The third and final Oxford Fashion Studio runway show Saturday evening mixed bridal couture with tongue-in-cheek tropical wear to conclude a memorable NYFW.
The stunning Haute Chaton Collection by Jessica Noelle kicked off the show with its reinvention of bridalwear. Inspired by Parisian femininity, Noelle used silk, tulle, velvet, and delicate beading to tell a story of happily ever after for a vintage meets modern bride. It was the ingenious details to each garment– a pop of color velvet bow, a floral overlay– that transported the collection from just a fashion collective display to a full-blown NYFW moment. A standout sheer finale piece with yellow shoulder ties won over the crowd to cheers as Noelle herself emerged for applause. The eight piece collection transcended bridalwear, the gowns too beautiful to just be worn once.
Qi Zhou’s eponymous collection followed for an “infusion of Western modernity and Eastern antiquity” as the brochure summarized. The contemporary handmade interpretations of traditional wear are all one-of-a-kind, bringing a welcomed fresh perspective. The first two looks were deconstructed versions of tuxedos, followed by luxuriously unique gowns. A velvet collared top with sheer lightly patterned navy pants shown second to last was a favorite, representing the effortlessness and flow of the collection.
Art i collection represented designer Arti’s personal journey. The collection, entitled “The First Bloom,” mixed floral patterns in spring-ready colors with exposed bustiers for delicate-meets-edgy ensembles. Arti uses pattern-making to develop her garments instead of vice versa, allowing the silhouettes to speak for themselves. Art i combined tulle and burnt polyester organza to create dresses that floated down the runway.
Swiss jewelry designer Lesunja opened the collection with a gorgeously severe look: a horned pearl crown dripping in luxury as the model struts, each angle revealing a new detail of construction. The unisex collection utilized an array of metals and precious stones to create beach-ready creatures like crabs, seahorses, and starfish. A model donning gold shell-covered headphones was the grounding point in the collection, fully embodying the oceanic element of inspiration. From rings to bangles, Lesunja made easy-to-wear statement pieces that shined on the runway.
Womenswear designer Shelby Harvey’s eponymous line featured cage skirts, crop tops, and mesh pocketed pants for a mermaid-meets-downtown vibe. A ruffled off-the-shoulder top brought a light element with a flamingo print. A tropical leaf dress with an exposed mid section was the embodiment of fun in the sun. “Our mission is to provide women with fun and innovative clothing that has meaning and empowers them to be the best version of themselves,” Harvey explained of her latest collection. Harvey’s innovative looks are ready for retail, with many in the audience hoping to purchase for their spring wardrobe.
Nonnistics closed out the show with its latest collection, “ERIN.” Designer Nonye Goodie-Obi is used to dressing Nigerian celebrities like Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, and her brightly colored red carpet-ready dresses showed an expertise in show-stopping silhouettes. A standout quieter look though was a white sheer top with voluminous sleeves, paired with a matching slanted hat and navy trousers. The finale piece– fittingly the finale for both the third show as well as the Oxford Fashion Studio SS20 collection as a whole–had a dramatic entrance of emerald fringe and a cinched waist. The audience rightfully gasped, in wonder at both the color and construction of the intricate gown.
The third Oxford Fashion Studio runway show exhibited many rising designers, ready for their next showcase no doubt.