British Fashion Council
This year, my country Tanzania was invited by the British Fashion Council to take part in its 2nd year running event i.e. International Fashion Showcase.
London Fashion Week in February 2013
The British Council and the British Fashion Council jointly put this occasion together, that went alongside the London Fashion Week in February 2013.
Tanzania was proud to present four designers. Jacquline Kibacha (Heart 365), Christine Mhando (Chichia), myself (Anna Luks) and Mtani Nyamakababi (Kali Elegance). Unfortunately Kali Elegance who is speacialised in bespoke menswear, was not able to participate in the exhibition due to some unforeseen reasons.
Menswear designer - Kali Elegance label
Menswear designer - Kali Elegance label
Our theme was Swahili Flavour - SWF
The theme Swahili Flavour embraces the diversity of designer's creativity, inspired by our country; together we formed one beautiful body of style, colour and vibrancy.
We used local cotton materials from Tanzania, mainly Khanga, Vikoi and other plain fabrics.
The jewellery designer Jacquline Kibacha's amazing Masai inspired jewellery completed that meshing of designs. According to the organizers, this event was thought of being parallel to the Olympics, because of its competitiveness. It was indeed an honour for any artist to be given this international platform.
Swahili flavor could not have been successful without sponsorship of the Tanzania Tourist Board.
I would like to personally thank my Embassy upon allowing us to use their grand rooms to exhibit our work and being very helpful towards the entire time of the exhibition.
The High Commission
Situated in the heart of London, located at 3 Stafford Place, W1C close to Bond Street tube station.
We were fortunate to be within the vicinity of other exhibitions during the London Fashion Week. Being in central London made it possible for us to get a good turn out of people from all walks of life.
The display room (i.e. Ball Room) was breath taking with its very grand interior decor. Beautiful decorated high ceiling embellished with antique gold and brilliant white designs a good contrast with the off white walls.
I loved the huge antique chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, not mentioning those colossal windows that gave light into the room, it was just lush. We received endless compliments throughout the exhibition.
Our country on the map
Apart from showcasing our work, we realized that we had put our country on the map; a few people had no idea where it is geographically.
I was surprised to hear one of our guests who sounded quite positive; he knew where Tanzania was.
He said it was near Fiji Islands. I told him not to confuse Tanzania with Tasmania that would be the only place near the said Fiji Islands. He was impressed with the brief intimation I had shared about my country and culture; oh boy-oh-boy he will definitely put Tanzania on his vacation plans - smile.
Map of Tanzania
Our launch party on Friday the 15th of February was a success; we had a number of guests some who heard of Tanzania for the first time. They had a wonderful time mingling. As in our Swahili culture naturally there was plenty of food, drink and music entertainment provided by our very own artist Freddy Macha. It was great!
SWF participated in the awards ceremony on Sunday the 17th February at the heart of London Fashion Week. The awards were held at the Somerset House, headquarters of London Fashion Week. This was our first experience.
It would have been nice for SWF to win, but it was a privilege to be short listed on this exhibition of the year enough said, enjoy the images from the exhibition!
Anna and Christine - day 2 of the exhibition
Jacquline Kibacha -Heart 365
Christine Mhando - Chichia London
Anna Lukindo - Anna Luks
Image; Farida Aliyu
The SWF Launch Party - 15th February
Left/right; Mrs Joyce Khalaghe, Tanzania Deputy High Commissioner, Mr C Kilumanga and his wife Mrs Irene Kilumanga, Mrs Rose Kiondo of Tanzania High Commission London.
The Tanzanian Ambassador Hon Peter Kallaghe and Tanzanian writer/musician, Freddy Macha
L/r; His excellency Ambassador P Khallaghe, guest, First Lady Mrs J Khallaghe, Deputy High Commissioner Mr C Kilumanga and SWF Manager Mr M Oponyo.
with Vanessa Mulangala of Vogue Italia and Deputy High Commissioner Mr C Kilumanga at the SWF launch party.
Guests at the launch night
Clothing designer Va-roon, Anna and Mr Yusuf Kashangwa of the Tanzanian Trade Center
From left; Mrs Carol Kitana, Anna Lukindo, Mrs Joyce Kallaghe, Christine Mhando, Mrs Rose Kiondo and Mrs Irene C Kilumanga.
Joseph Adamson of AILTV with guest
Anna Lukindo, Ausra of Ausra Osipaviciute (fashion photographer) and Christine Mhando.
Anna Luks with British Councl Officials.
Team Tanzania @ IFS Awards Ceremony - Somerset House
Designers with first lady Mrs J Kallaghe
L/r: Jacqueline Kibacha, Christine Mhando, Hillary Alexander fashion editor, and Anna Lukindo at the Somerset House award ceremony
Team Tanzania with one of the judges at the award ceremony
L/r; Mrs R kiondo, Samson Saboye, Mrs J Khallaghe, Anna Lukindo, Christine Mhando and Jacqueline Kibacha
Designers l/r; Anna Lukindo, Christine Mhando and Jacqueline Kibacha at the ceremony
It was indeed a privilege to work alongside these two amazing Tanzanian designers Christine and Jacqueline. xxx
Images courtesy of ; Urban Pulse
Many thanks to All