Independent artists debuted bold new pieces and refreshing twists on classic designs in the Pier 59 studio on Saturday afternoon.
Oxford Fashion Studio, which hosted the artists and provided willing models, prides itself on giving a platform to new and upcoming designers and disrupting the fashion industry with fresh voices. They have shows in Paris, London, Shanghai, and most recently, Oxford Fashion Studio held their New York spring summer show in Chelsea overlooking the Hudson River.
The show began with Janette Laver’s latest prints in her Why Mary collection, stylized with go-go boots, peace sign earrings, and purple tinted sunglasses. Leading ladies of the Austin Powers franchise could have convincingly worn any of these new designs, especially the jumpsuits. However, the real standout was a mauve two piece with ruffled pant leg and a satin bow at the waist. And the thought of a modern-day Jasmine from Aladdin (1992) immediately came to mind as the model glided past, the sheer fabric seemingly weightless. Laver supports local Australian print companies and clothing manufacturers. She also works to reduce waste in the fashion industry, according to Oxford Fashion Studio.
Next up was the timeless business chic of Jessture. Hu deployed calm blues, greys, and beiges in a simple but unique style that will stand apart at any office party. The slits in the sides of most of her pants allow for swift and breathable movement, which could be useful for businesswoman rushing to and fro, dominating their fields all while setting fashion trends. The two-toned grey combination (pictured here) is a personal favorite, reminding me of a dystopian-fantasy uniform (in a good way). The bunched waist adds excitement to a classic feel and the clean cut of the collar definitely means business. Hu has a knack for fusing traditionally masculine and feminine forms without overcrowding her minimalist vision.
While each of Oxford Fashion Studio’s emerging artists blew me away this weekend, Megan Zwack of the rock-music-inspired Dr. Zwack gets special notice. Drawing feelings and design from bands like Wolfmother and Fleetwood Mac, along with singer Jimi Hendrix, Zwack is a single mother and restaurant employee whose bright designs and flowing fabrics make me want to abandon my Spanish homework in favor of a cross-country road trip with “Landslide” (1975) on a constant loop. In a city that favors black, Zwack’s vibrant color choices felt like a wake up call. Stevie Nick’s radical influence can be felt all over this collection.
Niki Srinivasa followed with neutral colors and thicker fabrics layered together to form a unique collection of office wear. Tan tweed skirts, satin blouses, strong necklines, all of these things became a singular idea under the designer’s careful touch. Srinivasa manifested her vision of clothing accessible to every woman and managed to pair it all with sleek black heels. Her relaxed yet classic pieces allow a person’s individual style to speak for itself.
And closing out the diverse runway show was GEOJ Official, a label created by Georgia Hensley-Smith. She specializes in creating different versions out of a singular idea. This time, Hensley-Smith drew inspiration from East Asian floral patterns, complemented by jade and hints of electric blue. The metallic yellow that made up the most of her pieces was extremely versatile, as a bralette, faux-fur coat, blazer, and more. Paired with a simple cross-body purse, these outfits could get you anywhere: from a board meeting to a dinner party to a movie premiere to a dramatic poetry reading. Or if you are feeling brave, embrace her matching jade leather jacket and tights for your next night on the town.