The British Fashion Council and the British Council united with Mercedes-Benz to present work from emerging fashion designers from 26 countries for the International Fashion Showcase 2017. The group plays a central role during London Fashion Week, as it celebrates the global scale of fashion in modern culture.

The group of Egyptian designers who worked towards the pieces on display emphasised the theme of ‘100% Egyptian cotton’ which was ‘deeply rooted in Egyptian history [since] the beginning of the 19th century,’ eventually becoming ‘the major income for Egypt in the 1970s.’ A sense of interconnectedness rises as the central theme, as the cultural legacy of Egyptian cotton ‘stands for excellence’ in the eyes of the designers. Indeed, the creative responses from all the countries involved displayed a highly nuanced and imaginative take on the Local/ Global theme, which was particularly reflected in the three winners of the showcase.

During the 17th and 21st of February 2017, an eclectic series of installations were displayed in the West Wing of Somerset House. A detailed exploration of the contrast between local and global style served as the central theme of the show. In particular, the symbiotic relationship between fashion and the world at large is displayed, as each installation reverberated with the echoes of social change and nature. The aim the British Fashion Council was to artfully illustrate the idiosyncrasies of environments reflected in the different methods of designing fashions. Multiplicity is the muse of the showcase, as the vivid variety of global styles were united under Somerset House.

The Designer Award was presented to Younchan Chung of the-sirius for their striking designs for the Korean installation; by revealing a unique interpretation on the traditional bojagi wrapping cloths, the team channelled the dynamic multi-functionality of the modern world. The Country Award was presented to Jaspreet Chandok of India for ‘The Indian Pastoralists’ exhibition. Taking a step away from the bustle of the cities, the nomadic pastoral communities of India served as the centre of their narrative. The juxtaposition between the preservation of the ancient world and the changes of an industrialised world offered an insightful and creative vision. Finally, the Curation Award was presented to Wojciech Dziedzic and Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka of Poland. Inspired by the philosophy of ‘slow fashion,’ the team found resourceful ways of challenging the unethical, mass-produced fashions that dominate the global scene.

By considering fashion as a varied landscape, encompassing the highs and lows of culture alongside the evolving flora and fauna, the International Fashion Showcase of 2017 revealed the exquisite richness of global fashion.

Words by Aisha Diomande 

Photographs by Julie Liu

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