Claire Stemen likes to think and write about fashion as a vital form of communication. She loves clothing and the way we style ourselves, despite always buying the same black turtleneck over and over again. You can find her on Instagram @claire_stemen, or or at clairestemen.com.

Oxford Fashion Studio Group Show: Rachel Pollack, Tadazzleme, Shabeeg, Mirochoa, and B. Zarina NYFW FW18

In the airy Studio 450, where the light of day oozed out of the city, Oxford Fashion Studio presented a group show of emerging designers. These kinds of showcases are always a delight, since you never know where you’ll find the designer next and perhaps you’ll be able to fondly look back at their stint in a smaller venue as an emerging designer. It’s a wonderful space to watch the beginnings of a designer’s evolution.

 
Oxford Fashion Studio Group Show: Rachel Pollack, Tadazzleme, Shabeeg, Mirochoa, and B. Zarina: NYFW FW18

 

Rachel Pollak, a native of Overland Park, Kansas, describes the woman who wears her clothing as strong and feminine. She also champions bold mixtures of colors, patterns, and textures as a “wearable statement”. The collection she showed at OFS indeed mixed patterns and textures in surprising ways. The metallic next to a muted olive green is an almost futuristic take on clothing that looks medieval in inspiration. There was a bit of Ancient Greek vibe as well, as if Pollak is twisting the idea of a goddess into a modern one. Despite the colors ending up a bit discordant, the collection certainly delivered unique combinations and lovely silhouettes.

A California-based shoe brand, Tadazzleme brought a collection of shoes that promised and delivered variety. The shoes were mainly black, but they exhibited all the trends we’ve been seeing in the past seasons and in fashion now. Embroidered boots, lace paneling, and embellished heels all hit the runway. A pair of pearl-embellished heels fall in line with the pearl trend (we’ve seen them in embroidery and at the ends of zipper pulls) and boots with a space-age metallic hue are exactly what a modern pantsuit needs. Overall, a strong but safe collection—one that will do well in light of current shoe trends.

Shabeeg honors its Armenian heritage through thoughtful creation of t-shirts. All the shirts are designed and created in Armenia with inspiration from the nature of their home country. The designs are intricate and eye-catching while remaining modern and athletic in construction. With only socks donning their feet, the models showed the best of Shabeeg’s Armenian heritage with color and attitude. The collection is a nice homage to Armenia and the design work is where it shines brightest.

Mirochoa’s bag design is simple, structured, but with a bit of whimsy. The colors are fun, but muted and unimposing, just like the design on the bags. A standout was an oval bag with nearly Victorian-esque bordering, appearing to be a frame to a mirror. The collection was pretty and functional, the kind of bag you want to wear when you need a statement but one that matches and isn’t overpowering.

Sisters Shazia and Kulsoom designed streetwear and Hijabs in the past, but only recently took to modest fashion in 2015 when they launched B. Zarina in an effort to show that modest fashion doesn’t have to compromise on style. Their collection was luxurious and sumptuous in its usage of satin and embellished cardigans that dusted the floor. They’d make for a good dramatic entrance or exit. A standout is definitely the merlot jumpsuit, a beautiful marriage between modern and modest styles.

The other pleasure of an emerging designers showcase, as shown above, is the stunning variety of styles and inspirations each designer holds close and manifests in their pieces. Perhaps we’ll see, as we have before, these designers later on and we can revel in their beginnings as we witness what’s to come.

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With love,

FWO