Fashion

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at F4D's First Ladies Luncheon

By Kelly Green
26.09.18

Ellie Goulding, Amber Heard and Carmen Busquets were honoured with awards during a lunch in New York yesterday, where the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange looks were showcased for the first time outside London.

Ellie Goulding was honoured with the Eco Award, presented by Livia Firth (a previous recipient of the Fashion 4 Development Award), for being an important voice advocating environmental change and engaging young people around the world. Amber Heard was presented with F4D’s Angel Award for her humanitarian mission in support of Syrian refugees in Jordan, as well as for actively promoting the message of justice, respect and compassion towards women and children around the world, while philanthropist investor Carmen Busquets was honoured with this year's Fashion 4 Development Award for her work supporting artisans and for her disruptive business innovation, which is recalibrating the luxury fashion industry to the benefit of people and planet.

“What I want to see from the industry is more innovation, more fulfilling jobs, more beauty, but less mindless consumption, less – no - zero abuse, and ZERO waste. Time, as they say, is up,” said Carmen.

The lunch, hosted by Fashion 4 Development during the UN's General Assembly Week, featured a catwalk show of the Commonwealth collection - sustainable looks created by designers and artisans from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries, highlighting the potential of artisan fashion trades to promote female empowerment and poverty reduction - modelled by the Model Mafia introduced by Fashion Exchange partners Nadja Swarovski, Ulric Jerome of MATCHESFASHION.COM and The Woolmark Company's Stuart McCullough. The designs were originally unveiled at Buckingham Palace during London Fashion Week in February and will be exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Technology from today.

It was a celebration of cultural exchange and its importance in creating a better human understanding of diversity, while also driving the agenda for sustainability.  “I've always believed that fashion is an instrument by which culture is created and a mirror through which culture is reflected,” said F4D’s founder Evie Evangelou.

One of the looks showcased was designed by Meiling of Trinidad & Tobego and Dominca artisan Vanessa Winston, whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Maria - watch Vanessa's moving film about the experience here.

League of Gentlemen Award recipient and managing director of The Woolmark Company, Stuart McCullough, joined the stage to accept his award on behalf of “tens of thousands of Australian woolgrowers who work tirelessly to grow the softest Merino wool in the world”. 

See highlights from the red carpet and the runway show below:

Stuart McCullough, Livia Firth, Nadja Swarovski, and Ulric Jerome attend Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

Livia Firth and Carmen Busquets attend Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

Amber Heard and Ellie Goulding attend Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

Ellie Goulding and Livia Firth attend Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

Nadja Swarovski, Livia Firth, Donna Karan, Evie Evangelou, Edwina Dunn, and Melanie Steiner attend Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

Stuart McCullough speaks onstage during Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing MEILING x VANESSA WINSTON at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing DRENNALUNA x MAYABAGS at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing CHARLES AND RON x KHUSHBOO at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

 A model walks the runway wearing NKWO x JOEL SUYA at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

 A model walks the runway wearing BEHNO x FAFINE NIUTAO IAOTEAROA at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model wearing TONGA x NAURU walks the runway at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing IRIDESCENT FASHION x LAUNESHA BARNES at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing SHASHA DESIGNS x LAUNESHA BARNES at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing DEEPA DOSAJA x ARTISAN FASHION/ MUMWA CRAFTS ASSOCIATION at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing DEEPA DOSAJA x ARTISAN FASHION/ MUMWA CRAFTS ASSOCIATION at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing TANYA TAYLOR at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

A model walks the runway wearing CLIVE RUNDLE x HOUSE OF THETHANA at Fashion 4 Development's 8th Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development)

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at F4D's First Ladies Luncheon