Guests at Pier 59 hummed with electric anticipation on Saturday in anticipation of the Oxford Fashion Studio Show I. As the lights lowered and the music changed, the crowd quieted down and all eyes turned toward the runway.
Garrison’s collection started the show off on an exciting and upbeat note. Funky elements such as neon colors, geometric shapes, 90’s windbreaker-type fabrics and oversized zippers characterized the collection in a way that can best be described as Zenon-esque. One dress even mimicked a space cadet uniform, with a thick grey scuba fabric skirt that spiraled down the body. The models sported bouncy retro curls, neon tinted sunglasses and platform sandals reminiscent of Tevas.
In the next collection, suits and suit sets of all varieties were modernized by utilizing interesting fabrics and textures. The first suit jacket and pant combo was created from a duo-chrome green-to-pink fabric, while another trench coat was crafted from a crinkled taffeta material. Two of the male models came down the runway sporting luxurious gleaming satin tracksuits. Each model wore a unique pair of black combat boots, further revolutionizing the conventionally dull suit.
All of the models in this collection donned black clothing head-to-toe so that Alicia’s one-of-a-kind accessories were allowed to shine. The accessories included neck and wrist cuffs, necklaces, headbands, belts, earrings, shoes, totes and chest pieces. While accessories are typically the icing on the cake of an outfit, these adornments are extravagant and over the top. Each piece has a painted design in red, silver, or gold paint, creating a contemporary tribal print.
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This collection played with juxtaposition. Feminine dresses and skirts made from tulle, lace and sequins were paired with leather bustiers and layered chains, recalling the 90s grunge era. The standout piece was a black leather bustier top adorned with feather shoulder pads.
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Each piece in this collection was ladylike and modest. The line was extremely cohesive in its neutral color palette and pleating techniques. Each silhouette differed, however. One model sported a white linen blouse and matching shorts while another wore a shimmery pale purple pleated gown.
The next collection was previously shown at African Fashion Week Toronto and the influence was clearly there. The simple color palette of red, yellow and white repeated throughout the garments. Many of the pieces are asymmetrical with a single tiered ruffle sleeve or ruffled wrist cuff. One model wore eyeliner in each of the colors painted across her face. The models also wore variations of the currently popular seashell earrings. It is safe to say that this collection embraced and valued African culture.
The following collection caught the attention of everyone in the audience, not because of its eccentricity but because of its wearability. The Art Nouveau-inspired garments were fashioned in shimmering champagne fabrics that moved beautifully as the models walked the runway. The champagne color palette was accented with shades of subdued green and rust orange. Though, the show stopper was the interesting sleeves, with puffed and draped shapes.
The last collection was dubbed “sportswear for her,” and definitely was just that. The garments were clearly inspired by the materials and shapes of everyday activewear, including racerback tops and matching sets. Unlike regular workout bottoms, the collection was entirely comprised of maxi athletic skirts. The functional but cute pieces were shown primarily in navy blue, red and orange and paired with athletic and fashion sneakers.
Read more of WSN’s New York Fashion Week coverage here. Email Kylie Smith at [email protected]