If anything can distract London from its preoccupation with the 2012 Summer Olympics (and what exactly one is supposed to do with a Category 3 ticket to the handball semis), it’s the British Fashion Awards. The 2011 nominees are in, and it’s set to be a cross-continental congregation of the industry’s prime movers and shakers. Among those gunning for the gold this November are Burberry, Mary Katrantzou, Charlotte Olympia, and Katie Grand (for Best Designer Brand, Emerging Talent, Accessory Designer, and Isabella Blow Award, respectively). Rolling Stone progeny Georgia Jagger, meanwhile, is looking to edge out Kristen McMenamy and Stella Tennant to succeed fellow gappy Lara Stone as Model of the Year.
And of course, what roll call would be complete without the champion of the 2011 fashion circuit, Sarah Burton? Duking it out with Christopher Kane and Erdem, the 36-year-old is the odds-on favorite for the coveted Designer of the Year title, thanks to her graceful commandeering of the house of McQueen and the publicity blitzkrieg that was the royal wedding.
At the other end of the runway sits an equally formidable panel of distinguished judges, including Lucy Yeomans (UK Harper’s Bazaar), Suzy Menkes (IHT), Terry Jones (i-D), Alexandra Schulman (British Vogue), and Anna Wintour (US Vogue). These masthead-toppers also lent their discerning tastes to Save the Children. David Cameron’s wife Samantha was joined by the likes of Christopher Kane and Peter Pilotto in a charity walk that stretched from the prime minister’s residence on Downing Street to Somerset House. Cameron, who’s also an ambassador of the British Fashion Council, was said to have completed the walk in high heels—the rest of her party donned flats.