Let the Fashion Games Begin-------
Given that the Olympics are under way, why not incorporate that competitive spirit into fashion? That was Anna Orsini’s thought process when organizing the British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2014—a ten-day event that kicks off on February 13 at 180 The Strand. The initiative is a joint effort between the BFC and the British Council that will allow about 150 designers from twenty-five countries to present their Fall ’14 collections. In order to participate, designers had to be nominated by their country’s embassy or cultural attaché. The designers also must work with a “fashion authority”—e.g., a council, a shop, an individual, or a society. The competitive aspect is not so much cutthroat as convivial. “Given that it is an Olympic year, our aims were to take the spirit of competiveness and blend it with concepts of fraternity and excellence,” Orsini told Style.com.
“A whole group of international buyers and press comes to London fashion week, so the idea was to give these designers from places like Estonia and the Philippines not only a platform to show their skills, but also to encourage creative output at the highest level, knowing that they are going to be scrutinized by judges, press, and buyers alike,” she explained. “We decided to award prizes at the end because, sometimes, it takes competitiveness to bring out the very best, to really get those creative juices flowing.” At the end, the thirteen-member jury (which includes Sarah Mower, Susie Lau, and an elite grouping from the V&A Museum and Central Saint Martins) will vote for three winners in different categories. In lieu of medals, the champions will each receive a gong designed by Husam El Odeh. Who will take the podium is anyone’s guess, but the U.N. might want to pay attention. There’s no telling what new heights of international diplomacy might be reached once the fash pack gets involved.