We Brits love any excuse for a bit of flag-waving and a rousing chorus of God Save The Queen. Both were firmly - if metaphorically - in place last night at the 2011 British Fashion Awards (metaphorical until the post-show party, that is). Held at the swish and savvy Savoy, the awards honoured the great and greater of Great British fashion. Everyone's a winner, as Hot Chocolate once said, and the strength of British fashion right now means we all benefit from the talent roster of names drawing attention to London. That's the truth.
Enough of the guff - everyone by now knows who won what, but here's a quick run-down of a few of the winners, from the innovative Christopher Raeburn receiving the inaugural Emerging Menswear category to Victoria Beckham's recognition as a truly great British brand, to Stella McCartney's Red Carpet salute from none less than Kate Hudson. Kate Moss was on-hand to announce Sam Gainsbury of Gainsbury & Whiting as recipient of the coveted Isabella Blow award for Fashion Creator: as the production powerhouse behind Lee Alexander McQueen's fashion spectacles, it was well-deserved. Lady Amanda Harlech presented Alexa Chung with Style Icon, while Chung's choice of frock came from Christopher Kane, who won the New Establishment award. Designer of the year went to Sarah Burton - after a stellar Alexander McQueen collection for Spring 2012 and, of course, masterminding that dress (not Hurley's, the other one), it was a given, but no less of an accolade. My biggest hurrah was for the incredibly hard-working, infuriatingly understated and quite frankly insanely talented Mary Katrantzou, who scooped the prize for Emerging Talent in Ready-to-Wear. Her timely award opened the night's proceedings on a high note, with a rousing cheer from a crowd rooting for her every step of the way.