DUBAI: On Monday night, models, singers, actresses and industry insiders gathered at the Royal Albert Hall in London wearing their glittering best for the annual British Fashion Awards. Among the A-list guests at the ceremony were trailblazing hijab-wearing models Mariah Idrissi and Halima Aden.
The two boundary-breaking models can both be credited for cracking open the industry for other hijab-wearing models like Kadija Diawara, Ugbad Abdi and Ikram Abdi Omar— also in attendance on Monday night—, who have all walked on international runways, so it’s fitting that Idrissi and Aden were present at the 2019 edition of one of fashion’s most acclaimed awards ceremonies.
When it came to their ensembles, Idrissi, who is of Moroccan and Pakistani descent, opted for a flowy, kaftan-like gown by Vivienne Westwood, which she paired with an intricately-tied, beige turban.
For her part, Somali-American Aden wore a blush pink, ruffled dress from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi as she mingled and snapped pictures with the other star guests in attendance, including Rihanna, Lewis Hamilton, Tyler the Creator and ASAP Rocky.
Also in attendance was part-Saudi-Pakistani model Shanina Shaik who demanded a double take wearing a form-fitting, sequined, leopard-print Ralph & Russo look that boasted long sleeves and a high-neck, as well as Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam who wore a sleek Fenty pantsuit with an open back.
Other highlights from the night included Bottega Veneta and its young artistic director Daniel Lee taking home four awards, including brand of the year and designer of the year at the star-studded ceremony, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, Barbadian superstar Rihanna received the “urban luxe” award from fellow singer Janet Jackson for her young label Fenty, part of the LVMH galaxy.
Adut Akech, 19 and originally from South Sudan, was named model of the year.
Alexander McQueen's artistic director Sarah Burton, who joined the house in 1996, was also recognized for her visionary spirit with the trailblazer award.
The evening also honored stars such as supermodel Naomi Campbell, who was named a fashion icon, while industry legend Giorgio Armani received the outstanding achievement award from Hollywood star Julia Roberts.
Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour paid a special tribute to her friend Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February.
British hairdresser Sam McKnight — who styled Princess Diana and worked for Chanel, Balmain, Burberry and Tom Ford — took home the Isabella Blow award for fashion creators, presented by “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke.
Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane nabbed the designers’ designer award, handed out by pop superstar Kylie Minogue.