Fashion and Design Group is led by Monika Bodera, UK Events and Membership Manager, who worked relentlessly with the BPCC team in Warsaw and London to organise its first annual British Polish Fashion Show. It took place on 5th of February 2014 in London setting up a scene for itself in the busy fashion calendar for February. Pure London Trade Fair and the London Fashion Week followed within days which some designers and guests used as an opportunity to focus their attention on fashion. The event has been a founding stone in the BPCC preparations to start this new initiative.
It's success and the high level of interest raised around support for the fashion and creative industry has proven the demand on the market. The atmosphere during the show was quite electric given guests' anticipation, models walking a real catwalk with lights, sound, photographers flashing their cameras and intense networking. Designers presented their autumn / winter collections and occasion wear. There were three British and two Polish fashion creators including a jewelry designer working with amber and promoting other Polish jewelry designers in the UK.
The show started with Isabel Wong, London based luxury womenswear designer, offering limited, exclusive and bespoke collections. With great attention to detail, her garments were defined by simplicity, contemporary and experimental creative cutting. In her own words “often inspired by curiosity in enigma and the ability to translate conceptualism into wearability”. Her collections have been showcased throughout the UK, Paris, Hong Kong, New York and publications include Grazia, Vogue and Company Magazines.
Boska brand followed Isabel Wong and it wasn't a big surprise as Isabel Wong and Eliza Borkowska, the creator of Boska, both graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and have been good friends since then. The label was developed for a modern woman who loves to emphasis her individuality, but remains feminine. All pieces were made of silk, wool, cashmire which are all delicate in touch as well as healthy for the skin allowing it to breath. Eliza said that her inspiration comes from the connection between the human and the universe, minimalism and futurism, harmony and balance.
Liquorish opened an occasion wear section with a great impact thanks to its eye catching prints, jacquards and hand sequin pieces in beautiful striking colour combinations. The brand is a brainchild of Elif Heffernan who launched it in 2009. It was quickly snapped up by ASOS, and many independent boutiques within the UK, Tokyo and the USA. Celebrities like Pixie Geldof, Rhianna, VV Brown, Amelle, Aleisha Dixon started the PR frenzy that propelled the label into the top of the Grazia fashion charts on more than one occasion.
Dee Izmail continued with the glamourous tone showing her collection of ready to wear and couture fashion. This British designer from Turkish origin started her label in 1989 from her first store and workshop in East London where she was first discovered by Paula Yates who commissioned Dee to make a pair of leather low rise jeans. Her background in dancing and choreography might be her secret entry to the world of celebrities (Spice Girls amongst others). It certainly helped her to be particularly successful with Club Wear collection. In fact a piece from it was showcased at the Museum of London.
The show finished with a Polish accent brought by Kasia Hernas with Amber Fever. The company is the UK's premier source of inspirational Baltic design as well as an exciting collective of talented jewelry designers. Its head-turning fashion-forward luxury pieces gained a lot of admirers at the show.
Gathered guests including BPCC members, representatives of fashion organisations, designers, representatives of media and business networked during lunch break with canapes prepared by Ognisko restaurant. The event was held at the prestigious Polish club's ball room which shares the name with a newly opened restaurant run by Jan Woroniecki, the owner of another original contribution to the Polish cuisine in London, the City based Baltic.
The BPCC London aims to approach its events and networking for 2014 from a fresh and innovative perspective without ignoring, however, the timeless agenda to link Polish and British trade and supportorganisations exploring both of the markets. Therefore, the day could not have been facilitated without Exporters Seminar which took place after lunch. BPCC Trade Team Director, Patric Ney, was held up in Warsaw, but the presentation on available service was presented by Michael Clay. Other speakers at the seminar included Zuzanna Kopaczynska from SPCG legal firm who talked about logistics of setting up business abroad, Roman Zaczkiewicz who co-operates with British textiles manufacturers for his be-spoke suits offered by Studio Szarmant in Warsaw and Kasia Hernas who brings Polish jewelry to British customers. All the speakers raised questions from the audience which started a stimulating debate on Polish British relations in business on the whole, not only in fashion.
There are exciting plans for further developments with Fashion and Design Group in London. They include 1st Fashion Show & Exporters Seminar in Edinburgh at the end of the year. The most important is that the message stands clear – there is support available for often ignored and such vibrant industry in Poland. BPCC invites interested parties to join the group and benefit from opportunities which they are creating for British and Polish companies trading in creative fields.