“Welcome to the stunning Oxford Museum of Natural History. A masterpiece of Victorian neo-gothic architecture that, since its opening in 1860, houses the most dramatic roof-span in this ancient city. Held up by glorious gothic iron arches is a roof featuring 8,500 glass tiles that, throughout the entirety of 2013, were painstakingly removed, refurbished and restored rendering the museum in finer shape then it has ever been before.
It is this awesome setting that will host the Birds of Paradise Show: a runway show of majestic forms, intricate layerings and spectacular designs inspired by the stunning diversity of birds of paradise. The show features carefully selected conceptual and couture pieces from extraordinary designers including Xiaolin Design, Vagabond Couture, Korlekie, Anne van den Boogaard, Grace Golding, Laura Stoeckl and more.”
-Oxford Fashion Week Blog
The Birds of Paradise concept show was such a perfect fit for the line, Xiaolin and my vision as a designer. When I received my invitation to show at Oxford Fashion Week, I knew it was meant to be. On November 5th I traveled from Tampa, FL to London, UK bringing 8 looks with me, including my own outfit for the show. From London I took a train to Oxford and arrived with only a day to spare.
The Oxford Museum of Natural History was transformed into an stunning runway for the Oxford Fashion Week Birds of Paradise Show. The combination of Gothic Victorian architecture, skeletons, and colorful lighting created an exotic atmosphere for the feathered garments.
Xiaolin Garments on the runway at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. The model in the middle wearing the white feather dress is Hannah Zainuddin- the curator of the Birds of Paradise show. At only 20 years old she is in her final year at Oxford University. She was a delight to work with and I was able to meet with her for tea the day before the show at The Varsity Club. We sat on the rooftop and had a stunning panoramic view of the entire city.
At the show I also got to meet the incredibly talented Naomi Hoang Art. She was sketching live at the Birds of Paradise show, capturing the models within only a few seconds as they walked down the runway! On the right is a drawing she made, ‘Winter Raven’ that was inspired by my feathered fashions.
The Bird of Paradise show was everything I dreamed it would be (and more!). Although this blog post is brief, if you check my Facebook page /xiaolindesign I have posted an entire album of photos, links to videos from the show, and much more.