London Fashion Umbrella: The International Fashion Showcase

This week, with London Fashion Week come and gone, it’s tempting to be dazzled by the fashion talent in our own backyard, but thanks to the British Council’s International Fashion Showcase, fashionistas in the capital are reminded to set their discerning eyes on designs and designers from around the globe.

Display of Romanian fashion at the Romanian Embassy in London as part of the British Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2013

Now in its second year, the British Council’s initiative to promote and support international designers in the UK, brings design talent from 27 nations  to embassy houses and other public venues around the city.

At the Romanian fashion exhibition, clothes are displayed on mannequins in a “catwalk” display as well as on hangers with designer and collection information.

Coinciding with London Fashion Week, the showcase capitalises on the time when buyers and press are in town for the shows.


Uruguay’s display of knittwear designs by Garzón Luxury Knitwear at the Lethaby Gallery in the former Central St Martins building on Southampton Row.

Rather ingeniously, the IFS show spots offer visitors a passport with a map to all the exhibits, and encourage seeing as many as possible with a fun activity whereby visitors collect stamps to enter into a sweepstakes.

Garzon Luxury Knitwear, Uruguay

The displays have been organised by the embassies of each participating nation, in some cases with the help of UK based fashion curators and exhibition designers. A few of my friends and colleagues worked on these projects and I was a bit disappointed that they were not credited more visibly for their work! Congratulations to all those who worked on the projects and helped to put together this strong collaboration and celebration of fashion talent and enterprise.

However, the displays I visited on a four- hour-long viewing spree all presented impressive fashion products and provided enlightening insights into the fashion industries and design talents at this moment around the world. The displays were well put together, visually appealing and inviting. The only other disappointment I felt was that there were not more people at the exhibits, but perhaps I visited on a slow night – or there were too many other competing fashion world events?

Nguyen Cong Tri, Vietnam

In any case, my visit was a nearly private view, which I can personally not complain about, as I love having an exhibit all to myself!  I got alluring glimpses into the artistry, design, craft and fashion philosophies of Uruguay, Romania, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Portugal. And my passport is not nearly full. With some exhibitions running until the end of the month, it’s not too late to get exploring fashion from afar, right in central London.

Nguyen Cong Tri, Vietnam, Exhibition curator Gemma Williams

To download the exhibition literature click here.

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  • Laura Morrigan February 20, 2013 06.33 am

    I love the last dress! How perfect! Is it embroidery or beading?

  • Jenna February 20, 2013 01.39 pm

    Hi Laura, the dress is made up of ruched fabric components that are edged with a custom laser cut trim. Behind the mannequin the image is an enlargement of the texture which lets you see more detail. Thanks for checking out the post!


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