The British Council and the British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced the inaugural International Fashion Showcase to take place during London Fashion Week, February 2012. 19 embassies and cultural institutes across London will open their doors and display the work of over 80 international emerging designers. The public, together with international press and buyers, will have the opportunity to explore the collections of some of the most innovative, emerging fashion designers from around the world.
According to reports fashion and accessories designers selected from Nigeria include Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Jewel By Lisa, Maki Oh, Bridget Awosika, Anita Quansah, Sunny Rose, Banke Kuku and two finalists from the MTN Lagos Design and Fashion Week 2011- Vintage Colette and Pegwell Hill.
This is the first project the British Council and the British Fashion Council have collaborated on, this new showcase is part of the Fashion 2012 Cultural Programme and has been developed to celebrate the year of the Olympics and Paralympics and honour its values of international respect, excellence, equality and friendship. Countries participating in this showcase include Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Caribbean, China, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, United States and Uzbekistan.
Each country has 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, will 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. This will be announced on Sunday 19th February, during London Fashion Week.
A map, guide and passport will encourage the public and London Fashion Week audience of UK and international press and buyers to follow the trail of the International Fashion Showcase around the various venues in central London.
American design school Parsons will present 10 of its first US graduate students in fashion design at Benjamin Franklin House. Four of the participating designers were finalists of the Alexander McQueen Metropolitan Museum Exhibition competition.
The Flanders Fashion Institute will present a selection of emerging fashion talent from Belgium including: A.Knackfuss, Cedric Jacquemyn, OMSK and WOLF by Sofie Claes at the Exhibition at London Fashion Week. Part of this exhibition will be a special installation created by Ra, the Antwerp based concept store.
The Chinese exhibition unites a diverse community of designers from Mao Jihong, the designer and entrepreneur behind EXCEPTION, to Xander Zhou, listed by Forbes in their Top 25 of most influential people in the fashion industry in China.
Three young designers from Estonia will present an exhibition of work including Kaspar Paas, winner of the Estonian Young Designer Award, who currently designs for John Lobb and who will be launching his own brand of footwear during this event.
Vogue Talents was developed out of the scouting activity undertaken by Vogue Italy and it will present eight talented designers at the Italian Cultural Institute in London embracing Ready-to-wear, menswear, accessories and jewellery.
The Embassy of Japan’s exhibition brings together young milliner Kaji Masahito and emerging designer Kawanishi Ryohei, a recent Central Saint Martins BA graduate, who both create bold works showing great sensitivity, which will be on display in a showroom off the main courtyard at Somerset House.
The Korean Cultural Centre will explore the new generation designers from South Korea, showcasing 8 british educated designers who in a short space of time have developed high profile collaborations with artists such as Lady Gaga as well as international media attention.
A selection of the best emerging African talent from Botswana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone will be on display at the British Council offices, curated by the V&A's Carol Tulloch.
For participating countries, this programme allows their emerging talent to be seen by key UK and international industry professionals during London Fashion Week. It also means that the wider public can explore the fashion scene in these international cities.
On Sunday 19th February, a jury comprising of top fashion journalists and curators will award the best project with a sculpture designed by former BFC NEWGEN recipient Jordan Askill at the BFC Show Space at Somerset House