Images courtesy of the British Fashion Council

the fashion awards gave 10 new year’s resolutions for the industry

From a pregnant HRH The Duchess of Sussex to a fired up Dame Vivienne Westwood, the winners and guests of the The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski used their platforms to encourage positive change.

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11 December 2018, 12:22pm

Images courtesy of the British Fashion Council

As Kim Jones picked up the first ever Trailblazer Award, the Fashion Awards 2018 were the biggest yet, with more winners than ever in a ceremony that’s been going since 1989. As the likes of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Marco Bizzari, Craig Green and Demna Gvasalia were celebrated once more, there were multiple first-time winners too. Most notably, Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller received the British Womenswear Designer Award from none other than a pregnant HRH The Duchess of Sussex -- Meghan Markle -- to guarantee front page coverage for an unforgettable night. Beyond an appearance and outfit that split the tabloids (the same black one-shoulder Givenchy gown was “sensational” for the Daily Mail but “vulgar” for the Daily Express), A-COLD-WALL*’s Samuel Ross walked away with the Emerging Menswear Designer Award, while Richard Quinn won the Emerging Womenswear category, i-D cover star Kaia Gerber became the youngest ever Model of the Year and for the first time, the awards recognised 100 members of the young global creative community with NEW WAVE: Creatives. Ultimately, the night paid homage to the incredible success of both home-grown and international fashion talent whose imagination and creativity have broken new ground in fashion over the past 12 months and are continuing to push the possibilities of fashion tomorrow. With the future of fashion in their hands, many of the winners used their time on stage to encourage positive change.

In her “I can save you but you have to follow me” call-to-arms acceptance speech for the Swarovski Award for Positive Change, Dame Vivienne Westwood called out the “inhumane” behaviour of politicians and the “rotten financial system”, just as the roaming guest-focussed camera zoomed in on George Osborne. Awks. Elsewhere, as the People’s Princess 2.0 introduced Claire Waight Keller, HRH The Duchess of Sussex reminded us that “it's about supporting and empowering each other as women”. Even royalty can see that the culture of fashion has shifted, “where it was once cool to be cruel, it’s now cool to be kind”. From Dame Viv to Pierpaolo Piccioli, we’ve compiled the most inspirational quotes that can be read as New Year’s resolution that the fashion industry needs to follow in 2019.

westwood and andreas kronthaler are using creativity to save the world
Photography Tim Walker. The Creativity Issue, no. 348, 2017

1. “I have a plan to save the world from climate change and the financial crash, but I can’t do it on my own. There’s so much we have to do together. Now, I can save you but you’ve got to follow me. Over my many activist years, I’ve created so many graphics for T-shirts and posters, so I’ve compiled them and put them on a set of playing cards. The cards provide a total strategy, a beginning, middle and end, to save the world. Today, I want to tell you about the Rot Dollar card, the Joker of Diamonds. It’s the name I give free market capitalism because it’s short for rotten financial system. The market wants 1% to get all the money and the rest of us to fail. This system is the cause of climate change, it’s a war economy that WILL crash because it’s bankrupt.” Dame Vivienne Westwood

Model backstage at A-COLD-WALL* spring/summer 19 show
Photography Alin Kovacs. A-COLD-WALL* spring/summer 19

2. “This is the beginning of a journey but I’m so proud to be part of an industry that supports young talent.” Samuel Ross

3. “Huge thanks to the British Fashion Council -- Caroline Rush, Sarah Mower… -- the future of British Fashion is safe in your hands.” Richard Quinn

A face covered model backstage at Richard Quinn
Richard Quinn spring/summer 19

4. “On stage last year I rallied that education should be free to all and one year on, this should be shouted louder than ever. Tonight gives us a chance to reflect on the work the BFC does in supporting and nurturing young talent. I’d like to end with a quote from my late, great tutor Louise Wilson: ‘You can’t subvert knowledge until you have knowledge. It’s vital to safeguard the industry with talent that matters’.” Charles Jeffrey

Cheeky models backstage at Charles Jeffrey spring/summer 19 show.
Charles Jeffrey spring/summer 19

5. “It’s a beautiful job, but it’s a hard job. We need to work a lot and share a lot of things with everybody. So this award tonight doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the people who work with me every day and night sometimes.” Alessandro Michele

6. “It's about supporting and empowering each other as women. The culture of fashion has shifted where it was once cool to be cruel, it’s now cool to be kind.” Meghan Markle.

Kaia Gerber in i-D
Photography Mario Sorrenti. Fashion director Alastair McKimm. The New Fashion Rebels Issue, no. 352, Summer 2018.

7. “To be included among a group of such exceptional women that I’m lucky enough to call my peers is so humbling. You all inspire me in ways that I can’t describe.” Kaia Gerber

8. “All of us who work in fashion should feel more responsibility to defend human rights and freedom, which are now in danger.” Miuccia Prada

9. “The planet is already broken. We’re not looking at something that will happen in 100 years, it happened already. Climate change is real. We missed the deadline. We’re already in the red zone. We’ve already lost too much life. We’re driving so many species into extinction. They will not come back. The reality now is: how much can we still save? It’s not about saying in 20 years time I will do this. Recycling alone is not the answer. We have to say in seven years we will all have stopped using virgin plastic and in 12 years we will have stopped using all plastic, that’s a better time frame. I’d say we have 15 years, maximum 20, and then our quality of life, our health, everything, will go downhill drastically. We will find ways to survive, but the question is, will life be worth living?” Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans

10. “Dreams can take you to places you never expected to go. This is for all the dreaming eyes and outsiders; those far from everything, who don’t fit into any boxes, but still love to dream." Pierpaolo Piccioli

The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski Winners
2018 Trailblazer: Kim Jones
Urban Luxe: Virgil Abloh for Off-White
Accessories Designer of the Year: Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
Swarovski Award for Positive Change: Dame Vivienne Westwood
Business Leader: Marco Bizzarri for Gucci
Special Recognition Award for Innovation: Parley for the Oceans
British Emerging Talent Menswear: Samuel Ross for A-COLD-WALL*
British Emerging Talent Womenswear: Richard Quinn
British Designer of the Year Menswear: Craig Green for CRAIG GREEN
British Designer of the Year Womenswear: Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Mert & Marcus
Brand of the Year: Gucci
Model of the Year: Kaia Gerber
Outstanding Achievement: Miuccia Prada
Designer of the Year: Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino