Ghanaian fashion designer Ophelia Crossland was the only African designer selected to take part in the 2019 Qipao Invitational Exhibition at the National Silk Museum, Hangzhou City, China.

The event is under the auspices of the China National Silk Museum, a leading fashion museum located close to the famous West Lake in Hangzhou, China and is under the theme “Weddings”. 

Her selection comes at a time when African fashion is enjoying the attention and a major boost in the global fashion industry.

An award-winning designer with 16 years of experience under her belt, Crossland’s initial sketch was selected out of close to 5,000 sketches that were submitted to the jury this year.

Ophelia, who has made outfits for key personalities in Ghana, including the country’s female Chief Justice and a former First Lady, was selected alongside 9 other designers from the UK, France, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Japan to showcase at the event.

Speaking on the lines of the exhibition’s opening ceremony, Ophelia Okyere-Darko, Creative Director of Ophelia Crossland, said the selection was a big win for Ghana’s culture.

“I’m excited to have been given the opportunity to showcase Ghana on this international platform,” she told the media. “I believe this is a matter of pride and honor for myself and the continent as a whole.”

The Qipao gown, a formal gown worn on special occasions by Asian women. 

Ophelia Crossland uses the iconic Ghana Kente and other indigenous fabrics sourced from Africa, as well as, other advanced techniques in fashion design to create the Qipao gown, a formal gown worn on special occasions by Asian women. 

“For me, Kente represents the country best and so when we were asked to take up the Qipao challenge, I had no option than to use the intricately woven Kente and it kept really well,” she said.

The Qipao gown

The Global Qipao Invitational Exhibition began on September 29 and will last for a month. Its aim is to provide cross-boundary interactions between culture and tourism, tradition, fashion, art and life. 

The Gallery is currently the only institution with a permanent fashion gallery in the world housing a collection of over 40,000 pieces of Western and Chinese textile productions spanning over 4000 years of human creativity.