Meghan and Waight Keller star as Givenchy designer wins Fashion Awards accolade
It was probably inevitable given the publicity she received in May, but Givenchy's artistic director Clare Waight Keller was named womenswear designer of the year at the Fashion Awards on Monday evening following a wave of interest in her after she designed Meghan Markle's wedding dress.
And she received the award from none other than Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, with the now-pregnant celebrity-turned-royal praising the "vision", "creativity" and "the incredible kindness" of her wedding dress designer.
That was the biggest news of the evening as far as being a headline-grabber was concerned, with some of the other awards that were handed out having been flagged well in advance. They included Kim Jones as 2018 trailblazer and Vivienne Westwood, who won the award for positive change, for her commitment to the environment. She stayed true to form by denouncing the "rotten financial system" that is "the cause of all our problems" as she went.
And she wasn't only targeting British politicians with a swipe at French President Emmanuel Macron, suggesting his cancellation of fuel tax increases and other concessions to the gilets jaunes didn't go far enough. "This tax hurts the poor more than anybody," she said, "he's not thinking that he has already given all these tax breaks to the rich people. So of course everybody is going to be annoyed."
Craig Green picked up the top menswear accolade while Richard Quinn (with another royal connection after the Queen attended one of his LFW shows) was top emerging womenswear designer. Samuel Ross for A-Cold-Wall picked up the equivalent menswear award.
Some big international names were given major awards too, Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli being overall designer of the year, Miuccia Prada hailed for outstanding achievement, Gucci walking away with the brand of the year title (and its CEO Marco Bizzarri named business leader of the year). The model of the year award went to 17-year-old American Kaia Gerber, following in the footsteps of her famous mother Cindy Crawford.
Meanwhile, Off-White's Virgil Abloh was named 2018's urban luxe winner and Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga picked up the accessories designer title.
The importance of the awards was also underlined by the names who handed out the prizes. Apart from Britain's newest royal, other big names handing over the gongs on-stage included Robert Pattinson, Jerry Hall, Kate Moss and Penélope Cruz, Lana Del Rey, Rita Ora, Uma Thurman and Brooke Shields.
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