Editorial Feature

Celebrating The Handprint of Fashion

Livia Firth and Hamish Bowles discuss their highlights of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange project sees the Commonwealth Fashion Council and Eco Age come together, along with Google Arts and Culture, to champion sustainable fashion practices.

The centerpiece of the project brings together 29 artisans and fashion designers across all 53 Commonwealth nations to partner up and create a collection of 30 sustainably-produced, handcrafted fashion pieces. The designs represent the cultures, identities and creatives skills of each nation.

Dresses on display at Australia House (From the collection of Commonwealth Fashion Council)

The collection is now available to see online at Google Arts & Culture, but was first exhibited in February 2018 at Buckingham Palace and then shortly after at Australia House in London. Here, Livia Firth, Eco Age founder and Vogue’s International Editor at Large Hamish Bowles—who curated the exhibition together—discuss the pieces created by the designers and artisans.

During their conversation, Firth and Bowles talk about their highlights from the project and the power of combining indigenous craftsmanship with traditional skills and using them in a modern way. As Bowles explains: “I think what’s so remarkable is that so many of these designers, while drawing on their own culture and skills…they have produced extremely chic, wearable high fashion clothes”.


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