The BF Awards 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall, London

By far the biggest winner at the British Fashion Awards in London last night was Daniel Lee of Bottega Veneta, who scooped up the prestigious Designer of the Year award, as well as Brand of the Year, Accessories Designer of the Year, and British Designer of the Year for Womenswear.

The South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech won Model of the Year, standing out from the crowd in an incredible emerald off-the-shoulder Valentino gown. Akech, who in September was chosen along with fourteen other models as part of the Forces for Change Vogue edition, edited by the Duchess of Sussex, also pledged her commitment to encouraging girls and boys of all backgrounds to follow their dreams.

A tribute was also made to the late Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February, given by his good friend Anna Wintour. She gave us a glimpse into another side of the iconic fashion designer’s personality, describing him as an intellectual who was constantly challenging the barriers of fashion. She ended with one of his quotes: “Fashion is a train that waits for nobody. Get on it, or it’s gone.”

After Rihanna won the Urban Luxe award for her brand Fenty, we heard from Naomi Campbell, who in her acceptance speech for the Fashion Icon award traced her journey as a supermodel back to her South London schoolgirl days, saying she used to pass the imposing Royal Albert Hall on the bus, and never dreamed she would one day be on its stage. As the first woman of colour to win this award, she paid tribute to her own fashion icons: Grace Jones, Josephine Baker, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, and Janet Jackson (a fellow guest at the event) among them.

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