Oxford Fashion Week: Insider glimpse

With Oxford Fashion Week starting Monday – and with Anna Wintour at the Union Tuesday – March is getting off to a stylish start indeed. 

After being founded in 2009, Oxford Fashion Week has grown to become an established part of the fashion week circuit. In the run up to the week, I spoke to Jemima Myers, a student currently studying fashion construction & retail. As a blogger and member of the OFW editorial team, I’m keen to find out what the week has in store.

But before doing so, I want to unpick her love of blogging. Asked why blogging has taken off so much, her passion becomes clear. Despite the fact it thrives off social media and technology, she sees blogging as a way to get back to basics, ‘an example of how written communication still thrives in an era where it is very easy to become enamoured with more instant forms of entertainment – television, films, games etc.’. Blogging is, according to her, something which ‘keeps our generation reading, which is essential for those who perhaps don’t find it easy to sit down with a book’. After hearing this, it’s hardly surprising that she has applied this love to become one of the bloggers for this season’s Oxford Fashion Week.

Now in its seventh year, OFW looks set to be bigger and better than ever, with new technology revolutionising the way we think about clothing. The headlining Genesis show aims to draw upon such creative innovation.  

Prior to becoming involved, Jemima was already interested in the links between structure, technology and fashion, incorporating these interests into her college projects. Asked if technology has a place in fashion, she stresses that technology has never been so important in an age where every person owns a smartphone, laptop and/or tablet. Demonstrating her genuine passion for the fashion industry, she quotes Coco Chanel: “fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening” and what is happening right now is an ongoing technological revolution.

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Hoping to find out some juicy gossip surrounding the event, I move on to ask her what it’s like working with the models. Cat fights? Diva tantrums? Complete and utter chaos? Alas, for it seems not. Apparently they are a ‘friendly and co-operative bunch’ who she is excited to work with in the upcoming days. Given the pre-conceptions of fashion models as being entirely self-orientated (America’s next top model anyone?) this was refreshing indeed.

Moving onto safer ground, we talk about the designers themselves.  Jemima is most excited by Lavinia Cadar, although admits she is slightly biased towards her since she is one of the designers in the Genesis line-up. Cadar uses modern technology such as 3D printing and laser cutting to form her garments, resulting in some incredible structured pieces. She, alongside the designers for all the shows, are sourced especially for the week and in previous years designers have even flown into Oxford in order to take part.

Clearly, this is no longer the age of the plain white T-shirt. Chatting to Jemina has made me even more excited by the way fashion is heading and Oxford Fashion Week looks to be an exciting glimpse into that.

The shows kick off with the Cosmopolitan Show and Lingerie Show on Thursday 5th March, followed by the Couture Show and Genesis Show on Friday 6th March. For tickets to these events or any other events surrounding Oxford Fashion Week, visit http://www.oxfordfashionweek.com/tickets.html