For London Fashion Week this February, the showcase has a new format. For the first time, 16 selected designers from across the globe will showcase a series of compelling installations to represent their respective country. The designers will explore politics, sustainability, identity and heritage and show their latest designs in immersive environments.
For the biennial fashion presentation the 16 countries represented are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Georgia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Vietnam.
These designers will be supported through a bespoke online program developed by London College of Fashion, UAL, which will cover all aspects of business development from branding to sales and production to sustainability.
They also traveled to London in August 2018 to attend a tailored cultural residency and business skills training and to give them the professional support that is often difficult to access.
By inviting the 16 emerging designers to London for a summer residency, the International Fashion Showcase took the principle of fostering personal exchange and interaction to the next level. The results of the experience were unexpectedly electric for all involved. Put simply, the knowledge, eye-opening conversations and creative energy sparked in all directions across the group.”
Sarah Mower, MBE
Highlights of the exhibition include:
Duran Lantink from the Netherlands – whose ‘vagina’ trousers drew global attention in Janelle Monae’s PYNK video – will present “Straight from the Sale Bins” questioning the permanent state of sale and discount in the fashion industry, casting a critical eye on the phenomena of Black Friday and the resulting sales riots. He will also present 0% Duran, Lantink’s brand which creates fashion without production.
Cedric Mizero will use objects from everyday life in a Rwandan village to draw attention to the marginalized communities and cultures in his country. However, rather than focus on the negatives often associated with rural life in a developing country, Mizero will celebrate the wealth of village life.
Tom Trandt – the founder of Môi Điên in Vietnam – will use UV lights to reveal embroidered slogans of protest about his home country where dissent is illegal.
Laura Laurens will present work from her ongoing collaboration with three LGBTQ+ members of Colombia’s indigenous Emberá community.
British Bangladeshi designer Rahemur Rahman is working with young people aged 13-19 from his home borough of Tower Hamlets to produce elements of his space. Working to a creative brief, each will earn an Arts Awards qualification for their participation, which Rahman hopes will support their pathway into working in the creative industries.
Kenyan jewellery designer Ami Doshi Shah will use salt as the main medium of her collection, pointedly located in the West Wing of Somerset House, once home to the British Empire’s Salt Office.
Thebe Magugu from South Africa seeks innovative ways to present women and their role within South African society today. His designs feature motifs from Africa’s story-rich past but with a forward-looking, global approach. His installation will illustrate the profound changes in South Africa.
For London Fashion Week the showcase is a brave new format. The biennial has the potential to become more than an exhibition of contemporary fashion. It can become an exciting new establishment and a strong voice of an independent fashion scene that is acting and developing outside the established international fashion market.
The exhibitions presented offer a balanced mix of women’s wear and menswear exploring topical but universally shared issues, and present new ideas and solutions that are shaping fashion globally.
International Fashion Showcase 2019
The Changing Landscape of Fashion
February 11-24, 2019
Somerset House, West Wing Galleries