The young creators are up against the designer behind Team GB’s Olympics kit for Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards 2012. In an announcement made last night at The Savoy, Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane face Stella McCartney for the annual ceremony’s top accolade, Designer of The Year. And whilst McCartney has had a standout year with her major involvement with London 2012, Kane and Katrantzou have both been responsible for turning the limelight back on London Fashion Week – from the onset of Kane’s neon lace bodycon dresses in 2007 to Katrantzou’s innovative prints since launching her label in 2009. "There’s always a point of difference to British fashion, it dares to be different to everyone else," Kane tells us.
Nothing is ever boring and British fashion is really establishing itself at the forefront of global fashion
Also present at the reception was Jonathan Saunders, nominated for both the New Establishment Award and Emerging Talent for menswear, and Roksanda Ilincic, whose romantic, tumbling dresses loved by style icons from Carey Mulligan to the Duchess of Cambridge, is pitted against Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney and Alessandra Rich for the Red Carpet Award. Meanwhile, the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator sees Katie Grand nominated a second time, along with Edward Enninful and Professor Louise Wilson who is surely a strong contender – that a handful of nominees passed through her discipline on the Central Saint Martins MA course is but a small indication of her influence on the industry.
Winners will be announced at the British Fashion Awards 2012, taking place 27 November and hosted this year by Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw. Dazed has a word with print surrealist Mary Katrantzou, who shares an exciting tip-off on what to expect from her forthcoming S/S13 show!
Dazed Digital: Congrats to the nomination, Mary. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Mary Katrantzou: This is definitely a highlight as it’s recognition from your own industry and it allows me to set a higher bar for myself. But it’s been amazing to think that only four years ago I was studying! Building a label, having a bigger team, it’s been great to see that growth.
DD: What do you love about British fashion?
Mary Katrantzou: There’s a brilliant collective of designers who are at the same time, unique and have a project that’s commercially viable. Nothing is ever boring and British fashion is really establishing itself at the forefront of global fashion.
DD: You’re going to hate this question but why do you think you should win?
Mary Katrantzou: Oh god! Well I can’t say I could win just because I’m against two amazing nominees. It’s great to simply be nominated as it sets the tone that establishes what I do at the next level.
DD: What do you hope you have contributed to the industry?
Mary Katrantzou: I hope that the way I work with silhouette, form, colour and print is unique in itself because it’s very considered as a whole. So I hope it’s shown a new way of print or texture - something that’s a little bit more bold in its visual but at the same time is flattering and elegant. To create a product that is interesting and yet a departure from the season before.
DD: And finally, a hint of what we’ll be seeing at your S/S13 show in two weeks?
Mary Katrantzou: It's so difficult to hint! It’ll be different in the way that it’s not about an object as it has been. It’s going to be more about world history from an interesting angle.
Full list of nominees and awards:
Emerging Talent Award – Ready-to-wear: Simone Rocha, Michael van der Ham and J.W. Anderson
Emerging Talent Award – Accessories: Dominic Jones, Jordan Askill, Sophie Hulme
Emerging Talent Award – Menswear: Agi & Sam, Jonathan Saunders, Lou Dalton
Model: Cara Delevingne, David Gandy, Jourdan Dunn
Designer Brand: Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Mulberry, Stella McCartney
Menswear Designer: Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton, Oliver Spencer, Richard James
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Edward Enninful, Katie Grand, Professor Louise Wilson OBE
Red Carpet Award: Alessandra Rich, Roksanda Ilincic, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham
Accessory Designer: Katie Hiller, Nicholas Kirkwood, Philip Treacy
New Establishment Award: Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Meadham Kirchhoff
Designer of the Year: Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Stella McCartney
The winner for the British Style Icon is chosen by public vote. Visit the website and choose from nominees including Daphne Guinness, Lady Amanda Harlech and Kate Moss.
Read our review of Mary Katrantzou's A/W12 collection HERE
Backstage photos by Morgan O'Donovan
Mary Katrantzou portrait by BFC