Fashion week. Sounds grand, doesn’t it? I have always envisioned myself as being part of a Fashion Week one day… pretty much anywhere, but somehow assumed I need to get old and reasonably wealthy to achieve it. Luckily for me, a newbie to the land of Oxford, it turned out that Fashion Weeks are not all about Paris, New York, London and Milan. No; there is one organized just under my very nose (maybe 15 min away from where I live). Could this get any better?
Last week was pretty hectic for me – so I missed out on quite a few Fashion Week events I intended to attend. But this notwithstanding I have met so many amazing people and have seen so many amazing designs I figured It’d be worth sharing it with everyone.
Please forgive me my lack of fashion jargon. I am pretty much an outsider to the fashion world, regardless of the countless Vogues piling up under my table.
(please forgive the lack of catwalk photos too – a better camera is still a work in progress)
There is something to be said about Oxford Fashion Week that distinguishes it from its big competitors – it is focused on local designers. Not exclusively, of course; but it is a great opportunity to showcase the smaller, or at least lesser known, brands to the general public. The same goes for the models – most of the girls I talked to were Oxford Uni students.
It does create a great atmosphere though – the whole affair is just so… approachable. There is no big invisible wall of press and managers dividing regular guests and the designers, the staff, everyone involved. I have never thought fashion weeks are so friendly – but again I may just have a very inaccurate opinion on the fashion industry in general.
All this being said, the haute couture catwalk show on Saturday (12th of March) was still everything one expected it to be – a very formal event with a champagne reception, great jazz music in the background, food I cannot eat, goodie bags and all of this shimmering glimmering stuff that one imagines. Looking around the room I felt severely underdressed – but got quickly distracted by the whole… vibe of the place. After all, the Ashmolean Museum is a hard setting to take one’s eyes off.
I am not a wedding person and I doubt Oxford Fashion Week can change that. There are just so many things I despise about it – among many, there are bridal dresses. Most of them just make me cringe; especially when they are made of this material that makes them look like a badly shaped table cloth.
And here I am, just about to tell you that the centerpiece of Saturday’s night for me was a wedding dress.
I wish I could show you the very piece I loved most – I wish I had a photo of it for myself too. You can have a look at Sabina Saga’s Instagram for a teeny tiny look. It is a long gown with an exposed back and a just perfect serpentine line, second from the left if my description is not good enough (it really isn’t). Seeing it on the catwalk was by far my fondest memory of Oxford Fashion Week. I confess – I am in love.
Truly and forever.
The entire collection was also just about different enough. The use of 3D printing in the dresses themselves and the accessories was both innovative and… pretty – a difficult combination to achieve. It has this true haute couture vibe that the rest of the show lacked, this little quirkiness mixed with sublime beauty.
I guess I should say – if you are getting married, consider Sabina Saga my best recommendation for this wedding season. If you’re not, just follow her on Instagram or Twitter for a near-weddingish experience (I am).
I actually met Svetlana Marshall on Thursday; it was so interesting to talk to her about her designs. She is just so passionate about what she’s making – and to be fair after seeing her jewelry it would be really hard for me not to be passionate too.
The very idea behind the chains she’s creating is movement, change, transformation. With her rich dancing history Svetlana presents these, after all quite difficult to capture, concepts with an, unachievable for so many of us, grace. Each of her designs can be worn in so many different ways – and on top of that it synchronizes with the wearer’s movement, creating perfect harmony.
Big jewelry was never for me, I am quite small and on the delicate / skinny side, so I usually find big designs overwhelming. But Svetlana’s chains remain delicate regardless of their length – and that is quite unbelievable for me.
Oxford Fashion Week presented me with one designer about who I could sincerely say: I’d wear whatever she produces. Mor Lumbroso. Throughout the entire show there was only one thing on my mind and that was: I would love to wear this. And that. And this. And that as well. Mor’s designs looked beautiful and fashionable and wearable at the same time, oh, very much wearable indeed.
I love a little bit of 3D, a little bit of movement, a little bit of… space. This collection has all of these features and so much more. It fuses a powerful, confident woman with the flimsy nature of the air and waves and dance and change. I may be a fashion newbie, almost speechless at the face of the unknown (or rather unstudied), but I can appreciate a good ombre too.