The Fashion Matters Gala:  Professor Frances Corner OBE, HRH Countess of Wessex, Harold Tillman, Laura

The Fashion Matters Gala. Left to right: Head of College Professor Frances Corner OBE, HRH The Countess of Wessex, retail entrepreneur Harold Tillman CBE, and soprano Laura Wright.

Last Friday, LCF and Kurt Geiger welcomed London’s fashion industry elite to Mansion House to invest in the fashion talent of the future. The Fashion Matters Gala, a grand dinner followed by an exclusive auction, raised money for Cordwainers courses at LCF and celebrated 125 years of Cordwainers at the College. Through the support of the generous guests, the gala exceeded its fundraising target.

Professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of London College of Fashion and Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of the Arts London spoke about the event:

“The money raised at the Fashion Matters gala goes directly to scholarships, bursaries and equipment to support future generations of designers, makers, entrepreneurs, commentators and industry specialists. The support of our partner, Kurt Geiger, and guests is vital to the continued success of LCF’s students and we hope this is the first of many successful Fashion Matters gala events.”

In attendance was HRH The Countess of Wessex, LCF’s patron who is championing the college’s efforts to create a sustainable and accessible fashion future. Speakers included Chief Executive Officer of Kurt Geiger, Neil Clifford, entrepreneur and LCF alumnus, Harold Tillman CBE, as well as Alderman Nick Anstee.

The illustrious guests came together to raise money to support the next generation of designers through student scholarships and hardships funds, recognising the importance of the British fashion industry on the national and international stage. Through donations and auction bids, the guests offered their generous support, and will fund outstanding talents so that they can access the world-class education offered by LCF.

As well as being 125 years of Cordwainers, it is Kurt Geiger’s 50 year anniversary. Neil Clifford spoke of the event:

“This year marks 50 years of Kurt Geiger. An anniversary is naturally a time to reflect but it is also important to act. Our partnership with Cordwainers at London College of Fashion is an investment in the future and the immense talent coming from Britain. We would like to see more employers collaborate with educators in partnerships like ours for the future of Fashion Matters and the next generations of our industry.”

Alongside a champagne reception and three-course meal, the guests enjoyed a performance by chart-topping classical singer, Laura Wright, who wore a neckpiece designed by Off-Catwalk Award Winner Alexandra Druzhinin, BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery. More designs from talented LCF students were featured in a Salon Show. Models wore pieces created by graduates of BA 2013. On show were designs by:

Auction prizes included the chance to commission renowned fashion illustrator, David Downton, a year’s supply of Kurt Geiger shoes, and a photographic portrait of Kate Moss by Richard Young, signed by the photographer. The money raised from the auction and dinner will not only fund students’ studies, but will also preserve the Cordwainer’s archive which dates back to 1750, and help students access the best in technological and manufacturing equipment.

The glittering event will return next year at The Savoy on September 8th 2014, in order to celebrate and support talent at LCF, regardless of background. The theme will be ‘Making It Britain’, reflecting the need to support future talent across bespoke design and manufacture and entrepreneurship, whilst celebrating the heritage found within the British fashion industry. If you want to be part of the fashion of the future and enjoy exclusive experiences like the ones offered by this year’s gala, make sure to put the date in your diary.

Edward Curtis: BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear

Edward Curtis: BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear


  • Photos: Alex Maguire