In a time when the major fashion houses are totally in flux; this is the perfect opportunity for emerging and independent designers to really exhibit their craft. On February 12th 2016, Oxford Fashion Studios did a great job of providing an avenue for designers to display their talent, vision and message. When I lived in NYC for a few years during graduate school, I knew there were hidden gems, where you could actually go pass everyday and miss the gloriousness within. Studio 450 was the perfect venue for the OFS NYC A/W 2016 show. It afforded a runway show with a certain level of exclusivity and intimacy, that the guests definitely seemed to appreciate.
Unfortunately, I missed the 5pm show due to bus delay from Baltimore, but my team/bestie and I arrived to Manhattan and headed straight to Studio 450, with suitcases in hand, so we would not miss a moment more!
First there was the hustle and bustle behind the scenes…
Lenie Boya ‘Dramatique’ designs:
This collection kicked off the show with a true statement piece. As the model extended her arm, it was a wing as if she instantly transformed into a beautiful swan. Just surreal. It definitely wow’d the guests. Immediately, one could see her inspiration of Salvador Dali, who not only could paint melting clocks, but had similar asymmetrical images with 3D effects. I really enjoyed this line because I could see myself in all of the pieces. As a career woman in medicine, I always need a sophisticated jumpsuit or “special but comfortable” dress with elegance. In my field, there are few people like me, so I spend a lot of time trying to blend in. However, dresses from this collection would allow me to comfortably express my individuality.
Ready to Wear, Leather Jackets, and Dresses…oh my! It really appealed to me not only because it was below zero temperatures in NYC at that time, but also whether I’m on a train, or at the ballet my outerwear or dress would have an effortless appeal!
Arthur Avellano collection: Strong bold menswear made of latex material handmade in Paris. The patterns were quite distinct, my favorite piece was the gold coats especially with the Dubai screenprint.
HanByel Kang’s collection, Dimensional Transition:
What an exquisite romantic 70s feel! I have a special love for knitwear, both my brothers are artists and could knit, crochet, paint, and sculpt since the ages of 5! I could do none of these by the way, I was a science/math kind of girl.
HanByel Kang’s collections was hand-knitted, using merino wools (aka the supermodel of wool) as well as needle lace.
I have a special love for eco-fashion and eco-ethical use of goods and always appreciate a designer who uses sustainable textiles in an elegant feminine way. Move over wool coats; HanByel proves knitwear is the new couture!
The final collection was of Alexis Walsh (my Designer Du Jour), a New York based designer, with whom I had the pleasure of a quick interview after the show! I go to quite a lot of independent and emerging designers fashion shows but I just could not figure out the materials she used. There was one statement piece (from SPIRE collection) at the end of the show and it was in-SPIREd! Her inspiration was a futuristic tudor style. So she did a combination of handsewn and 3D printing with nylon. Yes, 3D printing! I have never seen it in person! Since my husband Brent and I have a fashion/technology blog, this was right down our alley. I listen religiously to American Fashion Podcast , which discusses ways to reduce our carbon footprint via certain methods such as 3D printing, and bringing manufacturing back to US. This designer definitely embodied what American Fashion needs right now.
So, all in all, this was a wonderfully captivating show with so much variety, energy and aptitude. As a passionate fashion advocate, I hope to do my part to help spread
the wealth of these independent and emerging designers through the written word!
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined” -Henry David Thoreau