You’ll know all about London, Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks, but what about Lakme, Costa Rica and Copenhagen? We take a look at some lesser-known fashion events around the world
From Copenhagen to Kabul, the fashion events you need to know about
New York, London, Milan and Paris tend to dominate the fashion week spotlight. However, on lesser-known runways around the world, designers are showcasing their wares to a highly connected and increasingly engaged audience. These platforms serve a dual purpose: they give local designers an opportunity to display their talent, and they often rope in big names to lend their expertise and raise the profile of the country in question.
The output, itself, is hearteningly diverse. From celebrating traditional attire to reinterpreting global trends, the collections are reflective of what fashion as a whole ought to stand for: a fun, flexible and forward-looking industry accessible to everyone, everywhere. Case in point: these seven multifaceted shows, all of which took place this month.
Seoul Story Fashion Show, South Korea
Hanbok, South Korean national dress, took centre stage at this year’s Seoul Story Fashion Show on August 19, owing to designer Lee Yoon-sook. The traditional clothing has also recently made an appearance on international runways, thanks to several designers, including, most famously, Karl Lagerfeld. It consists of a jeogori (jacket) and baji (trousers) for men, while women wear the jeogori with a wraparound chima (skirt), which is typically full and pleated. Lee also exerted his creative licence on the gat, the traditional horsehair headgear worn in the country, and sent models down the runway in both wide-brimmed and cylindrical hats, with lace veils and metallic prints, as well as with Japanese fans. Other designers, such as Han Man-soon, presented a diametrically opposite design aesthetic, putting the models in androgynous pant-suits, jackets and hats.
Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark
Danish furniture may be known for its clean lines and pared-back functionality, but the country’s fashion output has evolved into a free-flowing, fun-loving and colour-heavy industry, as proved at Copenhagen Fashion Week, held from August 8 to 12. Newbie brand Ganni stole the show with its effortless layers, sweet floral prints and super-wide-leg denim flares. The Instagram-favoured label, owned by gregarious husband-wife duo Nicolaj and Ditte Reffstrup, has been credited with redefining Scandi chic, by deliberately moving away from the androgynous looks long favoured by most Danish designers. Some of the other designers at this year’s event, which was held at venues ranging from warehouses to bridges, included newcomers Saks Potts and Astrid Andersen, as well as the more established Stine Goya and Baum und Pferdgarten.
Haqiqa Modelling Show, Kabul, Afghanistan
Unlike most of its fashion-industry counterparts, the Kabul-based Haqiqa modelling group is made up of more men than women. In fact, there are only six female models in total. This is all the more reason to hail the group’s efforts to rise above the many restrictions placed on women in Afghanistan. On August 10, amid heavily armed security guards, the group presented its first all-Afghan fashion show to 100 guests in a private villa. Organiser and designer Ajmal Haqiqi, 22, and designer Atefa Fasihi, 21, showcased the ethnic clothing typical of the country’s two tribes: Tajik and Hazara. This included bright, embroidered tunics, perahan tunban pants, scarves, pakul and karakul turbans, shalwar-kameez and gand-e-Afghans, multicoloured suits typically worn by women at weddings.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week of San José,
The fifth San José Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Escazú in the first week of August, to coincide with Costa Rica’s first Fashion Summit. While the summit was lauded for its sustainable fashion efforts, the big draw during fashion week was Custo Dalmau. The Spanish designer presented 69 favourite looks from Custo Barcelona, a brand worn by the casts of Friends, Gossip Girls and Sex and the City, and best known for its fusion of colours and fabrics. The presentation also included some of the looks that the designer will show during New York Fashion Week next month. Dalmau was joined by Costa Rican designers Jennifer Lang, Rob Chamaeleo and Fabrizzio Berrocal, as well as international names such as Shantall Lacayo from Nicaragua, Mexican fashion designer Alexia Ulibarri, Spain’s bridalwear expert Pilar Sáinz, Guatemalan suit maker Saúl E Méndez and Chilean designer Consuelo Melo, creative director of Muss Muss, who received the S Pellegrino award this year.
Orinoca fashion show, Andamarca, Bolivia
On August 19, indigenous aymara women, also known as cholitas, walked down a makeshift runway outside the Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, dedicated to the life of Bolivian president Evo Morales in his home town of Orinoca. The event was put together by the Promociones Rosario modelling school, one of the only bodies that hosts regular shows and parades to further the country’s fledgling fashion industry. This year’s event showcased the different elements of a cholita’s dress: bowler hat, mountain-climbing boots, colourful blouse and pollera (skirt), a blanket doubling as a shawl, and long hair typically collected in two braids.
Lakmé Fashion Week, Mumbai, India
Fashion and Bollywood are inextricably linked in India, with many celebrities doubling as models during the country’s biannual Lakmé Fashion Week. This year was no different, with Jacqueline Fernandez, Ileana D’Cruz, Malaika Arora, Dia Mirza, Kriti Sanon, Nargis Fakhri, Saiyami Kher and Shraddha Kapoor taking to the runway. Bollywood favourite and bridalwear specialist Manish Malhotra and Paris-based Manish Arora were this season’s main acts. Fashion-forward actor Ranveer Singh, who walked for Malhotra at India Couture Week in Delhi last month, turned up to the Mumbai show in a shimmering rainbow-hued jacket, even jumping up on the runway before Arora’s show began. The line-up also included other big-name designers such as Nachiket Barve, Sanjay Garg, Paras Modi, Rahul Mishra, Antar-Agni and Anushree Reddy. Most heartening, perhaps, was Goan designer Wendell Rodricks’s layered collection, which was carried down the runway by plus-sized male and female models. Lakmé Fashion Week took place from August 16 to 20 at various venues across Mumbai, including the recently refurbished Royal Opera House.
Chapeau & Mosfur 2017, Russia
Famed fashion designer Vyacheslav “Slava” Zaitsev, known as the “Christian Dior of Russia” presented a new collection (and took a rare bow) on the Chapeau & Mosfur 2017 runway in Moscow on August 17. The 79-year-old designer, who was the first couturier permitted by the Soviet government to label his own clothing under the Dom Modi brand in the 1960s, is best known for his use of gilded ruffles, flounces and feathers, as seen on his ornate clothes, tiaras and turbans, all of which were in evidence at his Chapeau presentation. The annual headwear and accessories exhibition also displayed creations from Russian fashion club Millinery, which is known for its unusual and outlandish hats.