Styled by Bay Garnett, and modelled by the likes of Erin O'Connor, Clara Paget and Stella Tennant, Oxfam showed it can hold its own on the catwalk at London Fashion Week
What better way to kick off London Fashion Week than discovering some fabulous vintage clothes, as shown on supermodels, while doing your bit to fight poverty at the same time?
That was the idea behind Oxfam’s fabulous Fashion Fighting Poverty show at the Oxo Tower’s On/Off venue last night. The stripped back, peeling-paint walls of the warehouse-style venue screamed shabby chic, but the clothes on offer were anything but – guests were treated to an eclectic display of vintage garments all sourced from Oxfam’s own shops and online store.
The looks were masterminded by thrifting queen, Vogue contributing editor, and all-round super stylist Bay Garnett, who said, ‘digging around in charity shops and putting stuff together to make looks is what I love doing. Working on this fashion show has given me something extra – it’s a really constructive project, because Oxfam clothes make money for the greater good.’
Talking exclusively to Marie Claire, Stella Tennant explained why it was so important to her to be involved: ‘It’s such an easy way to support Oxfam, and Bay’s done such a fabulous job of styling. These clothes have lasted and shown the quality of the fabric and how they’re manufactured. The show as a whole was so diverse – we had a bit of 80s, a bit of 90s, a bit of 70s – and Bay managed to put it together in a really contemporary way.’
Fashion designer Bella Freud added: ‘Bay is the most brilliant stylist. I have a lot of confidence in her – she’s very authentic. Doing this kind of event is a great way to show that fashion has influence in a way that people don’t give it credit for. There are a lot of people in the fashion business who have a great sense of justice, equality and fairness. They also have a good sense of humour and like to do things in a playful way – it’s important that there are different ways of communicating social issues and that’s what this is about.
Erin O’Connor closed the show with this fabulous pink and white chiffon dress:
The models also posed for some group photos backstage.
This isn’t the first time that sustainable fashion has generated headlines – who can forget Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress from 2016’s Met Gala, which she revealed was entirely made from plastic bottles.
There are about 650 Oxfam shops in the UK, which rely on donations – turning them into cash to fight poverty, rebuild lives after disasters, and combat inequality and climate change. Fee Gilfeather, Oxfam’s Head of Retail said ‘Our shops are treasure troves of unique clothes that look wonderful, and feel even better – because they fight poverty one piece at a time.’ You can’t argue with that.