GCFA Italia 2019: How The Night Unfolded

See all the highlights as the 2019 edition of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia unfolded – from Hamish Bowles’ creative direction and green carpet design; to the elegant dinner and after party and everything in between. 

The Preparation

This year, inspired by the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the award’s creative director and Vogue’s international editor at large Hamish Bowles filled the GCFAs with all things Renaissance. With the creative journey starting at the Vineyard of Leonardo, Piazza della Scala was later transformed with orchards of fig and apple, vegetable patches and fauna. The carpet itself, which covered Piazza La Scala using more than 2,000 square metres of ECONYL® regenerated nylon, created from ghost fishing nets and other nylon waste recycled into ECONYL®, reflected Renaissance tapestries with botanical illustrations, wrapping around the square and the focal statue of da Vinci that is central to square.


Find out more about Hamish’s inspiration and creative direction:

Getting Ready

We went behind the scenes with Kat Graham as she got ready for the evening: 

Find out more about Kat’s GCC look by Ronald van Der Kemp. 

The Night Begins… Arriving on the Green Carpet

As the guests started arriving on the green carpet, Rosanna Falconer, wearing a vintage Valentino gown from Vestiaire Collective, and Doina Ciobanu, wearing a GCC Emilio Pucci design, took over the Eco-Age Instagram to quiz guests on their best sustainability hacks or tips. 

For Pixie Geldof, eating a plant-based diet helps her to live a little more sustainably.  “The dairy and meat industry are the main contributors to CO2, so for me, that’s the main way I contribute to living sustainably…but it’s not for everyone,” she told Rosanna.

For Nikki Reed, it is incorporating sustainable practices into her jewellery business, understanding how upcycling and recycling can help to redefine the term waste: “What some people consider waste, others consider luxury…we all have a different understanding of what sustainability means.”

Ian Somerhalder, inspired by the focus of the night, addressed sustainability within the fashion industry: “We have to figure out how to do away with fast fashion or completely start reusing everything we already have, and hopefully that will become the new norm, the zeitgeist,” he told Doina.

Watch as Rosanna and Doina interview the guests on the green carpet:

Guests arriving at La Scala walked the carpet before enjoying a champagne reception in the La Scala Square garden…

(L) Livia and Colin Firth arrive on the Green Carpet, with Livia wearing an archive Armani Prive gown, with Chopard accessories as part of the Journey to Sustainable Luxury, and Colin in an old Tom Ford tuxedo
(R) Carlo Capasa, chairman of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, and wife Stefania Rocca. 

(L) Creative director of the evening and Vogue international editor Hamish Bowles walked the carpet with editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Dame Anna Wintour, continuing the theme of the evening with a pink botanical print tuxedo.  
(R) Models Adut Akech in a GCC Valentino dress and Jon Kortajarena were the official hosts for the night, introducing presenters and winners throughout the ceremony. 

Our takeover hosts: (L) Kat Graham, in a GCC archive Ronald Van Der Kamp dress, made entirely of upcycled and recycled materials, documented her getting ready process, from the dress to the final jewellery touches.
(C) Rosanna Falconer began Green Carpet interviews wearing a vintage Valentino dress from Vestiaire Collective
(R) Doina Ciobanu wore a GCC Emilio Pucci look, created from organic silk crepe de chine and repurposed plastic-waste sequins. 

(L) Olivia Palermo, fashion influencer and entrepreneur, wore Valentino in honour of the winner of the GCFA Legacy Award.
(C) Sinead Burke, writer and activist, dressed in Gucci and accessories from Pomellato.
(R) Arizona Muse, model and environmentalist, wore a rented Alexander McQueen dress from My Wardrobe HQ.

(L) Melissa Satta made a statement with a House of Mua Mua dress.
(C) Alessandro Michele, Lou Dillon posed with Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri.
(R) Leonie Hanne, influencer and social media entrepeneur in a Stella McCartney dress.

(L) Presenter of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast, Clare Press wore a Benjamin Garg dress made of Kota Doria muslin posed with Hassan Pierre, co-founder of Maison de Mode.
(R) The finalists of the Green Carpet Talent Competition joined Livia and Carlo on the carpet, ahead of the announcement of the competition winner later that night. 


Taking on the Green Carpet Challenge

As with any star-studded fashion event, the looks on the carpet are almost as important as the awards themselves. In keeping with the sustainable focus, guests were encouraged to take up the Green Carpet Challenge and dress for the evening in a sustainable look that showcases innovative materials and processes and exquisite craftsmanship.

(L) Models and friends, Candice Swanepoel and Doutzen Kroes matched in their soft blue GCC gowns. Candice wore an organic silk chiffon dress from Philosophy. Doutzen wore an organic silk crepe de chine Max Mara dress. 
(R) Fashion model, Chiara Scelsi, posed on an electric Helbiz bike in her GCC Missoni dress, made from offcuts and unused samples from previous collections. 

(L) Barbara Palvin, model, wore Diesel for the GCC, with denim produced under the Better Cotton Initiative and GOTS certified organic Italian silk.
(R) Alessandra Ambrosio and Izabel Goulart, models, wore GCC Etro gowns made of printed silk chiffon from the Etro archives. 

The Main Event 

After enjoying a champagne reception, guests took their seats in La Scala’s stunning auditorium, where Alexander Pereira, president of La Scala, introduced Royal Ballet Dancer Eric Underwood who gave a special performance.

After an opening speech by Livia Firth and Carlo Capasa, the evening’s hosts Adut Akech and Jon Kortajarena kickstarted proceedings. Twelve awards were presented during the ceremony, which closed Milan Fashion Week.  See all of this year’s winners.

(L) Livia Firth and Carlo Capasa kickstarted the evening’s celebrations.
(R) Shailene Woodley presented The Eco Stewardship Award to the Association of Venetian Gondoliers.

(L) Sophia Loren presented Valentino Garavani with the GCFA Legacy Award.
(R) Stella McCartney received The GCFA Groundbreaker Award for her pioneering work in lowering the impact of the fashion supply chain.

(L) Jon Kortajarena and Adut Akech introduced award hosts throughout the night.
(C) Royal Ballet dancer Eric Underwood and activist Sinead Burke awarded Doutzen with The Social Media Changemaker Award, for using social media for social good.
(R) NYU Stern Centre for Business and Human Rights and The Union Concerned Researchers in Fashion were awarded The GCFA North Star Award. 

(L) The Responsible Disruption Award was won by I Was a Sari for their social empowerment of women and commitment to the circular economy through upcycling saris. 

(L) Stella McCartney, winner of The Groundbreaker Award, poses with Amber Valletta, Colin Firth and members of her Italian supply chain.
(R) Sinead Burke and Eric Underwood presented Doutzen Kroes with the The Social Media Changemaker Award

The After Party

Following the awards, guests including Adut Akech, Jon Kortajarena, Stella McCartney, Dame Anna Wintour, Sophia Loren, Alessandra Ambrosio, Doutzen Kroes, Colin Firth, Barbara Palvin, Elsa Hosk, Amber Valletta, Candice Swanepoel, Eric Underwood, Sinead Burke, Olivia Palermo, Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed, Pixie Geldof, Jess Glynne, Kat Graham, Lea  T and Toni Garrn attended a private dinner hosted by Carlo Capasa; Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan; Livia Firth; and Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala.

Following the dinner, guests attended the after party held at Gallerie d’Italia.

Guests filled La Scala for the post-ceremony dinner, with long tables lined with Renaissance-inspired centre pieces. 

(L) Nikki Reed, founder of Bayou With Love, was seated next to actress and activist Shailene Woodley for dinner.
(R) Pixie Geldof and husband George Barnett at the dinner.

Other dinner guests included Arizona Muse, Jon Kortajarena and Doina Ciobanu.