In April, Princess Kate Middleton walked down the aisle in a gown designed by Sarah Burton. In July, British luxury handbag company Mulberry was announced as the world's top fashion retailer. In November, Stella McCartney announced that she would present a special collection line at London Fashion Week this upcoming spring.
It has certainly been an exciting year for the British fashion scene, and one can argue that London, the capital of the UK, is also bracing itself to become the next fashion capital of the world. With that said, this year's British Fashion Awards, held at the Savoy Hotel on Monday evening, commended not only the top designers in the UK, but concurrently honored the world's most-promising figures in fashion- some emerging, some already established.
Left, Marc Jacobs with Victoria Beckham at the 2011 British Fashion Awards. (AP Photo / Jonathan Short)
And we are thrilled with this year's list of winners:
Designer of the Year: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
Designer Brand: Victoria Beckham
New Establishment Award: Christopher Kane
Menswear Designer: Kim Jones
Accessory Designer: Charlotte Olympia
Red Carpet Award: Stella McCartney
Emerging Talent Award, Ready-To-Wear: Mary Katrantzou
Emerging Talent Award, Menswear: Christopher Raeburn
Emerging Talent Award, Accessories: Tabitha Simmons
Top Model: Stella Tennant
BFC Outstanding Achievement: Paul Smith
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Charlotte Gainsbury
British Style Award: Alexa Chung
First, although we adore Tom Ford and Christopher Bailey, the Designer of the Year award rightfully belongs to Sarah Burton. Upon the death of Alexander McQueen, Burton was tapped to lead a brand that could have fallen with the late designer. Instead, by way of her leadership and creative direction, Alexander McQueen garnered enough praise to capture the attention of Princess Kate. Ultimately, Sarah Burton edged out top designers like Stella McCartney to create a gown for the Duchess that will be remembered and showcased for generations to come.
Second, Charlotte Olympia warrants an award, especially for her gilded, 5-inch, velvet platform pumps. These delectable shoes are the ultimate mix of class with sass, allowing pretty young things to go from polished and professional during the day, to party-ready at night. However, they cost a pretty penny, priced at Bergdorf's for $895.
Third and thankfully, Alexa Chung beat Kate Middleton for the style award. For those of you who just gasped, hold off from lunging after us until after we explain our reasoning.
Chung has been on the radar for years, and unlike Kate, she's been lauded a fashion force since her MTV VJ days. She's a repeat name on Vogue and Vanity Fair's Best-Dressed lists. The It Girl has her own Mulberry purse named after her, as well as a slew of other products from top brands. Furthermore, Alexa has teamed up with international retailers like J. Crew's youthful sister brand Madewell to launch her own line.
Not only would we love to raid her closet (or her suitcase, since she's constantly flying from city to city), but we would like to have her as a friend. After all, she's quirky, cool, and a total goofball- just follow her on Twitter and/or watch her on television, and you'll understand. And if it sounds like we have a massive girl crush on Alexa Chung, it's because we do. We expect great things from this talent especially sincer her innate sense of style and personality make her shine brighter than any royal in the UK.
Well done, British Fashion Council.
View our slideshow below.