About

Bruce Oldfield OBE (born 14 July 1950) is a British fashion designer, best known for his couture occasionwear.

Oldfield was brought up and educated in the care of children's charity, Barnardo's. He was educated at Ripon Grammar School, Sheffield College, and Ravensbourne college. He graduated from St. Martin's School of Art in London in 1973 to critical acclaim.

After leaving St. Martin's School of Art with a fashion degree in 1973, Oldfield worked as a freelance designer for several high-profile fashion companies, ranging from an exclusive collection for Henri Bendel in New York to selling shoe designs to Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. He established his own company in 1975 with a bank loan and a grant from Dr. Barnardo's, the children's home where Oldfield grew up. The business began as a ready-to-wear operation that produced two seasonal collections a year. Concentrating on occasion clothing, the range was available at prestigious stores such as Harvey Nichols in London, and Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's in New York. He also worked on specialist commissions, such as designing the film wardrobe for Charlotte Rampling in Le Taxi Mauve and Joan Collins in The Bitch.

The success of the business led to an increasing emphasis on the private customer, resulting in the decision to provide an exclusively couture service by 1983, producing unique and glamorous evening and wedding dresses. In 1984 the first Bruce Oldfield shop opened at 27 Beauchamp Place, London, selling a total look, both to the ready-to-wear and the couture customer. Oldfield is perhaps best known for his couture and ready-to-wear evening dresses, often worn by high-profile clients.

In 1990 Oldfield was awarded the OBE for services to fashion and industry; and in 2004 he published his autobiography "Rootless". He has Honorary Fellowships to the Royal College of Art and the Universities of Durham and Sheffield, was Governor of The London Institute (1999-2001) and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts (2000-2002). In December 2001, Oldfield received an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law (Hon DCL) from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and in 2005 an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England. He is also a Vice President of Barnardo's.

Today, couture, bridal and ready-to-wear, together with an accessories line, can be found at 27 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 INJ. He redesigned McDonald's Staff uniform for 2008.

The Look

Sumptuous fabrics like crushed velvets, taffeta, mink, printed sequins, crepe, chiffon and lamé are used to design traditional sculpted shapes that are exquisitely manufactured. A ruched bodiced dress in velvet, with a huge fischou collar, is completed with a vast swathed taffeta bow on the hip. A velvet double-breasted coat dress is enhanced by an exaggerated mink collar. Particularly distinctive is Oldfield's use of color blocking; simple jersey dresses are slashed asymmetrically and blocked in various vivid color combinations. His tailoring is always curvaceous and womanly, with seams and darts significantly placed to flatter the feminine physique, in soft leathers and wool crepes.

Who Wears It

Sienna Miller, Barbara Streisand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Diana Ross, Emmanuelle Seiger, Taylor Swift, Anjelica Huston, Faye Dunaway, Melanie Griffith, Charlotte Rampling, Jerry Hall, Joan Collins, Queen Noor of Jordan, Queen Rania of Jordan, Diana the Pricess of Wales

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