The event at Bethnal Greens Town Hall Hotel drew artists, fashion-world insiders and even a legend, with Bianca Jagger
stopping by to scoop up an original Anthony Gormley ink painting.
Hackney is on the doorstep for so many designers, AAK co-founder Katy Dawe told us. Our audience is the people who wear and enjoy these clothes, so channelling that creativity and interest into raising awareness of knife crime has been part of our approach since the beginning.
Dawe and Oliver Hemsley founded AAK after Hemsley, then a Central Saint Martins student, suffered a brutal knife attack that left him wheelchair-bound. The East London creative community came out in force to support AAKs first auction, in 2009, and has continued to contribute time and resources in the two years since.
Im an East London boy and I knew of Olivers stabbing when it happened three years ago, Richard Nicoll said. The designer has donated items to past AAK auctions, but attended last night in the capacity of a friend and potential bidder.
I was always a regular at the George and Dragon [the pub outside of which Hemsley was stabbed] and it really could have happened anyone I know.... Its life-affirming, the fact that everyone draws together to create something positive out of something that could have remained tragic.
The atmosphere was positive, and positively tempting. Fashion East
director Lulu Kennedy
couldnt tear her eyes away from Kanes Galactic halter dress and Katrantzous Balthazar design.
I do keep glancing over at the dresses, she said.
Beyond the fashion pieces and the Gormley drawing, lots included a Wolfgang Tillmans ph