As part of London Fashion Week, The British Council has put together an International Fashion Showcase featuring 110 emerging international designers from around the world. Last a year an 'African collection' was displayed with designers from all over the continent but sadly this year only Tanzania and Nigeria are participating. Where the rest of y'all at?
Swahili Flavour is being hosted by the Tanzania High Commission ballroom and features Tanzanian designers Chichia London, Anna Luks and Heart365, curated by Samson from Soboye. We've always been big fans of Chichia LDN so were excited not only to get a sneak preview of her AW13 collection, but also to finally meet designer Christine who we're hopefully going to be working with soon!
We love the khanga fabrics reworked into modern shapes that are more structured than say what Lalesso do with khanga. She describes the brand as 'East Africa meets London cool' which we completely agree with, as there is a definite street luxe vibe to this collection. We also love this accessories collaboration she did with a Tanzanian jewellery brand-yes please to these studded wooden necklaces.
Other highlights from the Tanzania exhibit were the jewellery display by Heart365 whose Uhuru wings we've been coveting for a long time, and this blue dress with yellow crochet shrug by Anna Luks. We've just focused on a few details here so be sure to check out the full exhibition. 14-23 February at Tanzania High Commission at 3 Stratford Place, London, W1C 1AS from 110.00-19.00 Daily.
We also went to check out the Woven Threads selection of Nigerian designers who showed off contemporary explorations of traditional textile craftsmanship and garment heritage. Thankfully there was no ankara in sight, proving there can be more to West African design than Dutch java print. The lovely Bayo from Orange Culture taught us our adire from our asoke, and we loved how he styled up his adire shirt from his collection. Womenswear designer Meena also showed some interesting pieces made out of the woven asoke fabric which although really heavy seemed quite wearable.
Woven Threads is showcasing at Kingly Court on Carnaby Street from 14-21 February, 11-16.00.