The Unsung Heroes of Fashion Week

Images Courtesy of Paige Gribb Photography

When we think of Fashion Week, we think of Chanel dripping in tweed, Dior pulling shapes and Jean Paul Gaultier sending an all-singing, all-dancing production down the runway. And yes, of course, Fashion Week is about the big names but let's not forget the underdogs too. These are the relatively unknown, the up and coming, those that might be household names one day but aren't just yet. Today we want to celebrate some of these unsung heroes, for they are the future of fashion, they are the fresh blood and the innovators, the risk takers and the gamblers. Without them, Fashion Week would be relatively boring and the inspiration lessened. So, here's to you, the underdogs and unsung heros, who's song we're singing today.

Who is the Oxford Fashion Studio?

Oxford Fashion Studio is the only organization to showcase independent design talent in every fashion capital. Bringing together the best of the best, they are pioneers in fashion, putting talent in front of the faces that matter to give them the best chance of exposure possible. To date, Oxford Fashion Studio has a list of 108 hand-picked designers from the worlds of apparel and jewellery on their roster.

Images Courtesy of Paige Gribb Photography

During Paris Fashion Week, the Oxford Fashion Studio showcased the newest designers to join their organization at the luxurious L'intercontinental, a five-star hotel located in the 9th Arrondissement of Paris, just a stones throw away from the infamous opera house, Palais Garnier. While they pride themselves on showcasing throughout the fashion capitals, to be accepted into Paris Fashion Week is a big deal – it is notoriously hard to be seen at – so you know they are truly displaying some of the world's finest talent. The spirit of sharing is very much in the air, as many of the models chosen for the show walk for multiple designers, a true team collaborative even though they each have their own design point of view and aesthetic.

Moral Standards

Images Courtesy of Paige Gribb Photography

Moral Standards is a Ukrainian born brand that focuses on three distinct words that sum up their efforts; Morality, Rules and Standards. Created by Olga Ochkas, her brand focuses on sharing messages about social problems and the perception of the world from a philosophical point of view. While the apparel they sent down the runway this year was certainly striking, with many pieces appearing to be enveloped in branded tape, giving the illusion of restricting the models' movements, it was their masks and facial jewellery that really caught our attention. With such a focus on the Coronavirus and fashion week goers donning designer masks as a fashion accessory, Moral Standards appeared to be right on the money in terms of timeframe for marketing such statement face gear. Of course, these collections were designed well before Covid 19 even had a name so it is less satirical than it is a happy coincidence, nonetheless, we couldn't get enough of the chain dripped masks, adorned with pearls and dangling charms that evoked both a nod towards grunge and art deco at the same time.

I Am So Kate Luxe

Images Courtesy of Paige Gribb Photography

I Am So Kate Luxe, designs for the woman looking for an out of this world vacation closet. Showing their Island Resort Collection this season, they focus on luxurious kimonos and exotic prints as well as typical resort-style loungewear. For this collection, they worked primarily in vegan silk, silk chiffon and unusually, denim to create this vibrant and eye-catching collection, perfect for island hopping this Summer. Each piece looked a dream to wear against the skin, cool and smooth, while many outfits were styled with geometric clutch purses we simply couldn't get enough of!

Rickyy Wong

Images Courtesy of Paige Gribb Photography

Fusing together Eastern and Western design, Rickyy Wong brings in notions of cultural and historical influences due to their Hong Kong location. They focus on using high end fabrics and finishes as well as representing the highest quality of Asian craftsmanship. Using only sustainable design and production, Rickyy Wong produces both womenswear and menswear and loves to blur the gender lines of normality.

This season, his collection entitled Chinostalgia, saw womenswear and menswear walk the same runway, many of his looks having a womenswear version pitted against the menswear one. Classic suiting of pinstripes and oversized lapels were worn with delicate abstract printed blouses and shirts, mixing typical menswear shapes with typical womenswear. Heavily focused on layering and creating a full look for the model, high necks were seen frequently, as were prints repeated across different garments allowing for a very cohesive and wearable collection.

Chained Couture By Jessica Tierney

Images Courtesy of Paige Gribb Photography

Over at Chained Couture, their main focus is on using hardware as decoration and creating one of a kind bespoke pieces for the powerful woman. This collection called 48.8566° N, 2.3522° E was inspired by their latest travels to Paris, the architecture and femininity of the city specifically. Hand created in their Sydney Australia atelier, each look represents a different historical site in Paris, viewed through the eyes of this modern designer. The all-black palette is certainly representative of the Parisian uniform where wearing grey is considered daring and their use of textured fabrics and intricate layering of the hardware kept us captivated look by look. A masterpiece in their own right, these are truly bespoke pieces that will never be replicated, ensuring that their customers have exclusive ownership over their chosen pieces.

Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai

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Freelance fashion designer