To celebrate 25 years of London Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council is introducing a one-off 'London 25' award, to recognise one person who embodies the spirit of London and is an amazing ambassador for the city, voted for by you. A shortlist of 17 of the most creative and cool Brits has been drawn up, including style icons like Kate Moss, and some of the most original fashion talent. To vote for your favourite, check out the nominees and cast your vote here, or even suggest your own icons below. We'll be backstage at the awards on 9 December to bring you the winners live as it happens!
She eased us through our hangovers by embarrassing herself and her guests on T4, but she has blossomed into the princess of MTV and the darling of the fashion world. Her disheveled style and Indie-kid-grows-up-and-gets-cool attitude is endearing, and even if you want to tell her to wash her hair, instead you’d ask her where she got her shoes. Damn her.
What is there to say about McQueen that hasn’t already been said. He was once the enfant terrible (how we hate that title), but now he is one of the most successful fashion brands in the world. He counts Drew Barrymore, Camilla Belle and Cate Blanchett as fans, while his Paris Fashion Week shows are one of the biggest draws as he always creates something spectacular!
This young Scot was named New Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2007, and his career has leapt from strength to strength. Donatella Versace saw his potential from his Central St Martins graduation collection, and this year saw his debut collection for Versus.
She was the girl from Birmingham who changed the face of modeling forever. Literally. Far from the conventional beauty, her long neck and defined features won over the couture designers and she was soon the favourite of illustrators and photographers alike. Now she is a big supporter of young British design talent, and one of the London Fashion Week heavyweights.
Model, mogul, mother and designer. Posing for the camera was never going to be enough for la Mossy, so she turned her hand to Topshop – making millions in her wake – and now there are rumours of a partnership with Simon Cowell. We could watch every move of hers forever, and if we ever get bored of her there is always Lila!
Yasmin Le Bon
Mother of Amber, Sahara and Tallulah and wife of Simon (silver wedding coming up next year!) she still manages to be one of the world’s favourite cover girls and, as YLB for Wallis, is now also one of our favourite high street labels.
Dame Vivienne Westwood
From Queen of Punk to Dame of the realm, Vivienne was recognised for services to fashion in 2006 after almost thirty years in the business and three times winning the Designer of the Year.
The original and the best. In the 1960’s Twiggy captured the spirit of swinging London and launched a wide eyed gamine look that was copied around the world. Fifty years later she is still looking hot and going strong as a panellist on America’s Top Model and figurehead for Marks & Spencer.
One of fashion’s hardest working mums, our Stella may come from pop royalty but she is no princess. In ten years she has managed to establish one of the hottest labels in the world as well as having three children.
Before she even trod the boards as an actress she had burst upon the national consciousness as one of Britain’s most copied proponents of boho chic. Since then there have been block busters (G.I.Joe) and arthouse projects (Layer Cake). But fashion loves her best for her partnership with sister Savannah at their fashion label Twenty8Twelve.
Sir Philip Green
The daddy of them all. Sir Phil has mentored Kate Moss and Beth Ditto as heads of their own high street labels. He has made fashion superstars Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders affordable at Topshop and with his New Generation initiative at London Fashion Week has helped launch some of Britain’s hottest design talent. And thanks to him, Topshop has taken British high street chic global.
The Rolls Royce of footwear, the name Manolo Blahnik has become so synonymous with shoes that when the label’s most famous fan, Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw was mugged, she begged ““Please sir, you can take my Fendi baguette, you can take my ring and my watch, but don’t take my Manolo Blahniks..” Blahnik’s elegant sexy designs (which were originally discovered by legendary US Vogue Editor Diana Vreeland) are top of every shoe-aholics wishlist.
Birtwell’s whimsical prints originally adorned the gorgeously flattering clothes of her late husband, fashion designer Ossie Clark – a collaboration which helped define the boho look of the late 60s. Most recently, Birtwell’s textiles caused a commotion at Topshop when the store launched a diffusion line to the delight of a new generation of fans. She is now focusing her quirky, quintessentially British designs on interiors.
Bailey was not just a lead player in the ‘youth quake’ revolution of Swinging Sixties London, he was also at the forefront of documenting this extraordinary decade. His fashion portraits of partners and sometime lovers from Jean Shrimpton, Marie Helvin and current wife Catherine Bailey strike the perfect balance between fashion and woman, with the wearer never overshadowed by her clothes.
Joan Burstein CBE
Fashion eye extraordinaire, the owner of the globally influential Browns boutique knows when she sees the Real Deal – Galliano, McQueen and Chalayan all got their breaks when their debut collections were put in the store’s prestigious windows. The octogenarian Burstein also has a wardrobe we would kill for.
Williamson’s modern boho sensibility speaks to the jet set lifestyle of his A list customers, and his own love of travelling. Williamson brought colour and embellishment back into fashion at a time when minimalism ruled the catwalks. His light, sexy clothes have made being girly, cool.
Sir Paul Smith
Is Paul Smith the ultimate British gentleman? They certainly seem to think so in Japan, where the tall but charmingly modest designer is treated like a rock star. Nearly forty years in, Smith has perfected his traditional-with-a-twist style, toying for years with the ultimate emblems of Britishness, from tweed jackets, brogues, pinstripe suits and waistcoats, by adding his own distinctive flashes of modernity, such as unexpected kicks of colour or photographic print linings. In 1994 he launched womenswear for his legions of female fans who had been devotedly wearing his men’s tailoring for years.