1994 was a pretty great year. The Supermodels reigned the runways and designers were experimenting with minimalism mixed with Old Hollywood. Fashion week was not yet the phenom it would become a decade later but was starting to garner worldwide attention. The girls still did last minute touches to their own hair & make-up and backstage was open access (and often more interesting then what happened on the runway). It was all about the girls and because it was all about the girls it became all about the clothes they were wearing.
Oldham had launched his first clothing line in 1989 and won the Council of Fashion Designer Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1991. By 1994, he was still riding high and was known as one of the new up and coming talents. The Supers loved him as did the fashion crowd. The '94 collection featured the Supers in abundance and the clothes were made to show off their bombshell curves and supermodel bodies. The gowns specifically were show stoppers and each was a study in "glamour meets the nineties".
I have two gowns from the '94 collection in the shop right now and am immensely pleased to showcase them here.
The twin of the gown above walked down the runway on Karen Mulder in the 1994 show. That one was donated by Todd Oldham to The Met where it currently resides in perpetuity. The one I have in the shop now also has runway history as it was custom made for the Ebony Fashion Fair. It represents a remarkable time in fashion history and was one of the pinnacle gowns of the show.
The gown itself is absolutely wonderful - a long and lean column of solid bead work on a graduating colored silk that is cut to follow and highlight your every curve. Cut with a simple and masterful hand, it's simplicity allows that amazing bead work to take center stage. Two types of beads are used and the combination of the two create an exotic "leopard" print that travels over the surface of the gown. This strong design is softened by the use of that soft baby blue. The neckline and back are scooped and the waist nips in just a touch. It is super model length with a trained back. The entire thing is covered with beads making the gown very heavy but once on, it falls and balances out for a sensual fit and feels amazing once on. Inside it is completely finished in a silvered white silk satin silk so literally slides over the skin. When you move all of that bead work captures the light magnificently. Click here to buy >
The second gown from the 1994 runway collection, that I have in the shop, is also one that would have been made on an extremely limited basis. If it was not also one of only two ever produced I would be very surprised. It is absolutely wonderful - a long and lean column of velvet is cut to follow and highlight your every curve. The velvet has been done in horizontal bands whose edges blend into each other adding a touch of softness tying into the fabric choice. The neckline and back are scooped and the waist nips in just a touch. It is super model length and the velvet is sensual and feels amazing once on. I love that the inside is lined in a completely brilliant silk with a wild multi-color print that should by rights clash with the exterior but oddly does not. When you move you see this shocking contrasting print flash around the leg because of that high slit up the side. A superb and rare Oldham! Click here to buy >