Oxford Fashion Studio – Milan Fashion Week collection shows

By | September 22, 2017

Words by Annelies Keus


Eleven extraordinary independent designers from all over the world, showcased their collections tonight at one of the most prestigious locations in Milan, Hotel Principe Di Savoia. Organized by Oxford Fashion Studio, the ground floor Galilei room was transformed into an outstanding runway. The space feels as if you are a guest in the Queens living room during the 19th century. Around half past four, the reception got busy, filling up with Italian press, influencers and buyers, all very excited to see the collections of the independent designers that the OFS team had carefully selected for this season.


Opening the show, slightly after 5.30 this evening — fashionably late as it should be – is designer Iva Pfeiffer. After collaborations with prestigious Parisian Haute Couture Craftsmanship Houses, including Maison Lesage and Atelier Lognon, the Czech-Australian designer proves that couture can be ethical. Models fiercly marching the runway in gorgeous tailored suits and silk dresses, shoulders gently covered with contrasting colored capes and ankle-long sheer cover-ups. Iva maintains her high standards, both in craftsmanship and environmental responsibility, as a designer and as a person.

The second line-up of models, are wearing beautiful designs from Bobel the label. Designer, Naa Shormey Pretzsch has an incredible eye for uniqueness. The models are strutting down the runway in bright colored printed designs. Though living in Australia, the Ghana born designer has gracefully combined influences from both cultures, which is shown through the cuts and shapes of her designs.

The following collection is from designer BOU, which features traditional womenswear. Her garments are made from cotton and silk blends and feature beautiful details, such as gold printing. High waisted skirts with large pleats to create gorgeous shape and a layered dress with a playful change in hemlines between front and back. The highlight within this collection is the golden silk top with a high collar, long drape and asymmetrical lines.

Next up is Dominique Mearns. An ethics-based boutique couture fashion house that proudly supports Thai female communities. The Australia based designer’s collection of handcrafted embellished sophisticated gowns, silk cocktail dresses with gorgeous back-details and beaded bodysuits with sheer skirts were flowing down the runway.

The music changes and when the model appears in front of the crisp white screen in the next designers first piece, an explosion of energy fills the room. Drawing inspiration from music, designer Treena Elisabeth translates the emotion and atmosphere of sound into every piece, designed for her very own label; The Treen Machine, interpreting her own vision of fictional character. Her collection of bralettes and accessories, featuring platform shoes and neon colours is extravagant, though her personality is humble. As she described in her own words: “Fashion design has opened up the most perfect platform for me to create art that makes people think, and to encourage folks to step outside of their comfort zone and question reality.”

After a short break, the OFS team goes straight into preparations for the next show. At 7pm the mood changes and another six designers are backstage getting their models ready to present their creations. While sipping from my glass of champagne in quickly pop backstage to have an exclusive preview of the collections that will be hitting the runway within the hour.

A little after 7pm, influencers, buyers and press slowly enter the breathtaking venue for the second Oxford Fashion Studio runway show of the evening. Opening the show is Marvin King, the master brain behind Dashiki Lausanne, presenting traditional African garments. The models wearing colorful shirts, hooded cardigans and dresses decorated with African prints. Though his work is based on tradition, his urban-style looks and personality fiercely shine through every piece.

When the garments from Why Mary hit the runway, it is immediately clear that the Australian designer has an exquisite eye for combining colors with texture. Her work stands as one, with gorgeous silk pieces, featuring wide legged trousers, bandeau blouses and playful dresses in earthy tones, with subtle splashes of colored print leading the collection. The models looked absolutely stunning, walking the white carpet runway in Why Mary’s designs.

Next on the runway are the designs from Amani Alkandari. From the landscapes of Kuwait, the young designer’s brand-new collection features breathtaking kimonos, made out of light silk and covered in colorful prints. With her work, Amani is complementing the Arabian culture in a beautiful way with a modern version of the traditional abaya. The models walked the runway in black high legged bathing suits, Amani’s printed cover-ups flowing behind them.

As the heat is rising, the models keep marching. The next impressive look belongs to the Zurich based label YPNOSIA. Originally from Italy, the designer uses couture techniques and Italian Alta Sartoria to perfect her designs, which are made for Balinese ikat fabrics. Her collection features wrap dresses with contrasting colors, sweetheart necklines, shawl V-neck collars with soft endings and clinched-in waists highlighted with broad belts, enhancing the hourglass shape of the female body.

Fierce looks during the showcase of Persephone’s collection. With her architectural views and outstanding eye for details her designs, which are cut to perfecting, show her extraordinary talent as a designer. The collection features a black tailored suit in a structured fabric with soft asymmetric lines and button detail on the one breasted jacket. A high neckline bodycon dress in beige with a sheer line and printed rose gold side detail, shiny beading on sleeves combined with sharp necklines show elegance with a hint of sexuality. The absolute highlight of this collection is a red fitted maxi dress with cut-out detail on the back.

Closing the show, and OFS’s Milan Fashion Week, are the beautiful bridal gowns from Naomi Peris. The collection called “The Fairytale of the Amazon Jungle” was inspired by the human and animal spirits of the Amazon Jungle. Besides the gorgeous pink ball gown, featuring hand stitched white butterflies, the item that stood out most was the one shoulder sheer bodysuit with gold structured lace and faux fur open front skirt, perfectly styled off with shiny golden heeled sandals.