LONDON'S LEADING LIGHTS: Stella McCartney scooped the designer of the year award at the annual British Fashion Awards Tuesday night in London. Other winners at the black-tie dinner, held at Lawrence Hall in Westminster, included Anya Hindmarch for designer brand; Christopher Bailey of Burberry for men's wear designer; Marchesa for red-carpet design; jewelry designer Tom Binns for accessory designer, and Dame Vivienne Westwood for outstanding achievement in fashion design. But it wasn't only the big-name Brits who were honored: Designer Erdem Moralioglu won the Swarovski-sponsored British Fashion Council Fashion Enterprise Award, worth 50,000 pounds, or $103,000, in support for his label Erdem, and Christopher Kane was named new designer of the year. Meanwhile, Michael Howells, the British production designer who's known for creating the backdrops for John Galliano and Christian Dior shows, received the inaugural Isabella Blow award for fashion creator, which was presented by Philip Treacy and Blow's husband, Detmar Blow.
A RESHUFFLE AT MULBERRY?: Katie Grand will not take up her post as creative director at Mulberry next year. Industry sources in London said Grand, who was set to take over from Stuart Vevers beginning with the spring 2009 season, has handed in her notice. Mulberry plans to name a design director later this week, and it is unclear whether Grand will continue to collaborate with the brand as she has done in past seasons. Grand did not return phone calls Tuesday, and a Mulberry spokeswoman declined to comment. Grand's appointment at Mulberry was confirmed in August. She is the editor of Pop magazine, and consults with labels including Giles, Prada, Miu Miu, Luella, Louis Vuitton and Proenza Schouler.
SAUNDERS' SWITCH: Another British designer has flown the nest. Come September, Jonathan Saunders will join the roll call of London designers such as Matthew Williamson, Preen and Alice Temperley who have swapped London Fashion Week for New York when he shows his fall collection in Manhattan, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. Saunders, who's known for his colorful, geometric prints on silk gowns, got his start designing a bird-of-paradise print for Alexander McQueen in 2003, and has shown at London Fashion Week since February 2003. According to the spokeswoman, while Saunders will remain based in London, he plans to show in New York for the "foreseeable future."