Samantha Cameron celebrates Scottish fashion flair
A STYLISH Samantha Cameron declared herself "thrilled" to be in Glasgow and hailed the importance of the nation's historic textile industry when she arrived in the city for the Scottish Fashion Awards.
The wife of Prime Minister David Cameron dazzled onlookers as she made her entrance wearing a knee-length neon-green dress by Scots designer Christopher Kane.
The guest of honour's high-necked frock was balanced by cream stiletto heels of the kind favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge.
But Mrs Cameron avoided the outdoor red carpet and entered the Glasgow Science Centre, on the banks of the Clyde, through a side entrance.
Attending in her role as ambassador to the British Fashion Council, Mrs Cameron presented the evening's top prize, Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year.
The award was scooped by Jonathan Saunders, 33, the St Martins graduate who has become a worldwide success with his graphic silk prints.
He won the honour for the second year running after beating off competition from fellow nominees Christopher Kane and Holly Fulton.
Mrs Cameron, who has only ever been criticised for her poor taste once, when she daringly went without a hat to the royal wedding, said she was delighted to be involved.
She said: "These awards celebrate the very best in Scottish fashion and remind us that Scotland's home to not only inspirational designers but also a very important textile industry."
• Scottish Fashion Awards in pictures
Tessa Hartmann, the founder and chair of the awards show, said the award was a "fitting tribute" to the Glasgow School of Art graduate who has achieved global success thanks to his signature silk prints.
Born in Rutherglen, Mr Saunders is now based in New York, and designs for his own label as well as acting as creative director for Pollini.
The gala event attracted an array of celebrities from the worlds of high fashion and entertainment, including singer Dame Shirley Bassey wearing a dress in "Sir Billi" tartan by Scottish designer Graeme Black.
The glamorous floor-length green tartan gown, laced up tight at the back, had black netting sleeves and was accessorised by a white fur sporran-style clutch bag.
She said Mr Black made her the dress after she gave him her measurements on the phone. Dame Shirley, 74, said it was her first time in Scotland in six years and charmed onlookers who asked the secret of her youthful good looks.
"It's diet and exercise," she said. "I go to the gym four times a week. It's all very boring but you have to do it."
As well as photographer Rankin, wearing a black suit and black shirt, the A-list contingent was bolstered by veteran singer Lulu wearing a sparkling three-quarter length silver jacket over a black t-shirt, leather trousers, and skyscraper heels.
The 62-year-old singer said: "I feel fabulous and of course that is the most important thing.
"I'm very excited to be here, back in Glasgow and at the awards, because fashion is a passion of mine."
Other celebrities included Hollywood-based Edinburgh actress Louise Linton - who featured in the recent television movie, William and Kate, who was wearing Ralph Lauren - Scottish BAFTA winning actor, Atta Yaqub, and Allison McKenzie, best known for her role as Joanne Rossi in River City.
Also among the guests were fashion stylist Brix Smith-Start, actress Allison McKenzie, weathergirl Jean Johansson wearing Ralph Lauren, and ITV's design guru John Amabile.
The award for Scottish Young Designer of the Year went to Henrietta Ludgate, 31, from Knockfarrel, near Dingwall, who gave her first solo show at this year's London Fashion Week.
Elsewhere, celebrated photographer Rankin - whose subjects have included the Queen, Kate Moss, the Rolling Stones, and Kylie Minogue - received the Hall of Fame award.
Harris Tweed Hebrides received Scottish Textile Brand of the Year, while bodywear specialists Bebaroque was named Scottish Accessory Designer of the Year. Freya Mavor, the 17-year-old Edinburgh actress who stars in Skins was declared Scottish Fashion Icon, while Tali Lennox, the daughter of former Eurythmics star, Annie, was named Scottish Model of the Year.
But the striking-looking 18-year-old called organisers an hour before they expected her on the red carpet to say she had another appointment and would not be making it.
Ms Hartmann said the calibre of the award-winners made clear that Scotland's fashion industry can now "stand its ground against the world's biggest fashion capitals".
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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