Donatella Versace gathers celebrities together to celebrate a new fashion fund for Central St Martins.
Donatella Versace, fresh from New York where she was voted one of Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year 2010, hosted one of London's best-dressed dinners at The Connaught, last night, to celebrate the launch of Central Saint Martins 20-20 Fashion Fund.
The fund marks both the 20th anniversary of the 1989 'marriage' between St Martin's School of Art, established in 1859, and the Central School of Art & Design, as well as the new era of fashion which will begin when CSM relocates to its new, state-of-the-art campus at King's Cross next year.
Versace , Gucci , Converse, American Express, net-a-porter, Joan Burstein and John Rocha are among the contributees who have already pledged £20,000 to the fund to secure the future of fashion education at CSM.
Guests at the dinner included a potent mix of designers, fashionistas and celebrities. Donatella Versace was escorted by Rupert Everett, who is currently working on his next book. Daisy Lowe and Shingai Shoniwa were both poured into red plaid Christopher Kane for Versus slinks. January Jones, currently filming 'X-Men:First Class' in London, wore a LBBBD (Little Black Bondage Body-Con Dress), by Versace. Also in Versace were Pixie Lott, Poppy Delavigne, the designer Louise Goldin, and Tom Parker-Bowles and his wife, Sara. Alexa Chung bucked the skin-tight trend in a floaty, white 'angel' dress by the young French designer who shows at London Fashion Week , Charles Anastase.
The designer roll-call included John Rocha, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Roland Mouret, Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll and Antonio Berardi, and other celebrity guests included the actor, Dominic Cooper, and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. Central Saint Martins fielded the rector, Nigel Carrington; the dean, Anne Smith; Professor Louise Wilson OBE, course director of MA fashion; and Willie Walters, course director of BA fashion.
One of the most popular 'rooms' - apart from the suite where the dinner was held, and the bar - was the hastily-constructed 'smoking room', nicknamed 'Donatella's Den', in honour of the blonde one and her fondness for a full-strength Marlboro.
Central Saint Martins, regarded as the most famous fashion college in the world, has a blue chip portfolio of 'graduates', including John Galliano, the late Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Stephen Jones, Luella Bartley, Zac Posen, and Christopher Kane.
Donatella Versace has a long history of supporting British talent, including Christopher Kane, whose potential she spotted while he was still a student, and who is now the designer for her diffusion range, Versus, and, more recently, the young knitwear designer, Louise Goldin.