London Calling- The ACF's Annual Awards Gala Dinner Kensington Palace
The historic surrounds of London’s Kensington Palace proved to be the perfect venue for the 2017 invitation-only Asian Couture Federation Annual Awards Gala Dinner and the official, UK launch of COUTURíSSIMO at the London Fashion Week. The ACF Executive Board and ACF Member Designers joined an illustrious group of British and international fashion influencers, VIPs, industry patrons and personalities.
Kensington Palace’s Orangery hosted the runway show for the ACF's brand SS18 collection. With more than thirty looks, the COUTURíSSIMO models presented cutting-edge, ready-to- wear designs combined with retro-flourishes. The ACF’s Couturier Extraordinaires, Michael Cinco, Sebastian Gunawan and On Aura Tout Vu exclusively designed all the gowns, in order to offer every woman the chance to own a couture-infused gown.
The artistic geniuses behind Parisian brand On Aura Tout Vu, Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov, oversaw the team of couture designers to deliver the beautifully imagined SS18 collection. Stylist, digital influencer and blogger, Shini Park, gave the final touches to the collection. Guests that voiced their enthusiasm for the collection included Caroline Rush CBE, CEO of the British Fashion Council, designer Gareth Pugh and Sarah Bailey, Group Editorial Director at Hearst UK. The SS18 looks were live-tweeted and instagrammed around the world by attending influencers from Thailand, Australia, UK, Germany, France, USA and China.
Upon the conclusion of the COUTURíSSIMO’s SS18 showcase at the Orangery, guests were invited to pass through the palace gardens and into the main building where 'Diana - Her Fashion Story' exhibition awaited. With this year being the twentieth anniversary of Diana’s passing, the exquisite collection of vintage gowns, sketches and shared narratives provided guests an opportunity to consider the evolution of style of fashion’s most iconic, modern-day patron.
Whilst guests enjoyed aperitifs and canapés in staterooms of the palace, the ACF’s Founding President Dr. Frank Cintamani commenced with his speech, before inducting two new designers into the ACF family. Firstly from Asia, the ACF’s cadre of design expertise was expanded to include Shanghai-based Taiwanese designer, Chris Chang as an ACF Invited Member. Secondly, from the United Kingdom, the talented designer Suzie Turner was inducted as an ACF International Couturier Extraordinaire.
Following the ACF’s induction ceremony the award ceremony took place. In order, the following awards were presented:
Daphne Guinness - Outstanding Contribution to the British Fashion Industry Rosalie Huang - Outstanding Contribution to the Fashion Industry Angelica Cheung - Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Journalism Shini Park - Outstanding Contribution to Digital Storytelling in Fashion Nick Knight - ACF Lifetime Achievement Award
Although unable to attend in person, Daphne Guinness accepted the ACF award for Outstanding Contribution to the British Fashion Industry via a pre-recorded acceptance speech. The designer-muse, artist, filmmaker and renaissance woman was thrilled and gracious in her acceptance. Nick Knight OBE, fashion photographer and founder of SHOWStudio, was there to accept the ACF Lifetime Achievement Award. A special video representing his life’s work was also presented to around 160 guests before he graciously accepted his award and then provided further insight into his personal story and his many admired achievements.
The memorable and successful evening concluded with a spectacular dinner in the Kensington Palace state apartments, accompanied by a string quartet and opera recitals.