On night three of London Fashion Week, the Woolmark Prize staged their annual fashion show with cash prizes totaling over 300,000AUD.
Twelve international designers showed back to back, three of their best looks for the design competition in front of fashion editors, tastemakers and bold-faced name judges. This year’s judges consisted of Instyle magazine editor in chief Laura Brown, former Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz, and Tim Blanks just to name a few.
“There were 12 great designers today from around the world,” said Alber Elbaz who judged this year’s competition. “It was quite wonderful to see designers from places like Korea, China and Sweden, because sometimes in fashion we think everything happens in Paris, so this was a reminder that the world is big and fashion comes from everywhere around the world.”
Each designer was challenged to design something original to their brand using Merino wool. The show concluded with an acapella performance of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and a flurry of confetti that fell inside Lindley Hall.
To get down to the final winners, Woolmark brought out surprise guest, Colin Firth, to announce the Innovation prize. The actor divulged about his own relationship with fashion, as he’s come to be regarded as one of the most stylish stars. But that wasn’t always the case for the Brit.
“I spent most of my life fashion-blind, so this has been a steep learning curve,” Firth told the crowd. “I had pretty much no engagement with fashion before, until I met Tom Ford, and that was an interest in tailoring—not really because of anything he said, but because being in the presence of Tom Ford requires you to scrub up a bit.”
Firth announced Edward Crutchley as the winner of the 100,00AUD award. The designer was then called back to the stage shortly after to accept his menswear designer award, picking up another 200,000AUD to invest into his business along with a mentor and a retail sponsor for his collection.
Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie did the final honors of the evening announcing the womenswear award, which was presented to the wife and husband duo behind Colovos, who will also receive 200,00AUD towards their brand and mentorship