The Fashion Awards Celebrated “Community and Togetherness”—And Every Generation of London Design Talent

Picture a red carpet event on a December evening in London, and it would probably look a little like arriving at the Fashion Awards earlier tonight: gridlocked cars, endless drizzle, and the shadow of the Royal Albert Hall looming on the horizon.

Thankfully, the sea of umbrellas hovering above peoples’ heads didn’t deter anyone from serving all-out glamour. Step onto that red carpet, and there was Hollywood royalty everywhere you turned: Anne Hathaway in an archival Valentino Garavani scoop-neck gown walking on the arm of the Italian designer’s business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti; a radiant Pamela Anderson in a Stella McCartney pantsuit; Gwyneth Paltrow, also in archival Valentino, but wearing the designer’s signature shade of red with a cape covered in sprouting feathered curls. The stars rubbed shoulders—quite literally, given space was at a premium under all those umbrellas—with a new guard of fashion upstarts, from supermodel progeny Lila Moss in Nensi Dojaka to Taylor Russell in custom Loewe.

Once inside, the air-kissing (and gossiping) took place under a glittering disco ball that somehow managed to dominate even the 5,000-plus capacity Royal Albert Hall, as the equally glittering fashion crowd took their seats ready for the evening’s proceedings. The opening act was the rising musician Mette, who may look familiar from Pharrell and Rihanna’s 2017 “Lemon” video, but has returned to the spotlight this year as a star in her own right. Stepping out in a covered-up black dress and throwing shapes with an army of dancers behind her, she whipped away the outer layer of her outfit in a RuPaul’s Drag Race-worthy costume change, revealing a studded pink bralette, matching high-waisted mini shorts, and a pair of thigh-high latex boots—all while bringing the house down with a rendition of her song “Van Gogh.” The Fashion Awards were in session.

Then came the introduction of the night’s hosts, musician Kojey Radical and TV presenter Maya Jama. “The weather outside was bad, innit—how many of you are soaking?” Jama said to uproarious cheers. “I had a hair dryer up my legs a minute ago.” The ceremony may have dispensed with its “British” prefix back in 2016, but the humor remains firmly the same.

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