Organised jointly by the British Council, the British Fashion Council and Mercedez-Benz Week, the annual International Fashion Showcase returns again to Somerset House. This year, the showcase takes the theme Local/Global. The exhibition explores how designers negotiate between their physical, cultural environment and a wider global context. With contributions from 26 different countries, the space is a creative microcosm, brimming with innovative thinking and making.
Interesting exhibits include Russia’s display titled ‘A Memory of the Future’ which combines neon lights, projections and edgy textiles together for an avant garde experience. Interactive technology also played a key role in several showcases. In Slovakia’s exhibit, visitors are invited to a central table with materials like leather and yarn. Placing the different items in the middle of the table will result in a unique sound and visual projected onto the table top. Others, like the Egyptian exhibit, highlighted the fundamental role of materials in another way. The space recreates a cotton field and places the spotlight on Egyptian cotton, a product that is both vital and coveted.
The cosmopolitan nature of the showcase shines through the sheer variety of interpretive spins on the theme of Local/Global. Walking through the corridor of exhibits, one can’t help but notice that the future of fashion and textile design is shifting towards the reinvigorating of making processes. As the consumer becomes more aware of how their garments are made, the central role of raw materials and technical processes will only be further thrust into the fore.
The exhibition is free, and runs until the 21st of February 2017.
Written by Camron Intern Joella Kim.