Between the 11th-29th of February the British Fashion Council will be hosting the International Fashion Showcase, exhibiting fashion from around the world. The event is being held in light of London winning the Olympic bid and showing that “we honour the Olympic valus of international respect, excellence, equality and friendship”.
Each country had been asked to present a selection of emerging designers whom they feel most represents the future of fashion in their region. Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Contributing Editor to US Vogue, was to chair an advisory panel that will judge each piece of work, with an award given to the country that presents the best emerging fashion talent showcase.
The winners of the International Showcase was Korea, it was a fantastic exhibition, their designs were fresh, innovative and just completely out of the box. I was very pleased to Korea win and I will be posting pictures from their exhibition later on today, plus highlights from the Award Ceremony that took place at Somerset House on Sunday as part of London Fashion Week.
I feel encouraged and excited to see African fashion move forward from gaining its repertoire exclusively from print design, to being recognised for its contemporaneousness, innovation and tailoring. My favourite from the collection is the sequined pattern sleeveless dress, which boasts of colours that instantly take me under the spotlight of city lights. The dress immediately makes me feel like pinning my hair up and finding some ankle strap pumps. The detail of the dress also tells a story; if you look on the inside of the dress (see gallery) you can notice how the designer used an African print as a stencil for the embroidery, so although on the outside it looks like it would be worn by someone confident and cosmopolitan, inside there still remains the essence of Africa. This I believe represents the identity of the new generation Afropolitan fashionista’s and misters.
For now, here are the pictures from the three African countries that exhibited as part of the International Showcase, I had the pleasure of meeting the designers at the award show (pics following shortly), and was very proud to see the quality and evolution of work coming out of Africa.
Here is a list of the designers:
Black Trash, Botho Chalebgwa, Beryl Phala, Buhle Nguni, Thato Tlhagwane, Sela Motshwane
*Presented by Style House Files and the Nigerian High Commission*
Anita Quansah, Banke Kuku, Bridget Awosika, Eva Sonaike, Jewel by Lisa, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Maki – Oh, Pegwell Hill, Sunny Rose, Vintage Colette
Kazan Neckpiece by Anita Horsfall
Anita Horsfall trained as a textile designer at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. The discovery of her Nigerian grandmother’s store of shimmery embroideries’ laid the foundation for Anita’s accessories. Her handmade pieces, with a juxtraposition of previous everyday materials earned Anita the ‘Best Accessory Designer of the Year’ at the 2011 Fashion Finest Awards in London.
3D Dress by Beryl Phala
Beryl Phala is a fashion design graduate from the University of Salford, Manchester. A Batswanan national based in the UK, Beryl has retained links with her homeland through her bespoke womenswear designs. These incorporate Botswana’s traditional leteitse cloth, also knows an German Cloth, which she sources directly from Botswana.
Perla Maxi Cluth Bag by Maureen Okogwu Ikokwu
Maureen Okogwu Ikokwu is a self-taught accessories designer of handbags and jewellery. In 2011 she launched her womenswear collection, Bird’s Eye, at the Spring Summer 2011 Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
Click on the images to enlarge and view the whole gallery.