British legend Nicholas Oakwell has returned to Couture Fashion Week with his latest collection, taking inspiration from the most famous of directors Alfred Hitchcock and his muse Grace Kelly the designer presented a collection that picked up on the golden era of cinema and turned it into beautiful and stunning couture.
The 13 looks point to the signature of all Oakwell collections, the perfect tailoring, the well managed exuberance that screams theatre while staying firmly out of theatre and in stunning pours forth, Matched off against the giant bows, oversized headwear and bold colour is a deft touch in the construction, while not a snip, stich or tuck are wasted, this is Nicholas Oakwell not only at his best, but it feels personal, that he came back with a swagger that I hope isn’t a swansong, he as a designer has been working on his philosophy and his process while he was away from the catwalk. Perhaps in the time working with a select private clientele he found an amplification of his voice and message?
“Couture is in my veins, I love making beautifully made clothes and missed putting together a collection. I had listened to so much of what was expected of the house, the hoops we had to jump through, the industry expectations, the ‘official ways’ we had to work to, which was strangling me, the team and the clients. I’ve designed this collection because it makes me happy, it made all the people involved happy, some of my clients have already seen it and it fills them with joy. That’s why I do couture, to bring joy.
My mother advised my brothers and I that in life we all fall and trip, which is not a failure, it’s a chance to learn, to pick yourself up and grow stronger and better. I’ve gone through a heart-breaking divorce and a stroke in the last 6 years, it was a time for me to look at myself. At 52 I feel now I know more whom and what I am, and that couture is in my veins and brings me joy.”