Amidst the shifting crowds of students and commuters, under the gothic spires of dreams, Oxford Fashion Week returns to transform the centre of academia into a lively hub of style and glamour. The first week of March sees the exhibition of outfits from designers like Ted Baker, Karen Millen, and Clements & Church in a variety of shows ranging from High Street to Couture. Below is a coverage of all the shows in their respective order by Fashion Editor Fred Shan.
Tuesday 4th – High Street
An intimate, casual show displayed at Varsity Club saw the transformation of bar space into a mini catwalk, where models strut from one end of the room to the other. The show featured designs from Next, Henri Castro, Lula Le Bon, Aspire Style, as well as bags from Brit-stitch.
The outfits mostly emitted the casualness that went alongside of high street shopping. Next showcased pieces that could easily be seen on a hard-working student in the Bod, whilst Henri Castro and Lula Le Bon offered dressier upgrades. As usual though, the menswear lagged behind womenswear in terms of uniqueness in design and was a little underwhelming. What lacked in menswear was made up by some of the more thoughtful designs, especially from Henri Castro. The brand was effective in playing around with various prints and mixing them with solid bold colours. The dresses also fitted beautifully, and helped to accentuate the features of the models. Lula Le Bon showcased a selection of well-crafted trench coats, the deep electric hues of which had a distinctively urban feel. Aspire Style exhibited their interpretation of the classic florals dress.
Stunning dress from Henri Castro, bringing to the High Street a certain feel of Couture. Photo: Blower & Lyon
Henri Castro bringing modern art into Fashion – Florals are no longer enough Photo: Blower & Lyon
Excellent fit with just the right choice of material to give off a beautiful shine from Lula Le Bon Photo: Romain Reglade
A modern take on the spring classic with a distinctively vintage feel Photo: Romain Reglade
Student living isn’t always conducive to a good wardrobe. While students tend to get away with far more daring sartorial choices than most, there are other constraints on time and finances which mean we can’t always dress how we’d like to. Then there’s the pressure to look cool which, although subtler than it was at school, still plays a role in how we dress. One Somerville student told me that she had practically lived in a festival T-shirt during Freshers Week so that people would think “ah, she goes to festivals – she’s cool.”
At times it can be difficult to maintain a sense of one’s own style, but OxStu is here to help. Using a highly scientific survey of my Facebook friends at universities both near and far, I’ve compiled this: your definitive guide to retaining your individuality at university.
1. Remember that anything goes
As Ed at York pointed out “PJ’s are always acceptable at university, it’s the basic state of fashion.” Nobody really cares if you’re tackling your essay crisis in a onesie or white tie, and this is something to take advantage of. Danielle, a 6th-former who’ll be starting university later this year is looking forward to the change of scene. “It could be an opportunity to break out from a fashion rut that you’ve got yourself into. Because they’re all new people, they wouldn’t find it weird that you suddenly changed your style.” This is especially true for freshers, but even if you’ve been here for years, the atmosphere tends to be one of acceptance. “I’ve noticed that people don’t actually care whether or not their shoes go with what they’re wearing, and it’s actually a refreshing change. College was so different because everybody wore the same thing!” said Holly at Oxford Brookes. Want to start wearing bright yellow all the time? Do it. Been too scared to try oversized jumpers? Give them a go. Now is the time to experiment.
2. Don’t feel obliged to follow trends
Just because a certain look is popular doesn’t mean you’ll feel comfortable or confident in it. Olivia, a student at Queens University Belfast, stated that she disliked keeping up with current fashions: “I have to wear things that are unique.” But what do you do if you want to try out trends without compromising your own sense of self? Amber, who has spent the last few months in Liverpool, where shopping is an art form, has some advice: “it’s great to get a feel for other people’s style, but if you see that there’s a particular look making the rounds then perhaps pick elements from it that you like and combine them with elements from a different kind of style to make it more personal to you.”
3. Invest in key pieces
When you have two essays to write, a play to rehearse, and a football match to play in, the last thing on your mind is looking chic. The answer, according to Amber, is to “get yourself some go-to clothes that you can mix up with lots of different things. Maybe a really striking jumper, a big necklace or a cool coat/shoes.” At this time of year, coats are a particularly good bet. Livi, an Exeter college student, told me about hers: “My decorative coat can be thrown over any old thing and it immediately looks like I’ve put in a sartorial effort.” Meanwhile Stuart, a Newcastle student and the dapperest chap you’re ever likely to meet, chipped in with the tip that “A fabulous selection of bow ties can spice up any number of otherwise mediocre outfits.” Men (and women) of Oxford, take note.
4. Leave the High Street behind
One major theme in my findings was a preference for charity and vintage shops over chain stores. Olivia even went so far as to say “I never shop in high street stores, I feel lost in them.” Though it can be time-consuming to rummage through a second-hand shop to find something good, the advantages are numerous “It will suit your student budget and you can be sure that nobody else will be wearing the same” said Louisa, a member of 1940s vocal group The Spitfire Sisters and all-round queen of vintage. In Oxford, we’re lucky enough to have various charity shops, markets, and vintage stores. The Ballroom Emporium (5-6 The Plain, Cowley), who provided the clothes and setting for our shoot this week, is a great place to find everything from oversized silk shirts and genuine military jackets to flapper dresses and moviestar-style sunglasses. For those who are unsure about what will look good on them, they even offer an individual styling service – ideal for finding that perfect summer ball dress.
5. Variety is the spice of life
Incongruity isn’t really a problem at university, especially if that university happens to be London College of Fashion, as Amelia revealed: “it’s no surprise to see people coming in head to toe in Givenchy or in 12-inch heels for a lecture. I dress how I’ve always dressed – others have no influence. Everyone is different here and that is what makes it interesting.” Don’t be afraid to be different, and that can even mean that you change your own style day by day. Jasmine at Birmingham told me “I can have days where stuff I’m wearing is quite unusual and I feel really good, but also days where I’m wearing muddy jeans and a raincoat and haven’t brushed my hair. The alternation prevents boredom.”
Featured image and 4th image by Jacob Sacks-Jones, all others linked to source
Oxford Fashion Week returns on the 3rd of March and hosts a series of shows, covering areas such as High Street, Lingerie, and Couture. The Oxford Student is honoured to cover the shows. Below, you will find vital information for the shows and events; a further live blog post will keep you updated on each show as the week progresses.
High Street (Tue): Brit-Stitch, Next, Aspire Style, Henri Castro, Lula Le Bon. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1405623146360992/?ref=5
Lingerie (Thu): Nichole de Carle, Andrea Billard, William Wilde, Pure Chemistry Lingerie, Aspire Style, Silk Cocoon, Beaujais, Dreamgirl, Electric Style, Madame Fantasy, Nearer the Moon. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1463432693880028/?ref=5
Cosmopolitan (Fri): Coast, Hobbs, Jeff Banks, Jigsaw, Karen Millen, Reiss, Ted Baker, The White Company. See https://www.facebook.com/events/486364001469337/?ref=5
Concept (Sat): Bao Ta, Dmitry Zakharevsky, Gerli Liivamagi, Hirashah, Hghes Jennifer Jade, Jaesun Chung, James Pilcher, Rebecca Marsden, Dewel Jewellery, Sahar Freemantle, Trine Young, Why So Serious, Kim Shul, Rebecca Elley, Francesca Valorsa, Alysha Dalamal. See https://www.facebook.com/events/631992026838497/
Couture (Sun): Clements and Church, Hector Maclean, AGA, Uma Kangai, Lui’s, Jamie Wei Huang, Masato, Bao Ta, Webe Bags Indonesia, Argenteus, Theo Fennell, Julia Burness. See https://www.facebook.com/events/491897580921177/?ref=5
Tickets and location details of each show can be found at http://oxfordfashionweek.com/tickets.html
Fashion Exhibition: OFW 2014 brings forth an exhibition which explores fashion’s ability as a story-teller. The event will run in the O3 Gallery in the Oxford Castle.Featured photographers include: Brian Worley, Ben Robinson, Claire Williams, James Sutton, Jessica Donelly, Julia Cleaver, Mike Croshaw, Norbert Pietraszek, Tony Presland and our ver own Romain Reglade.
The exhibition takes place from 6pm to 8pm in the O3 Gallery, and is free for all.
Speaker – Who made your clothes?: OFW 2014 brings some of the UK’s biggest campaigners to discuss the impact of fashion on the environment and the resources and communities involved in producing our clothes. Speakers debate on questions such as ‘Can fashion ever be guilt free?’, ‘Does looking good always mean doing good?’ and ‘What’s the real definition of a ‘fashion crime’?’ Speakers include:
Abi Chisman – Former Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.com and runs popup shops selling second hand designer fashion with the hope of promoting craftsmanship and sustainability.
Elizabeth Laskar – Eco-fashion consultant and founder of Ethical Fashion Forum. She has worked with BBC, London Fashion Week, Fair Trade and is currently the project manager for Fashion Revolution Day.
Matt Franklin – Coordinator of the Sweatshop Free Campaign at People & Planet, the nationwide student organisation aiming to end word poverty and protect the environment.
Rachel Wilshaw – Ethical Trade Manager at Oxfam GB; she works with business to help them in their commitments to improving ethical practices.
Host: Anusha Couttigane – Oxford Mail columnist and fashion consultant for London-based retail consultancy Conlumino. Anusha can often be seen quoted in titles such as the Telegraph, Drapers, Just Style and Retail Week.
The Event takes place on Wednesday from 6pm-8pm at the Wine Bar & Bistro. The event is a must-go for those interested in the fashion industry as well as current environmental issues. Tickets are £5 including drinks reception and can be found at http://oxfordfashionweek.com/tickets.html
Style isn’t about age
The notion of style could be seen as a somewhat elusive one; you can’t just buy it or copy it. It doesn’t involve buying the most expensive clothes as suggested by Vogue or straight from a mannequin. Instead, style requires knowing yourself and your body and channelling this into an outward form of expression. Age then has no influence on style, because there can be no guarantee as to when such self-knowledge can be achieved.
Looking back on past outfits, we can all single out a few that we may wish we’d never worn. From oversized khaki pants to dungarees, the word fashionable may not be our first choice to describe such things. Yet this seems to be where the line between fashion and style is drawn. While fashion relates to trends, style can be timeless and need not correspond to them at all. We can be consistently stylish yet questionably fashionable. We call somebody stylish when they own what they wear, and when we just sheepishly follow what we’re told is fashionable, we can never look properly comfortable. The slender twenty-somethings that storm the catwalks and fill our magazines may epitomise fashion, but there are undeniably pensioners who own their style much more. There are clear examples in both extremes of age who demonstrate that style is in no way about age. Chloë Moretz, still only 17, was given the Future Icon Award at last year’s ELLE fashion awards for effortlessly incorporating some of the more challenging designers into her style, proving that style has no age limit. At the other end of the age spectrum, 87-year-old June Brown recently bonded with Lady Gaga on the Graham Norton Show about their fashion choices, whilst sporting a trademark blonde streak in her fringe. Two very different people in terms of backgrounds and influences, yet both have a clear sense of style unique to their individual personalities.
Style is therefore not about age, being fashionable or buying the most expensive clothes. It is a form of expression that allows us to use the creations of others to define our own identity. As our ideas about ourselves and the world around us develop, so does our style, meaning that while it is influenced by the trends of our times, it stays loyal to our own interpretation of them. Style is experimenting with clothes and finding your own distinct way to express yourself through them.
[caption id="attachment_51133" align="alignright" width="200"] Lady GaGa and June Brown proving style is ageless[/caption]
Style is about age
First of all, anyone can look chic. From your five-year-old cousin to your imposing great-aunt, the use of clothes to express ourselves and look great is a universal activity. But just think what would happen if that cousin and aunt were to swap clothes. Suddenly the child is weighed under by layers of silk and wool, a string of pearls dragging her comically to the ground. Meanwhile the aunt finds herself the unlikely model of dungarees and a T-shirt featuring The Tweenies. Even with sizing considerations put to one side, it doesn’t work. Style is about age; it’s about locating who you are at this particular time and reflecting that in your apparel.
This isn’t to say that individuality should be restricted by age; life would be rather boring if everyone born in the same year wore the exact same thing. But the truth is that we do dress to reflect our generation. There are many stylish older ladies who have maintained a rather 1950s aesthetic in their wardrobes, partially because it’s an elegant look, and partially because this was the time when they were young women encountering and enjoying fashion fully for the first time. Similarly, there’s a lot to be said for the aged hippy who still wears the kaftan they bought during the Summer of Love. I’m not saying that I’m going to continue wearing my tartan miniskirt well into my 90s, but I imagine that many of the style sensibilities which I form now, during some of the most exciting and eye-opening years of my life, will stay with me for a long time.
Besides, surely sticking to fashion which is vaguely age-appropriate and reflective of your own generation has greater integrity than constantly trying to keep up with the latest fads and trends? There comes a point when one stops looking like an ‘It’ girl and more like Edie from Ab-Fab.
Style should by no means have proscriptive criteria, but it is important to maintain an idea of who you are – something which is inevitably affected by age – if you are going to be comfortable and confident in your outfit. By staying true to yourself, you can stay eternally chic.
The weather has not been great this past couple of days; if only this non-stop rain would hydrate my cold-weather skin! It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. Because before I know it, I see not only patches, but a leg-ful of flaky skin. Ashy, scaly, possibly itchy… Well, you get the idea. I’m blaming the central heating!
Luckily it’s not the end of the world. There’s a lot that can be done to save the Sahara skin. Read on for some tips and home remedies.
Moisturisers. It’s pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when someone brings up the subject of dry skin. But there are simply too many to choose from. A moisturiser may smell really nice and its bottle may look amazing, but ultimately you’re looking for a lotion that loves your skin as much as you do, and that means bringing moisture (come on, if it doesn’t do that one thing it’s named after, bin it!). Dermatologists suggest products with heavier formulas, such as those that contain humectants like glycerin and sorbitol.
Long hot baths. I’m writing from personal experience here. Yes, they feel nice; yes, they help you relax. Make the little addition of scented candles and you’re sorted for your pamper evening. However, nothing can be worse for your skin than hot baths/showers. The heat makes the skin’s oils soften, much as butter softens and melts when heated. Bring some shower gel into the mix, and the shield on your skin will be gone in no time. And guess what happens next? Without that barrier, out goes the moisture. Don’t want it to escape? Try to stay away from exposing your skin to hot water.
Moisture-robbing soaps. It’s a beauty myth that oily or acne-prone skin needs to be washed regularly, sometimes with the combination of harsh soaps to prevent breakouts. That’s simply untrue. Washing your face every hour isn’t going to stop those spots coming, in fact, you’re inviting more to appear. Stripping away the basic layer of oils on your skin gives your body the signal to produce more oils to make up for the loss, hence creating even more skin problems. No matter how oily your skin is, wash it regularly, keep it moisturised; your skin will thank you for that.
Homemade face masks. Spoil yourself with a fancy spa facial at home with only ingredients from the kitchen. One of the most effective is the milk mask. Just mix 1/4 cup of powdered milk with water to form a thick paste with a consistency that’s not too runny. Apply that on your face, let it dry and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it with lukewarm water. Another way to feel your skin feel moisturised and rejuvenated is the yoghurt, banana and honey mask. Mash 2 tablespoons of yoghurt, half a banana and a tablespoon of honey in a bowl until smooth. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Leftovers? Treat yourself to some dessert!
Full-on spa. Enjoy a full-body spa at the weekend because why not? You may not find these ingredients in your kitchen cupboard but they are definitely worth investing in. Mix a ratio of 3 to 1 of olive oil and castor oil in a bowl and let it aside. Prepare a big warm towel (you can put it under hot running water then squeeze it until it’s not dripping). Apply the oil all over your body, and then wrap yourself up in the towel. Take the towel off when it’s become cool. The most important thing to remember here is not to take a shower immediately after; leave it for another hour or two and let the oil sink in.
And voilà! Don’t go too crazy with these remedies as experts suggest doing them only weekly, if not once every two weeks. But do keep your skin clean (not with boiling hot water though) and choose the right moisturiser; your skin will be forever grateful to you!
The first thing about Catz ball is that it is very, very far from home. Many girls braved the walk tottering in heels and shielded themselves against the wind in as much faux fur as their uni wardrobes could muster, but for most of us, this meant pre-booked taxis, leggings under the maxi dresses and even, oh the horror, flats. But once the white marquee walls have accepted you into their warm embrace, you realise that none of these details matter, because unlike other college balls, Catz holds no pretence to grandeur; they just want you to have a good time and don’t care much about the glass of wine you just spilled down your bejewelled front.
In fact the predominating feature of the outfit landscape of the ball was that no one was afraid to experiment, and that really anything goes, (as long as it comes somewhat under the vague ‘black tie’ title obvs). I saw lots of multi-coloured hair, some avant-garde facial decorations (lip transfers are a must-try girls), and a surprising inclination to eschew the traditional glittery fluffy princess look for jumpsuits, co-ords and more minimalism. Talking to a few people it also became apparent that the high-street is in, and the designer dress that costs more than your termly battels is most definitely out. Dresses from ASOS and boohoo in particular abounded, and the insane variety that online-shopping affords meant that there were hardly any awkward situations where you realise that the girl next to you in line for the pizza stand was clearly browsing from the same Topshop sale rail as you last month.
But what was most exciting about the fashion at the Ball was actually the guys. I was expecting to have to write maybe a small side-note on whether it was shirt sleeves hidden or slightly peeking out from beneath the jacket as the predominating debate, but oh how I have underestimated the sartorial consciousness of Oxford’s boys. Of particular note is the floor-length fur adorning one guest; under that excellent coat he could have been wearing his pyjamas and still would have got a mention purely on the basis of panache-points. I was feeling somewhat outdone in my understated accessories by the myriad of paisley bow ties and jazzy cravats on display.
By the end of the night though, the paisley, the glitter, the velvet and the satin were indistinguishable from one another, as one too many lychee-vodka concoctions meant everything was a bit of a kaleidoscope of colour for me.
All images by JRDunbar Photography
For his Autumn/Winter 1996 collection, Alexander McQueen chose an unusual location. The show, entitled ‘Dante’ was held at Christchurch in London’s Spitalfields, and heavily featured Christian imagery, including thorn crowns and images of angels. The setting was partially chosen for the interesting paradox that the church’s architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor, had been a Satanist. After the show, guests were handed pamphlets railing against the vanities of apparel. Apart from his typical dark sense of humour, this collection exhibited McQueen’s fearlessness in the face of controversy, and a fierce dedication to provoking thought and debate in his audience, rather than merely awe-struck admiration. But was he right to do it? Many might interpret his combination of a sacred setting and theme with overtly sexual clothing which accessorized Christian imagery as disrespectful, or even deliberately attention-seeking. Yet others defend his right to use whatever imagery is available to him in the production of art; design is, after all, primarily art (I don’t know many people who would choose a thorn crown as an item to wear for comfort or practicality).
Justin Wellby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, recently criticised the use of the crucifix as a fashion statement, claiming that its ubiquity as an accessory has left it devoid of meaning. As an industry which tends to exist by rushing from scandal to scandal, the fashion world does not tend to be all that concerned with whether or not it offends people. Yet many designers might argue that they have no intention of devaluing religion, as their choice of sacred imagery is merely a reaction to their culture. We have seen several notable examples in the past few years of religion as a theme in runway shows. Versace’s Autumn/Winter 2012 show featured the crucifix as a recurring pattern; Dolce and Gabbana used the interior of a Sicilian church as inspiration for their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, creating gorgeous mosaic dresses on which the Virgin Mary was depicted, and one of the most stunning pieces in the recent Valentino couture collection was a floor-length gown, the skirt of which was filled with an image of Adam and Eve. A connecting factor between these designers is that they are all Italian, and it is therefore fairly obvious that this religious imagery is a response to the highly Catholic country in which they all live. It would be disingenuous for Dolce and Gabbana to create a tribute to the culture of Sicily without including the rich religious imagery which is an integral part of that area.
More serious problems arise when brands and designers feel entitled to use sacred symbols from cultures which are not their own as an accessory in their products. Cultural appropriation is a messy and complex issue which is not always to do with religion, but basically if you’re not Native American it is somewhat insulting to wear a Native American headdress as a fashion statement; these are sacred symbols and integral parts of Native American culture, a culture which has been under threat because of the oppression suffered by its people. Many argue that the use of symbols from other cultures is a form of cultural appreciation, and thus justifies Lady Gaga wearing a burka or Selena Gomez sporting a bindi. While it is true that celebrating different cultures can be a beneficial thing to do, the problem here is that when the fashion industry (which is, incidentally, still very much white-dominated) chooses to incorporate these religious things into a product, it is effectively reducing an entire culture to a commodity. One might argue that this is also the case when a designer chooses to use the crucifix in their work, but there is a difference between a white Euro-American person from a Christian background (even if they do not identify as Christian themselves) featuring a Christian emblem and the same person featuring an image which is important to, say, Islam.
The truth is that all of this is very tricky territory, and is made more difficult to navigate by the fact that many designers are deliberately trying to offend, as well as amuse, their audiences. It is a sure-fire way to get attention, as well as an opportunity to make a tongue-in-cheek statement. Take, for example the work of designer Jeremy Scott. His collections have played over time with ideas of religion which, combined with his unwavering sense of humour and kitsch designs, makes for a playful but controversial aesthetic. His Autumn/Winter 2011 collection featured red dresses on which the word ‘God’ was emblazoned in the Coca-Cola font; by Spring 2013 he had moved on to using burkas in a show called ‘ Arab Spring’. While many find this sort of thing somewhat distasteful, Scott himself claims to be challenging the status quo by pointing out how the commercialism of fashion often seems to resemble an organised religion.
Fashion and religion have never exactly been bedfellows, and this relationship will continue to be a fraught one. Many of fashion’s most revered figures have made questionable decisions when it comes to wearing sacred imagery as part of their outfits; for an example of this, look no further than Isabella Blow’s hot pink burka, designed by Jon Tukahashi, which was also worn by Lady Gaga in a Philip Treacey show recently. However, as the fashion industry becomes more aware of its problematic nature – something which is being examined especially by those who want to challenge the inherent racism in the business – we may start to see a greater respect for religion in catwalk collections. This does not necessarily mean that all religious imagery will disappear, but rather that designers will think more carefully about whether they have the right to turn a religion into something which can be bought and sold. There will also, however, always be those who are simply out to shock. In many ways, fashion needs these individuals, but equally it needs others who take a more conscientious approach.
A hard-working, reliable high-achiever, consistently at the top of the Norrington table, Merton is the archetypal Oxford college and so in shoes would be the classic Oxford lace-up brogue. Traditional well-made English high performer with a dash of fancy decoration, elegant and good-looking with a timeless touch of class, the staying power of both Merton and the brogue maintains their peerless reputations as top players in their field.
The indie monarch of Oxford, Wadham would be a pair of Doc Marten boots. Unisex, extremely popular and now universally acknowledged as the right-on footwear of choice for the cool kids, Wadham and Docs are possibly now in danger of looking so self-consciously trendy they could be verging on passé.
Popular, casual vans in monochrome chequerboard reflect the distinctive brickwork of Keble and its sporty, fun-loving nature, yet are still attractive and adaptable enough to match the glamour of formal in the splendid dining hall, the resident artworks in the chapel or the rigours of a night in the space-age college bar.
A little bit preppy yet endearingly straightforward, eclectic and welcoming, St Hugh’s would be a pair of loafers. Down-to-earth and practical, everyone feels at home here but patent leather in navy, bottle-green or maroon and pony-skin uppers topped with tassels give these stylish classics a quirky twist to match the off-beat and definitely over-the-top nature of this college.
Out on a limb, slightly odd, a bit of a pastiche and they shouldn’t work but actually they do, cork wedges epitomise Worcester which has a modest frontage belying a sunken quad and its own lake for goodness’ sake. Objectively they sound wrong and they might be a bit impractical on some occasions but they do look great, and it’s all about the visual at Worcester.
Final bastion of male privilege and supremacy as the last college to admit women, Oriel’s reputation for stern masculinity could only be matched by a thigh-high dominatrix or military riding boot in shiny black with metal-tipped heels for that irresistible reproachful click-clacking sound.
Free and easy, open and airy, St Hilda’s coveted position by the river, its generous lawns and its reputation for relaxed inclusiveness evoke the light touch of the flip-flop, and in turn reflect the open nature and sunshine connotations of everyone’s favourite summer slip-on.
The Scandinavians love their clogs. Versatile and hard-wearing, they appear at the beach, in the garden, to and from the sauna. Eco-friendly credentials and their quirky organic design endear them to wearers, not least for the ease in which they slip on and off. Quietly cheeky but secure in their own identify and confident of their ability, Scandi clogs are surely the podiatric embodiment of St Catz and its iconic Danish design.
The Christ Church shoe would reflect its fundamentally conservative nature, but also the stunning glamour of its architecture and setting; so it would be a high-heeled court, but with the racy undercurrent of a distinctive Louboutin red sole and maybe a peep-toe or sparkling embellishments to add even more panache.
Genuinely egalitarian, relaxed and a little bit earnest, Balliol is well-known for accommodating and encouraging serious political high-flyers. The desert boot equally appeals to a broad spectrum of personalities and views, and serves them well for most eventualities with its no-nonsense flat sole, neutral colours, and versatility from army wear through casual weekend staple with jeans to a smarter look with chinos and a jacket.