'They have a lot of talent, they are daring, they are never boring — and it is quite exciting. I am flattered I got this award,' said Karl Lagerfeld, the light shining off his silver jacket as he received an 'Outstanding Achievement Award' from Anna Wintour for the British Fashion Council.
What Karl was saying, after dining on a table at London's Coliseum with Victoria and David Beckham, Natalie Massenet and Rita Ora among others, was that British fashion has gone global.
Even the names included as potential award-winners were multi-national, including Erdem, whose roots are in Canada and Turkey, Mary Katrantzou from Greece, and JW Anderson from Ireland.
The award presenters were also international, including Kate Bosworth, Olivier Rousteing from Balmain in Paris, Elisa Sednaoui and Orlando Bloom – although nobody could upstage the jokey Ab Fab duo of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone.
But there was another reason that this event looked more like Hollywood than a chilly night in London's winter climate: the slash-down, open-up, scoop-front, bare-back outfits.
Model Jourdan Dunn showed a length of thigh in her black-and-white Mugler gown; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Burberry dress dipped into a deep plunge at the front; Chloe Green, daughter of Topshop king Sir Philip Green, wore a dress that dropped even lower; while Lady Gaga seemed only elegantly revealing in her racy, lacy red dress by Tom Ford.
The evening was not so much about who won, although Jonathan Anderson of JW Anderson picked up twin awards for both men’s and womenswear. Instead it was the varied presenters and winners — such as super-tall Gwendoline Christie, thanking Giles Deacon for her slithery, shining dress!
Alexa Chung wore Erdem, as did Kate Bosworth, whose chiffon dress was the colour of the rain-washed sky.
In his speech, Karl Lagerfeld acknowledged the London fashion scene. ‘From Paris, London looks very different than London is for British people.’ He added:‘London is a great inspiration. I never would have thought I would get an award from the English fashion colony so I am very flattered.’
The night proved that British fashion is now global and local.
Rita Ora in Chanel with Suzy
Amanda Harlech with Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour on the red carpet
Brand of the Year winner Stella McCartney supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with a White Ribbon for Women badge
Chloe Green with her father Philip
Salma Hayek wearing Gucci with her Kering boss husband François-Henri Pinault
David and Victoria Beckham
Model Riley Montana with designers Christopher Kane and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing and Suzy Menkes
Winner of Establishment Designer, Erdem Moralioglu, with Suzy
Apple’s Marc Newson, Charlotte Stockdale and Adrian Joffe
Gucci’s Alessandro Michele eyes up Georgia May Jagger’s Gucci dress
Charlotte Stockdale and Rita Ora
Suzy with Gwendoline Christie wearing Giles Deacon to receive her award for British Style – Red Carpet Ambassador