Global Fashion Collective (GFC) showed at Milan Fashion Week again this month, this time surrounded by glorious frescos in the 16th-century San Barnaba church. Led by Jamal Abdourahman, director of Vancouver Fashion Week, the second largest fashion week in North America, GFC is one of the top showcases of new talent from around the world, producing runway shows in various fashion capitals. In addition to Milan, GFC creates shows at New York, Paris, Tokyo and London fashion weeks and plans to add showcases in Mexico in 2024. As well as being a keen advocate of emerging fashion, Global Fashion Collective has partnered with a popular new makeup brand for all their runway needs. The healthy, mineral-based, chemical-free brand BullyBlocker, was founded two years ago by American businesswoman Donna Baker Brittingham and is fast becoming a top choice of makeup artists. Seven international talents were in the spotlight in Milan during an exclusive Spring/Summer 2024 runway presentations.
Mexican streetwear fashion designer Luis Corrales is the head designer of this brand based in Hermosillo, Sonora Mexico. Bringing his graphic and interior design background to fashion design, he began by creating custom pieces for local professional actors, dancers and musicians from the urban scene. Luis creates edgy ready-to-wear garments for all ages and in fact some of the children’s designs would work well in adult sizes.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Eduardo Ramos moved to Vancouver to attend Fashion Design school and showed for the first time at Vancouver Fashion Week in 2019. His garments often feature strong tailoring, vibrant colors and hand-painted details. He has already shown at Paris Fashion Week and this month, he had his first show in Milan. For the Italian show, he created designs specially for the glorious historic church they were shown in. Silk scarves with Renaissance paintings from the National Art Museum in Mexico City were used to create gorgeous statement pieces: long flowing dresses and skirts and tops with billowing sleeves.
Jasive Fernández, the Mexican designer behind this brand creates both ready-to-wear collections and elegant custom designs, including beautiful gowns in jewel tones, like sapphire and emerald green. Her customers prefer seasonless, timeless styles over fast fashion trends and agree that we should invest in fashion, rather than spend on fashion.
Volunteer work in a social welfare center in Benin, West Africa exposed Japanese-born Yuka Kobayashi to colorful African wax prints which influence her designs today. On her return to Japan, she attended a dressmaking school and in 2020, she established “Melanger Etranger”, the world’s first and only “Lolita” fashion brand using African fabrics. As the name suggests, this brand is a mixture of things, of the cultures of Japan, Africa, Asia and Europe, Vibrant African fabrics, the glamorous style of medieval Europe and the pop of Harajuku girls are all here. Yuka also makes unisex shirts, wedding dresses and tuxedos in African fabrics. The collection shown in Milan, filled with flounced dresses and pastel prints, was a love letter to her young female Japanese fan base.
Japanese designer Tomohiko Banno co-founded the bespoke suit specialty store David (Hebrew for “Love”) Layer with his brother, Akihiro, in 2012 and it has since acquired cult status in their homeland, thanks to the colorful designs and gorgeous fabrics. The sibling duo craft unconventional suits from a selection of over 15,000 different fabrics and designs. They receive visits and requests for their bespoke suits from customers all over Japan, and they travel nationwide to serve them. The one-of-a-kind bespoke suits incorporate unique elements such as traditional Japanese patterns and bi-color designs with mismatched sleeves and legs that are rarely seen in ready-to-wear products. On the Milan runway, highlights included beautiful suits with a riot of paisley and Japanese prints featuring cranes and flowers, using both wool and silk. In showing their joyful suits at fashion weeks like Milan, the plan is to expand globally and offer the same bespoke service in capitals around the world.
An award-winning graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s rigorous fashion program, Alicia Perrillo wasted no time starting her brand in 2016. With a focus on luxury fabrics and beautiful handwork details, she combines contemporary silhouettes with a dose of old-world couture. Runway looks included hand-painting, crochet work and embellishments, sometimes altogether, in flowing gowns and billowing skirts over shorts.
Founded in 2014, this Australian fashion house has never compromised style for mainstream fashion trends and has become a favorite brand for younger buyers. Recycled fur is at the core of their designs.
Emerging designers also showed elsewhere including at Camera Nazionale della Moda, a beautiful palazzo near the Duomo, in Designers For The Planet, a project dedicated to brands that see sustainability as a fundamental requisite in the production of their collections. Standout designs were on show from British designer Deborah Latouche of Sabirah who uses beautiful end of life Italian silk to produce elegant flowing dresses, capes and trousers in a range of luscious colors. Los Angeles design duo BruceGlen added a playful element to the mix with vibrant separates including polka dot jean jackets.
And Peruvian brand Escudo by Chiara Macchiavello supports the country’s unique textiles and local communities by working with artisans. On show in Milan were lovely crocheted skirts, dresses and tops and the brand’s signature San Jose dress and mini jacket, completely handwoven by pedal loom.
The next editions of Global Fashion Collective are at Paris Fashion Week xx October 2023, London February 2024 and Tokyo 2024.