It was bitingly chilly in London on the night of the Fashion Awards, Britain’s glitziest annual type occasion, and on the crimson carpet the mannequin Jordan Dunn snuggled into the make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury for heat. “Have you seen Maria Sharapova,” a producer barked, clipboard in hand. “Where is Sharapova?”
She arrived just a few moments later in a gown created from recycled water bottles, a collaboration between Iris van Herpen and Evian.
Inside, Rick Owens, svelte in black, posed with the mannequin Adriana Lima, in plunging white. Tommy Hilfiger, who was there to obtain the Outstanding Achievement Award, sat near Kris Jenner, wrapped in a satin scarf in the crimson, navy and white colours of Mr. Hilfiger’s model’s emblem.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in a Boss go well with, sat between Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful, the editor in chief of British Vogue and European editorial director of Condé Nast. “Oh my God, that’s John!” stated the designer Henry Holland, pointing to John Galliano, on Ms. Wintour’s proper. Next to Mr. Enninful was the musician Dua Lipa, in somber black.
“I love Dua Lipa. She’s the best Londoner — don’t tell Adele,” Mr. Khan stated, “‘Future Nostalgia’ got me through the pandemic.” He was feeling buoyant. “This shows that London’s back,” he stated, gesturing to the throng of sequins, frills and tuxedos.
The jubilation has a frenetic air; the temper of a final celebration, a remaining blowout, with a fearful mania beneath the enjoyable. A mirrored image each on the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant and the risk of one other lockdown, and on the information, acquired the day earlier than the occasion, that the designer Virgil Abloh had died at 41. He was a lingering presence in the room, with virtually each winner paying homage to him.
“Virgil told me that he didn’t go a day in high school without wearing my clothes,” Tommy Hilfiger stated in his speech, simply after a mini catwalk present of fashions, who lip-synced and strutted to hits together with “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and Naughty by Nature’s “O.P.P.”
The actor Idris Elba learn Maya Angelou’s poem “When Great Trees Fall” in Mr. Abloh’s honor. Later, Mr. Enninful learn a citation by the designer from a manifesto given out at Mr. Abloh’s spring 2021 present for Louis Vuitton: “‘As a Black man in a French luxury house, I am well aware of my responsibilities. Rather than preaching about it, I hope to lead by example, and unlock the door for future generations. I believe in making my mark with poise, style and grace.’”
The phrases supplied a uncommon second of self-effacement in a night wealthy with posturing that twisted and turned, uniting not simply — as one would anticipate — the nice and good of the vogue trade, but in addition usually disparate characters that even the strangest banquet dream couldn’t summon: the actress Demi Moore, striding arm and arm with the Olympic diver Tom Daley to current the award for Designer of the Year to Kim Jones; the soccer participant Patrice Evra presenting an award to the former GQ editor Dylan Jones for Culture Commentary; and Kylie Minogue, performing a particular rendition of her hit music “Slow” in bespoke Richard Quinn, whereas surrounded by dancers in full face-covering floral bodysuits (the solely attendees, aside from servers, who have been masked).
The night’s host, Billy Porter, used wit to puncture the pomposity, welcoming “the old, the young and the old who have made their faces young.” Between a number of outfit adjustments, he quipped, “I really didn’t think I was going to make it, but luckily I got a job as a truck driver and they let me in” — a nod to Britain’s provide chain points and the fallout of Brexit, one other of vogue’s many complications.
The award classes, in the previous easy and to the level (finest girls’s put on designer, finest males’s put on designer, finest mannequin), had been expanded to incorporate looser, and extra grandiose, themes, together with “Leaders of Change,” an accolade given to fifteen trade figures, underneath three completely different classes: “Creativity,” “Environment” and “People.”
An absent Alessandro Michele, the artistic director of Gucci, was the winner of the Trailblazer Award, offered and accepted on his behalf by the activist Sinead Burke, in pink feathers.
“I am physically disabled, I have dwarfism,” she stated when she launched herself, noting that the award was devoted to those that “move hearts and minds.” She praised Gucci for its work in supporting L.G.B.T.Q. rights and the rights of the disabled. Mr. Michele, she stated, has made a nook of the world “where people feel safe to be themselves.”
Other winners included the up-and-comer Nensi Dojaka, who was given the BFC Foundation Award, the stylist Ib Kamara (additionally absent), who gained the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, and Simone Rocha, who took residence the Best Independent British Brand and whose label lately celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The pandemic has been powerful, she stated, particularly for these with out a huge group behind them and with a small, younger crew.
“It’s humbled a lot of people on a lot of different levels. It’s humanized the industry, and taken away a bit of the gloss and the sheen,” she stated. “Anybody who shows, I respect them. Anyone who managed to keep going.”
Later, the dancer and web phenomenon Lil Buck moonwalked and glided his manner round the grand corridor. His efficiency was apparently a part of honoring Chanel for its contribution to artwork and tradition. “Chanel: Creating the conditions for artists to dare,” introduced the big screens behind Lil Buck, earlier than being changed, inexplicably, by a citation usually attributed to Mother Teresa.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples,” it learn, although most friends appeared primarily targeted on the fancy footwork (additionally footwear). Even Ms. Wintour craned her neck to observe the slides and twists. When Lil Buck completed, she broke into certainly one of her few claps of the night.