Anna Wintour wearing Galliano's first creation for Margiela, Rihanna's red carpet appearance – the annual awards show outdid itself
The British Fashion Awards have been going since 1989, but it has since expanded into a gargantuan beast: multiple sponsors, red carpet cameras, celebrity hosts and all. This year proved to be an unusually emotional event, thanks to Galliano's return to the public eye by presenting Anna Wintour with an Outstanding Archievement award. But by the end of the night, 13 new winners had been crowned by the British Fashion Council's 300-strong judging panel – and a new guard in fashion had been established with all the glitz of a Hollywood event. Here's what you need to know.
JOHN GALLIANO MADE A SURPRISE APPEARANCE TO PRESENT ANNA WINTOUR WITH HER AWARD
Galliano surprised everyone by a rare appearance to present Wintour with the BFC Outstanding Achievement. Dressed in a sombre black suit, Galliano introduced the American Vogue editor in chief with a moving speech, paying tribute to her HIV/AIDS charity work and remembering how they used to eat baked beans heated up on a bunsen burner in his first studio. "She reached out to me when I was an outcast," he said. It was enough to make anyone well up – including, it seems, Wintour herself.
... AND WINTOUR WAS WEARING THE FIRST EVER DRESS FROM GALLIANO FOR MARGIELA
If you want a sneak preview of what Galliano has in store for Maison Martin Margiela, look no further than Wintour's dress. According to Nicola Formichetti, Wintour was wearing the first dress produced by Galliano in his new role as creative director of Margiela.
MARQUES'ALMEIDA WINS BEST EMERGING WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER
Hot off the success of their Topshop collection, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida walked away with the Emerging Designer award for womenswear. In their speech, they thanked Louise Wilson "without whom we wouldn't be here" and paid tribute to Lulu Kennedy and Fashion East "for helping us with our first steps".
CARA DELEVINGNE IS BRITAIN'S MODEL OF THE YEAR
Delevingne beat off competition from Jourdan Dunn and Sam Rollinson to clinch the Model of the Year award, which went to Edie Campbell last year. "I apologise to the people who had to be there for my shoots where I talk about my dreams and play my music too loudly and dance around and not pay attention because that is who I am," she said in her speech, "and thank you because you've supported me for the things I truly want to do in life – and for those things I would be nothing without fashion."
CRAIG GREEN WINS BEST EMERGING MENSWEAR AWARD
Green nabbed NEWGEN Men support for AW15 just last month, and yesterday he walked away with the menswear award for Emerging Designer ahead of fellow nominees Astrid Andersen and Lee Roach. No surprise there, seeing as his quietly contemplative SS15 show moved the front row to tears of joy.
CHRIS MOORE HONOURED WITH SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
You might not recognise his name, but Chris Moore is the undisputed king of catwalk photography. Over his six decade career, the lensman has snapped images of all the iconic runway shows, founded Catwalking.com and photographed more moments in fashion than anybody else. In the words of Vogue international editor Suzy Menkes, who presented him with the award: "His archive is a history of fashion from Yves Saint Laurent to Cara Delevingne – with anyone in between who mattered in the fashion universe. Chris has been in at the beginning of everything and everyone."
NICOLAS GHESQUIERE NABS INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Ghesquière emerged as the winner in this category – the only one at the BFAs that acknowledges non-homegrown talent – over Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent. Longtime muse Charlotte Gainsbourg presented him with the award, while he thanked LVMH "for entrusting with me with the keys to the extraordinary house of Louis Vuitton".
RIHANNA WAS THE NIGHT'S SURPRISE CELEBRITY GUEST
You might expect Rihanna to be working hard on her new record, which is set to come out any second now (allegedly). But she dropped by to work the red carpet in an oversized mannish Stella McCartney tuxedo jacket and not much else, cuddle up to Balmain BFF Olivier Rousteing and wine on Steven Klein at the afterparty. @badgalriri never disappoints – now where's our album?
EDWARD ENNINFUL DELIVERS THE FEEL-GOOD SPEECH OF THE NIGHT
The Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator pays tribute to stylists, make-up artists, photographers, art directors or producers that make the industry what it is. This year, it went to stylist and W fashion director Edward Enninful, who used his turn in the spotlight to encourage all fashion newcomers. "If there are any kids out there who think it's impossible to get ahead in the fashion industry because of their colour, creed or social background," he said, "believe me, if I can do it, so can you."
J.W. ANDERSON TAKES HOME BEST MENSWEAR DESIGNER
Anderson may have lost out to Erdem for Best Womenswear Designer, but he took home a gong for his eponymous menswear label, beating out 2013 winner Christopher Bailey and nominees Tom Ford and Paul Smith. "What people think is often irrelevant, what people feel is everything. I know there are many ways to think but there are so many ways to feel," he said in his speech, before thanking his family, design team and the BFC for "feeling and believing in me".