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  • Alison Catchpole


Awards have become an annual highlight in the British fashion calendar.

The British Fashion Awards in particular are in top spot. There’s something about trophies that warm the cockles of people’s hearts, or maybe they sometimes burn them out. Perhaps it’s to do with celebrating zeitgeist, as well as talent. But be they the Oscars, the Emmys or magazine prize givings such as those recently introduced by InStyle, awards are a quick reminder. Glory, say these moments, is only temporary. That, and the cold air inherent to late November in a strapless dress.

Yet the facts and figures are impressive. 800 ‘industry figureheads’ are asked to cast their votes. There are 45 nominees and 16 winners. Over 2000 people are in the audience at Covent Garden’s Coliseum, which is transformed into a dining area as well as an auditorium – 42 butlers will serve 13 different dishes cooked by 44 chefs. And then there’s the alcohol – 1400 bottles of M&S Cava, 1800 bottles of Warsteiner beer, endless cocktails. 10,000 Instagram images with the hashtag #BFA were added at the 2014 awards alone.

All the more exciting then that the BFAs don’t just celebrate the most popular choices, but are expanding to include some, arguably, more prestigious and significant awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Karl Lagerfeld – no quibbles there. Mr Lagerfeld has turned around and maintained the house of Chanel with his famous white gloves unfettered by even the most diamond encrusted of dust.

Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour attend the British Fashion Awards 2015 at London Coliseum

on November 23, 2015 in London, England.

Spot the 12kg of Swarovski crystals on the BFA red carpet logo.

Christopher Bailey, resplendent in classic tailoring

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, equally resplendent in custom-made Topshop.

But really, it’s the undersung that sometimes get pulled out from the background here. Nick Knight is well known to industry professionals and deservedly won this year’s Isabella Blow for Fashion Creator. His photography has dominated the high end fashion scene for years, but like many who are behind the camera, his profile has been a little lower. An industry innovator at every opportunity, this consummate professional more than deserves the recognition the BFAs have bestowed.

Nick Knight OBE with Charlotte Knight attends the British Fashion Awards 2015 at London Coliseum on November 23, 2015 in London, England.

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