I wrote this blog post on the train home from London, where I attended the 9th annual Scottish Fashion Awardson Monday night. I’m a huge supporter of the event; the team behind Scotland’s “fashion Oscars” has worked tirelessly over the years to actively promote Scotland’s importance and relevance within the international fashion scene. Dr Tessa Hartmann has done an incredible job of slowly but surely raising the profile and calibre of the event, attracting more and more interest from fashion’s biggest players – particularly since the controversial decision was made to hold the event in the UK’s fashion capital, London.
I was invited to attend and so made my way from Scotland to London, booking into nearby hotel St James’ Court(of the Taj Hotel group) because of its perfect location and comfortable surroundings for pre-event relaxation. (If you’re visiting London, it’s a great hotel for both business and leisure). After having my hair done by the amazing Sophie at Toni & Guy and my makeup done by the gorgeous Amy at Bobbi Brown in the Style Suite at the Corinthia Hotel, I enjoyed some afternoon tea at the St James’ Court (more on this later) before going to my room to prepare.
I arrived on the red carpet alongside other guests including supermodel David Gandy and TV personality Laura Whitmore but, alas, I was not important or interesting enough to have my photograph taken. Instead, I concentrated on holding my tummy in and not tripping up the stairs to fall head first into a bucket of champagne at the drinks reception. (Anyone who knows me knows that I can be a bit of an oaf).
Thankfully, I made it inside without any major mishaps and found Hayley Scanlan and her sister Holly inside, who both looked particularly bronzed from their recent holiday. We sipped champagne and chatted as we people watched, admiring the fabulous frocks and the impressive venue, before being ushered into the ballroom for the awards ceremony and dinner. Hayley scooped Young Designer of the Year – for the second time – to screams of delight from her family and fans (yes, including me!) and Harvey Nichols Edinburgh received the award for Luxury Retailer of the Year, a well-deserved win – the team consists of just two, and they do a stellar job of organising amazing events and promoting the store across Scotland, on top of doing their day jobs.
Other winners of note included Christopher Kane (Designer of the Year), Abandonship Apparel (Retailer of the Year), Avril Mair (Communicator of the Year, and who I adore), William Chambers (Accessory Designer of the Year) and Simone Rocha (International Designer of the Year). David Gandy was awarded the Founders Award (new for 2014, of which he cracked a joke about not winning any other awards – he was convinced that the SFA team made one up just for him!), Amy MacDonald received the Style Icon award (as voted for by the public) and Dame Vivienne Westwood was inducted into the Hall of Fame 2014 for her dedication and commitment to Scottish fashion.
Dame Vivienne Westwood
Westwood gave an inspiring acceptance speech, speaking of her husband’s contribution to her work, fracking and the Scottish Independence debate. (She’s a yes vote; she believes Scotland has the chance to be a people’s economy). Afterwards, the ‘Scottish Banquet’ was served (haggis, neeps and tatties, natch) and before we knew it, the party had started with Pixie Lott’s surprise acoustic performance (for which she wore Hayley Scanlan AW14). She has a really amazing voice and, as I discovered when chatting to her and her model boyfriend Oliver Cheshire, she’s also really lovely. The evening finished with an after party at Mahiki but, as tempting as that was, I headed back to the St James’ Court hotel to fall into my enormous bed for a slumber party of my own.
Hayley Scanlan and Pixie Lott, both wearing Hayley Scanlan AW14
Pixie Lott performing her hit song ‘All About Tonight’
My snaps from the night:
And look, here’s me (on the left) hiding from the camera shooting Pixie Lott and Oliver Cheshire! Aren’t they gorg?
Stay tuned to read more on the St James’ Court hotel and Tru Diamonds (sponsors of the event and whose goody bags contained some utterly fabulous jewellery).
Image credits: Getty/Hartmann Media