s SS16 Womenswear line, wearing a knee-length kilt. His younger sister, Willow, was also crowned Chanel’s brand ambassador at the age of 15. Both of the Smith children have had a pivotal impact upon the industry and have achieved more than most adults trying to break into the fashion world.

International Ready-To-Wear Designer – Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia

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Gvasalia’s vision has changed how we perceive the 97-year-old fashion house, Balenciaga, completely. Like the brands founder, Gvasalia is not afraid to push the boundaries. But since Gvasalia was appointed Creative Director in October 2015, the brand has been intensely redefined by Gvasalia’s unique style, merging urban street wear and high fashion couture. 2016 has been sure to welcome this with open arms. This redirection under Gvasalia, along with the Vetements movement, has had a crucial impact on the industry, challenging and pressuring established fashion house to break free from their norms.

British Brand – Alexander McQueen collected by creative director Sarah Burton

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Since the brand was born in 1992, British fashion has never been the same. Under the rule of its founder, the late Alexander McQueen, and his successor, Sarah Burton, the brand continues to create lavish, unconventional pieces that do not fail to inspire the masses. It is therefore, no surprise that this brand which represents true British talent, with a Northern Creative Director and a founder with Scottish-heritage, was presented with such a prestigious award.

Outstanding Achievement – Ralph Lauren

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Ralph Lauren has not only had a tremendous impact upon the American fashion industry, but has had remarkable impact across the industry globally. At 28 years-old, Lauren established the brand, which has since maintained its position as a leading global corporation and maintained its impeccable reputation and distinctive style. Under his fashion empire, Lauren has launched over seventeen brands and has over four-hundred-and-nighty stores worldwide. It was only right that Ralph Lauren’s significant contribution to the global industry be recognised through receiving this award.
 

 

FAVOURITE COLLECTIONS FROM PFW SS17

The Grande Finale

PFW ended this lavish season with a bang! With robots and robberies, Paris provided a week like no other that was definitely out of the ordinary. There was a sense of change and progression in the air as well-established fashion houses were not afraid to demonstrate that they are more forward-thinking and well adapted to the times. We saw the first female Creative Director of the 70-year-old French fashion house Dior unveil her first collection full of feisty feminist slogans offering a sense of girl power. And we saw the fusion of fashion, femininity and technology in Chanel’s SS17 show which saw the Grand Palais transformed into Karl’s Data Centre. This week was full of fashion firsts changing the face of the industry that can often appear to be rigid and unaccommodating of the views of the modern millennium. Whilst there are rules and regularities that are here to stay (for now) this week has demonstrated how designers are not afraid to steer away from the status quo every now and again. And when they do they are sure to make a lasting impression.

Dior SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 30th September 2016

This exquisite collection put together (in only six weeks!!) by the established fashion house’s first female Creative Director , Maria Grazia Chiuri, was a tribute to women everywhere. With simple slogan t-shirts that read “we should all be feminists” and princess evening gowns that oozed femininity there was no shortage of girl power. The juxtaposition of the fierce fencing jackets and the dainty flowing dresses conveyed the many guises of a feminist embodying the idea that anyone can be such. Homage was also paid to the founder himself with tarot-inspired and astrological embroidery, both said to have been an interest of the designer. This beautiful collection is sure to inspire the modern woman representing female progression and power in a female dominated industry in which only a third occupy the top jobs.

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Miu Miu SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Wednesday 5th October 2016

Groove is in the heart! This retro inspired beach babe show, which was the final show of the season, was bound to make show-goers feel as though they had been transported back to the 70’s and yearn for the return of summer already. We saw glossy swimwear grace its way down the runway accompanied by flamboyant floral rubber swimming caps. Popping with vibrant colours and full to the brim of groovy floral prints and patterns this was sure to make any 70’s hippy feel nostalgic.

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Chanel SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Karl Lagerfled likes to ensure his shows make a lasting impression jumping from one extreme to the next with his themes. And this season did not fail to disappoint. Karl provided an insight into the future conveying the relationship between fashion, femininity and technology in his SS17 collection unveiled in the Grand Palais which was transformed into his very own Chanel Data Centre. This collection blew the fuse with cable woven tweed, neon laser beam prints and edgy urban snapbacks making an appearance on the runway. Robotic models opened the futuristic show strutting their stuff in Coco’s renowned tweed ensemble, this ensured that this classic piece was viewed in a whole new light making it timeless and immortal. Karl clearly had the next generation of Chanel shoppers in mind and it is clear that the German designer recognises the need for the industry to adapt to the demands of modern society.

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Kenzo SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Miu Miu wasn’t the only collection that offered a blast from the past. Whilst the 80’s was full of fashion faux pas this season has seen the return of many of its finest trends. Kenzo’s SS17 collection was full of puffed sleeves, boiler suit jumpsuits and a metallic pallet. There was also a hint of the 90’s with military wear, oversized tees turned into dresses and the parka coat all making a return to the runway. This retro collection is bound to appeal to any 80’s/90’s kid looking to channel their days as a teen.

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Alexander McQueen SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 3rd October 2016

Sarah Burton never fails to embody the late Alexander McQueen in her collections, ensuring homage is paid to the talented designer and founder in each and every stich. This gothic/punk inspired collection with grungy mini-kilts, delicately embroidered evening gowns and leather jackets skilfully painted with floral motifs merged Parisian and British fashion to create a beautiful hybrid. Tribute was paid to the founder’s origins with the lavish grounds of the Jardin du Luxembourg littered with symbols and references to the Scottish Highland with woven and taatit rugs lining the bumpy runway. Each and every piece seemed to contain a hint of McQueen’s heritage with Shetland lace, Fair Isle knits and chunky steel toe capped boots making their way onto the runway. This collection full of attitude, elegance and high-end craftsmanship stood out among the seemingly conventional Parisian fashion houses.

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I haven’t singled out a collection from this week that I would like to see grace the red carpet this coming award season as no single collection stood out as such. Rather, I felt there were exquisite pieces from multiple collections which would be suitable attire to any red carpet event including ones that I have discussed above such as Dior and McQueen and ones not mentioned including Valentino. Below are some of the pieces I would like to see strut down the carpet:

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Paris provided a seemingly splendid end to what has been an exciting and eventful fashion-filled month. So the fashion frivolities may have come to an end until next season (Jan/Feb 2017) but in this constantly evolving and fast-paced industry we will not be short of new developments keeping us on our toes in the meantime.

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VOGUE 100: A CENTURY OF STYLE AT MANCHESTER ART GALLERY

Vogue 100: A Century of Style is an exhibition not to be missed! The exhibition previously housed in The National Portrait Gallery, London, has ventured up North and can now be found in the beautiful and dainty Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition is a remarkable and diverse showcase of a wide array of photography commissioned by the fashion bible itself to celebrate its one hundredth year with pieces dating back to when the magazine first hit our shelves in 1916. Homage was paid to each defining decade with monutmental pieces featuring influential people from each era on display. This exhibition allows you to truly immerse yourself in the past and present of the century old magazine. Each shot was unique, intriguing and beautiful. The exhibition housed the work of some of the worlds most acclaimed photographers, including Tim Walker, Mario Testino and David Bailey. There were shots of fashions favourites including Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and the late Alexander McQueen, and many other famous faces including Kiera Knightley, Winona Ryder and the Duchess of Cambridge, who graced the 100th issue of this timeless magazine.

My personal favourites included the display of covers from every decade since the publication began in 1916. It allowed you to accurately asses how the magazine has evolved since its first print a century ago. The 1962 edition particularly stood out to me as this issue saw one of the last editorial shoots of one of my icons before her untimely death, the stunning Marilyn Monroe. The black and white shots encaptured Marilyn’s inner turmoil but also her grace and beauty. I was surprised by the simplicity of the shots in which she seemed so vulnerable and pensive, a side we rarely see of the troubled star.

Another favourite was a black and white shot from 1991 by Herb Ritts featuring another of my icons, Winona Ryder. Winona is wearing a delicate and dainty tutu whilst stood on a picnic bench outside of the home she shared with Jonny Depp at the time. The contrast of the white ballet wear with the dark natural surroundings particularly intrigued me, as did Winona’s awkward stance not like that of a graceful ballerina.

I would recommend this stunning collection containing some of the world’s finest photography to any fashion lover or photography enthusiast. I can assure you it will not disappoint. Vogue 100: A Century of Style is at Manchester Art Gallery until the 30th of October 2016.

As there was no photography permitted I was not able to get the best shots but I did manage to get some stealth ones with the help of my Mother who managed to snap the Ritts piece of Winona.

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I couldn’t resit purchasing some merch!

The Vogue exhibition wasn’t all Manchester Art Gallery had to offer…

There were pieces on display from up and coming student designers who may well be the next Westwood, McCartney or McQeen and already established Fashion Houses including Commes des Garcons.

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Artwork by African artist Boris Nzebo, portraying the unique and complex relationship between urban spaces and its human inhabitants, was also on display.

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I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic when I happened upon a piece by one of the Norths finest artists, L.S.Lowry. I was reminded of my childhood wondering the gleaming white halls of the Theatre and Gallery named after the acclaimed artist, to which we would often venture to visit my auntie who worked there. Because of this Lowry’s pieces will always hold a special place in my heart.

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And a trip to Manchester wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the cities tastiest cuisine!

All the culture had us working up an appetite! So we decided to recharge and refuel at Reds True Barbecue. As you enter into the smoky haze of the pit house you are immeidiately hit by the smell of succulent meat sizzling on the grill, which does not lure you into a false sense of security because the food tastes just as good as it smells, if not better, which is a rarity. With a quirky interior and hearty food, a trip to Reds True Barbecue is an overload on the senses, one which I would highly recommend to anyone.

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