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This week designer Sherene Robson was lucky enough to attend London Fashion Week’s International Fashion Showcase in London. Held annually since 2012, the event is the pearl in the ocean of London culture. It is the shining star of multiculturalism and the beacon of London’s presence in global fashion. Motivated by a desire to bring even greater cultural impact during the 2012 Olympics, the IFS is a competitive showcase of international fashion and designers. It highlights the necessity for fashion to inspire; displayed to be seen and adored by those of different backgrounds and from different places.
'Fashion on display'
The IFS is an example of where the flower of fashion is given the opportunity to bloom through visually striking and vibrant displays of intelligence and unique design. Open to the public since its year of inception and running alongside London Fashion Week, the IFS has had the opportunity of impacting hundreds of aspiring designers and those of the general public who have an enamour for fabric and creativity.
Alistair O’Neill, fashion historian and curator, Reader of Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martin’s, highlights the necessity for fashion to be a spectacle.
"With the Met’s record-breaking Alexander McQueen exhibition opening at the V&A this spring and with a connected display at Tate Modern, fashion on display feels very much the focus of the season".
We believe that putting fashion on display gives it a greater chance of flourishing.
'Cultural fusion through global fashion'
With an eclectic range of the world’s fashion on display this February, it would be impossible to cover each one. We’ve highlighted the displays of design ingenuity that we felt most resonated with our brand ideals and the motives which drive our fashion design.
Designers; Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Ken Samudio, Michelline Syjuco, Renan Pacson, Tony Evan
Curator; Gino Gonzales
Inspired by childhood memories and national heritage, the Philippines exhibition is a reconstruction of Philippine folklore. Their fashion design is representative of hundreds of years of culture, which has been handed down from generation to generation through storytelling. Intended to be visually striking and thought provoking, their rendition of mythical creatures in fashion design incorporates ancestry and the connection with family and friends through language. Their design sparks a feeling of childhood reminiscence and nostalgia; which is something we can all relate to regardless of where we come from.
Designers; Caoimhe MacNeice, Jocelyn Murray Boyne, Laura Kinsella Millinery, Michael Stewart, Naiose Farrell, Rory Parnell-Mooney
Curator; Gemma A Williams
The programme ‘In The Fold’ intends to support a new generation of Irish designers and inspire people to explore and express their creativity.
Curator Gemma Williams states, "Worldwide, Irish fashion designers are definitely recognised so it’s now time for people in Ireland to take fashion seriously at both a commercial and cultural level."
The Irish exhibition is an example of how ‘fashion on display’ can motivate others to become involved and showcase their ingenuity. The detail of the work and beauty of the design represents the skill, creativity, and craftsmanship of Irish designers; this should be something that is no longer celebrated by the wider fashion industry across the world but also within Ireland as well.
Designers; Carolin Holzhuber, DMMJK, Inga Nemirovskaia, Jana Wieland, Katharina Perkhofer, Sabinna
Curator; Claudia Rosa Lukas
‘Another Austria’ is a unique fashion movement devoted to reaffirming our assimilation between fashion and words. They believe that although fashion initially appears as something that can be seen and felt, the way in which we describe and think about it is far more beautiful. They ask poets and writers to look at images of designers’ pieces they have never seen before and represent their interpretation of the piece through writing. The movement is aimed at detracting from the industries increasing dependency on images and reminding us that fashion is something which inspires people from all different areas of expertise and creativity.
Competition in fashion inspires better creativity
Driven by the belief that healthy competition between designers results in unique design and stunningly presented pieces, and inspired by the London Olympics; each year the IFS has hosted award ceremonies to honour international designers and curators.
Curator Gemma Williams also notes that, “fashion brands need to be comercially viable as well as it’s about how designers make that shift from press favourite to a functional label”
Competition can be seen in a variety of ways and although this can be recognised either through prestigious awards or success amongst consumers; naturally the act of encouraging competition will help designers tackle this competition on both levels.
Awards & Winners
International Fashion Showcase Country Award – Columbia
International Fashion Showcase Designer Award - Julia Manisto (Columbia)
International Fashion Showcase Curation Award - Yegwa Ukpo (Nigeria)
This wraps up another year at the IFS and we want to say a special thank you to all the organisers. We look forward to attending next year.
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