The Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise appearance at the Design Museum this afternoon to award London designer Saul Nash this year’s Queen Elizabeth II Award for fashion design.
Looking elegant in a green belted dress from London label Edeline Lee paired with matching green suede court shoes, Kate met with several of the young designers nominated for awards along with wider members of the fashion industry like British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful before taking the stage to present on behalf of the Queen.
“It is an absolute honour to be here today. I have heard so many inspiring stories about British creativity and seen such incredible work from many talented designers. Well done, and congratulations to all of you,” said the mother-of-three, before presenting Saul Nash with the trophy which was inspired by the Queen Elizabeth rose and hand-produced by Lucy Price at Bauhinia Studios.
The award was established back in 2018 to recognise the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy and to spotlight young designers who are talented and making a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement.
Its first recipient was Richard Quinn, who was presented the award by The Queen herself when she made her London Fashion Week front row debut appearance at his show. In 2019, it was presented to Bethany Williams by The Duchess of Cornwall, in 2020 to Rosh Mahtani by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and in 2021 to Priya Ahluwalia by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex.
Nash, who combines his dance and choreography background with his technical, sports-inflected menswear designs is undoubtedly one of the city’s most exciting talents. He has, as BFC Chairwoman Caroline Rush says, “a unique way of combining function, tech and tailoring in his design practice which has resulted in a new take on luxe sportswear.”
Nash’s London Fashion Week shows always feature beautiful dance choreography alongside the luxe performance menswear, and guests at today’s Design Museum event were treated to a little of Nash’s dance magic when a troupe of models exploded into dance just metres from where Kate stood.
Nash, who just last week won the 2022 International Woolmark Prize, has also been short-listed for the LVMH prize for young designers and was last year granted funds under the BFC’s Newgen initiative.