Frances Corner, Carmen Dell'Orefice and David Downton at the 2016 Fashion Matters Gala Ball at Victoria House. Photography: Alex Mcguire

LCF’s annual Fashion Matters gala dinner and auction took place last week at Victoria House, sponsored by Pentland, Kurt Geiger and Harold Tillman CBE. Over 250 guests including designers, entrepreneurs and key fashion business leaders gathered for an evening celebrating British-educated fashion talent.

Frances Corner, Carmen Dell'Orefice and David Downton at the 2016 Fashion Matters Gala Ball at Victoria House. Photography: Alex Mcguire

Frances Corner, Carmen Dell’Orefice and David Downton at the 2016 Fashion Matters Gala Ball at Victoria House. Photography: Alex Maguire

Guests on the night included Jane Shepherdson CBE, Sim Scavazza, Vanessa Kingori MBE, Jenny Packham, William Banks-Blaney, Joan Burstein CBE and family, actress Patricia Hodge, Baroness Lola Young OBE, Harold Tillman CBE, fashion illustrator David Downton and, guest of honour was the legendary supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice.

After the drinks reception, which was held against a backdrop of ‘ateliers’ and an exhibition of student work, Chair of the Fundraising Committee Sim Scavazza, kicked off the evenings proceeding by asking guests to “Dig deep … and even deeper” to help LCF beat last year’s total raised. She spoke about how vital it is that we create new scholarships with the money raised from the evening to provide support to the most in need students.

After dinner, Head of LCF, Professor Frances Corner spoke to the guests about Why Fashion Matters and why it is so important to support new creative talent. She said:

“Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to ensure that future generations of fashion design, business and communication talent are nurtured. For the sake of our economy, our industry, our society, our political future and our ability to build robust communities, where individuals are recognised and appreciated…. talent and creativity know no social or cultural boundaries and I believe that creative education in particular, provides the means to transform not only ourselves but also the society and world we are a part of.”

LCF Honorary Doctorate and Fashion Illustrator David Downton then introduced the glamorous Carmen Dell’Orefice who had flown over from New York, especially to support the event.

Carmen Dell'Orefice. Photography: Alex Mcguire

Carmen Dell’Orefice. Photography: Alex Mcguire

Carmen drew on her 70 years of experience in the industry and entertained the audience with anecdotes of her early years modelling for Vogue, which included having to roller-skate to appointments because she couldn’t afford the bus fare – she implored guests to consider just how important the arts are and how they need to be sustained in these uncertain times. She said

Young creatives have to be nourished and nurtured.”

At the end of the night, guests were able to bid on silent auction items including; a Metallic Mulberry handbag, Anya Hindmarch crisp packet clutch bag, a private fitting with Jenny Packham and evening gown, as well as a ‘Don’t Be Jelly’ handbag donated by LCF Alumna Sophia Webster. Ed Giddins compered a very lively auction with spectacular prizes including; a cycling experience with David Millar at his home in Girona, a private photography session with the legendary photographer Richard Young.

The event exceeded expectations and all previous years’ totals, guaranteeing invaluable support for those students who most need it. All of the funds will create crucial scholarships and bursaries for students, who might not otherwise be able to afford to study at London College of Fashion.