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The Oxford Fashion Gala: A stellar display of talent

The evening of Wednesday 8th May brought a show that transcended the limitations of space and time in a beautiful portrayal of Oxford University’s talent. The Fashion Gala returned in a whirlwind of incredible designs, modelled by Oxford’s finest. We truly ascended in the lunar eclipse theme, which brought a shower of metallic, shimmering looks from the guests. This high fashion dress code was only elevated by the stunning setting of the Randolph Hotel, and we were taken on a voyage of the university’s creativity. 

The night began with a nuanced runway adorning the gala’s sponsor, Tom’s Trunks. The crossover between the casual beach look and the science fiction style makeup created an eclectic mix that set the bar high for the rest of the evening. The ability to secure such a brand for sponsorship speaks volumes about the scale of this event

Following this runway, the guests enjoyed an exhilarating performance from Little Clarendon, with jazzy covers of the classics that got the audience ready for the incredible designs to come. After the swanky musical intermission, the ballroom was abuzz with excitement for the second runway. As everyone crowded around the runway, it became apparent that this was going to be the highlight of the night. As the first song began to play, the entire room collectively tensed as eager eyes searched for the first model to come out on the runway. The first model emerged in an all-white ensemble. The top was sheer white, complete with subtle ruching. The bottoms continued the theme, the fabric carefully gathered to create a plethora of folds cascading down.

As more models had their turn on the runway, there were several themes and pieces that spanned across several designs. Head and face coverings were heavily featured. The majority of the time, these accessories made the overall designs more interesting and elevated them to suit a high fashion runway. Another prominent overall theme was the use of sheer fabrics. Several designers played with these fabrics to create dresses and tops, creating an ethereal and whimsical display. With the theme being “A voyage into ascent”, it was interesting seeing the different designer’s interpretations of the themes. The theme was incorporated into even the makeup, with hues of blue and shimmer being heavily incorporated.

David, the talented president of the gala, was able to talk to us about his expectations for the night. Chuckling, he said that he had kept them very low to avoid disappointment, but breathed a sigh of relief that the gala ran so smoothly. When asked about the root of his interest in fashion, he talked about his final fashion piece at UAL, which sparked his desire to get involved in the fashion community at Oxford. By the time the call for committee positions was released for this year’s gala, he knew president would be the perfect role to get into! David’s modesty and joy throughout the show was inspiring to watch, and he did an excellent job as president. 

One big aspect of the gala’s success was the audience. With silver sparkles and dark colours prominently featured in everyone’s outfits, the celestial theme was executed to perfection. Guests spoke ecstatically of the gala and its designers, speaking of their highlights of the night. Some people who attended the event were finalists, and they did not regret taking time out of their busy schedules to be present at the gala. The vibrant display of creativity was great to witness according to onlookers. Some audience members also commented on their favourite designers. Designer Ocho’s designs were commonly praised for their distinctive silhouette and design.

All in all, the Oxford Fashion Gala was a major success from start to finish. It was a true testament to the creative talent that the university has to offer. While Oxford students are often praised for their intellect, it is clear that there is so much more to the community than academia. The gala was a beautiful display of the artistic scene that shines at Oxford.

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