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UNDERDOG VICTORY: While the Oscars unfurled in Los Angeles, the British Fashion Council and the British Council celebrated young designers at International Fashion Showcase’s award ceremony.
 
Colombia scooped the Best Exhibition award; Julia Mannisto, also from Colombia, got the Best Designer title; while the award for the Best Curation went to Yegwa Ukpo of Nigeria.
 
Making their London debut into the BFC’s annual showcase of emerging designers, the Embassy of Colombia wanted its chosen designers to “mirror the country’s history, have a sense of renewal and new beginnings.”
 
Mannisto’s textile-focused collection for this three-day exhibition was about breaking cultural boundaries, but with a personal motive. Being Finland-born, Colombia-raised and recently relocated to London, Mannisto didn’t want to confine to stereotypes.
 
“From the silhouettes to the technical process of dressmaking, my designs link back to my roots set in all three countries. The world has to know that Colombia is not all about Sofia Vergara,” she said.
 
All winners received a trophy made with special Brazilian stones, agate and minerals, designed by Brazilian jeweler Fernando Jorge, a BFC Rock Valt graduate.
 
This year, more than 30 embassies and cultural institutes participated in the showcase. ​

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