Corsets, capes, and a copious helping of sequins: the Couture Show at Oxford Fashion week was a window into an enchanted world of glamour. Rosie Red Corsetry and Couture immediately transported the audience into a fairy tale with translucent fabrics embellished with dainty flowers, and corsets to create classically fairy-esque shapes; Patrick Casey followed suit with his wedding dress collection comprised delicate, slim silhouettes embellished extravagantly with crystal detail. Omar Mansoor’s splashes of red livened up the palette through his draped silk gowns, while Beste Bragg Haute Couture played with texture, working with tweeds, feathers and lace to present a mixed collection of a variety of styles, ranging from a 60’s-themed shifts to an amazing – if slightly impractical – snowy-white feather scarf. Marianne Samura brought the drama with her concept pieces in rich russet tones, while Cornelia Turcu’s sophisticated shapes made fashion grown-up; the glittering accents and decorations added a touch of refined glamour.
The historical touch was brought by Bliss Studio Textiles, which presented a twist on the damsel in distress with the wide sleeves and flowing skirt of a medieval silhouette, but modernised with torn hems and bright jewel colours. Hellavagirl, however, was the highlight of the show, stealing the attention with a clash of sequins, organza, and enormous headpieces for each model. From the hot-pink sequinned dress concealed beneath a huge cape constructed of layers of gold net, to the lime-green and purple concoction topped with a matching feathered headband, this collection brought the eccentric, Alice In Wonderland element to the show, closing it with a colourful and eclectic take on the theme of enchantment. Speaking to Oxstu, the designer, Helen Woollams, described how she drew on history for inspiration for the unusual silhouettes, featuring long trains, and then decided to add “volume” through masses of organza and head-achingly large headbands.
To the soundtrack of Florence + the Machine the designers took inspiration from the vast theme of enchantment to create an extravagant and magical spectacle; everything that its theme might suggest.
The Couture Show: Top 5 Moments
- The headpieces from Hellavagirl – if you don’t have one, you need one
- The hood at Marianne Samara – again, if your hood is not this one, take it off
- The feather scarf at Beste Bragg– even the model was having trouble controlling it, but nevertheless it should be a wardrobe staple
- Rosie Red’s birdcage dress – opened the show, and set the tone for a breath-taking collection
- The glitter at Rococo by Cornelia Turcu – just the right amount of glamour