Launching today alongside and as part of London Fashion Week, the fourth annual ‘International Fashion Showcase’ will present top new talent from around the globe in the largest public exhibition of its kind, including 5 designers from Nigeria, 4 from South Africa and 5 from Tanzania.
The brainchild of The British Council and the British Fashion Council, the free exhibition will see 130 emerging designers from 30 countries at Brewer Street Car Park in London until February 24th, with Lagos Fashion and Design Week – together with creative agency WhiteSpace – bringing Nigerian brands Orange Culture, Grey, IAMISIGO, Kenneth Ize and T.I. Nathan to display, curated by Yegwa Ukpo; South African designers Adriaan Kuiters, Jody Paulsen, Akedo and MaXhosa by Laduma showcasing; and An-Nisa Abayas, Eve Collections, Jacqueline Kibacha, Nakadhalika-NK and Nau Nuhu of Tanzania also presenting work curated by Maxine Brown.
As part of the public event, the designers will present mens and womenswear collections that reflect their origins – Nigeria nodding to traditional costume with their “5: Metamorphosis” presentation, South Africa’s presentation, titled “Futuraspective” looking at the past with a view to looking forward, and Tanzania’s “Serengeti Sirens” looking at femininity in fashion and how it is informed by the culture’s ideals of status, modesty and faith.
Overall, the event covers four continents and will also see designers of other countries putting a twist on their techniques and traditions, including Colombia’s interpretation the country’s traditional basket weaving and quilting techniques, and Japan’s take on its trend of merging minimalist traditional clothing (wafuku) and Western-style dress (yofuku).
Each country’s specially curated, static presentation will be competing for a prize which will be awarded in a ceremony during London Fashion Week, where experts will be selecting their favourite collection, its curator and a designer to award the winner with a trophy designed by Brazillian jeweller Fernando Jorge.
The panel presiding over the presentations is chaired by Sarah Mower MBE, who is not only Ambassador for Emerging Talent at the British Fashion Council, but also European editor-at-large of Vogue.com.
Ms Mower said;
“The International Fashion Showcase is a unique project and the first to promote the work of emerging young designers from all over the world on such a large scale. It builds on London’s reputation for shining the spotlight on young talent and celebrating diverse fashion cultures.”
We at SPICE can’t wait to see what each African presentation brings to the platform and will of course be rooting for the continent to be awarded the prize. As for which of the African designers will walk with the ‘International Fashion Showcase’ trophy, we really can’t tell – but let us know your thoughts in the comments box below or on Twitter using @SPICETVAFRICA.
Image source: Design.britishcouncil.org, @Fayrouznigeria