Something magnificent at Nicholas Oakwell

If it hadn’t been for the risk of tripping over both my cabat and Hilary Alexander in the dimly lit ballroom, or the fact that the designer knows me and my location of work, I’d have smuggled the chocolate astrakhan jacket and crocodile skirt from Nicholas’ AW13 collection out of Claridges before the show had even ended.

Nicholas-Oakwell-1bI don’t know much, but I do know when someone does something magnificent. And this collection, like his previous, was a masterclass in womenswear design.

The cut of the silhouette, the fabrication, its drape, and its incredible finishing were so perfectly balanced as to produce artistic masterpieces which not only conveyed a mood and a story but made a seductive female tour de force of the wearers. What’s more, and something which is so important if you are to create a commercially successful brand, you could imagine these creations being worn by today’s contemporary women without looking clichéd, over-styled or out of place.

I interviewed Nicholas back in the spring of this year for an earlier edition of this magazine and his closing statement was, “As a successful couturier you can’t be self-indulgent, you must understand your customers and their lifestyles, you need to design with them always in mind.”

Clearly this sentiment remains at the core of his design work. In the future the world will talk about Oakwell in the way they do about Valentino.

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