Sarah Burton Takes Home Designer of the Year at BFA’s. Others Won Too.

Sarah Burton, British Fashion Awards 2011

The British Fashion Council honored the year’s best last night at the British Fashion Awards. The winners of last night’s fashion Oscars, or – well, the BAFTAs of fashion, really – barely came as a surprise to anyone. The night’s most prestigious award went to none other than Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton. The McQueen house has certainly had one exemplary year, with the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit at the Met drawing in over 660,000 visitors and just as many walking through Buckingham Palace this summer to gaze upon Burton’s wedding dress for Kate Middleton. Speaking of Savage Beauty, Sam Gainsbury won the Isabella Blow Award for his curatorial efforts at the universally lauded exhibit in New York City.

In a town bursting at the seams with print-happy designers, it was the new reigning queen of digital dressing – Mary Katrantzou – who won the Emerging Talent Award for ready-to-wear womenswear. There was no competition there. Charlotte Dellal, who has had the fashion world going into fits over her masterful and imaginative footwear creations won the Accessory Designer Award for her line – Charlotte Olympia. Kim Jones received the Menswear Designer Award for his much-celebrated first collection at Louis Vuitton, while Marc Jacobs was on hand to present Victoria Beckham with the Designer Brand Award, beating out Tom Ford and Burberry Prorsum for the prize. Britain’s new favorite fashion wunderkind – Christopher Kane – was the inaugural recipient of the New Establishment Award. His nostalgic, pastel-laden boarding school girl collection was hailed, across the board, as the best offering at all of London Fashion Week this past September.

And to prove that the public barely knows what it’s talking about, Alexa Chung won the British Style Award for the second year running, beating out Kate Middleton. Sir Paul Smith, on the other hand, was nobly awarded the BFC’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his career defining efforts, which have helped to shape how Britain dresses. Stella McCartney took home the Red Carpet Award, which was quite apropos, since that black polka dot dress of hers from last fall literally attended the opening of every envelope in 2011. And Stella Tennant, that 6′ plus Amazonian goddess, won the Model of the Year Award. Over 40 years old and Tennant is basking in a pseudo comeback these days. It’s nice to see that the BFC took notice.

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