|Olivia Rubin, in her London studio|
I first met Olivia Rubin in 2008 after I featured a pink wool tux jacket from her autumn/winter collection in Grazia. The jacket was beautiful- still is- it's actually one of my most treasure items of clothing. As after the feature Olivia emailed me to thank me and when I expressed how much I loved the jacket and what a fan of the collection I was she offered to make me one- “I’m half way between a size 8 and 10”, I remember telling her, over email- “I’m a 9!” That’s no problem she told me and then in her South Molten Street studio in central London she handmade me a replica of the beautiful jacket I had featured in the magazine, and two weeks later it arrived. It was a perfect fit! I was so impressed by Olivia’s workmanship that when she invited me to her studio, after more email conversations, this time me thanking her, I jumped at the chance....I couldn’t wait to see what else she could do.
I’ve always loved prints and wearing colour and I think that’s why Olivia and I instantly connected; all of the prints you see in Olivia’s collections are her own original designs and I love visiting her at the start of each season when all she has is her print ideas, a few sketches of silhouettes and a cluster of images tacked to the wall of her studio (which together create a giant mood-board), and then returning when all Olivia’s hard work is done, the collection is complete and hanging in her showroom (which sits opposite her studio space).
What’s brilliant about Olivia is that she’s built her business herself (a one-woman band at times), so as well as the design and pattern cutting process, she is involved in everything from traveling to China for production to meeting press and setting-up buying appointments in the UK and abroad too- Olivia is seriously smart. And as her business has grown over the past seven or eight seasons (and goodness knows it has!) Olivia’s never lost sight of what she set out to do and because of that her aesthetic and identity gets stronger every year.
It's also worth noting that since launching her label in 2007 Olivia has gone from creating two collections each year to four and that doesn’t even include her diffusion line- Oli Rubi (which also has more than one drop a season) not to mention her collaborations with high street giants; ASOS and Dorothy Perkins and is now stocked worldwide, pretty tremendous in six years don't you think?!
Now, although I love her separates, and after all that’s what attracted me to Olivia’s label in the first place, it's her dresses that I’m addicted to! And I must say whenever I wear one of Olivia’s designs I always get compliments- her eye-catching prints never go unnoticed...so without further ado here is my collection of Olivia Rubin frocks, a timeline in dresses if you will, some you may instantly recognise- that’s because Cheryl Cole, Fearne Cotton etc. are also Olivia Rubin fans...but I wore them first, honest!
|Olivia Rubin: Autumn/Winter ’08 wool jacket, worn with Olivia Rubin: Autumn/Winter ’11 ‘Emma’ blouse.|
|Olivia Rubin: Spring/Summer ’09 ‘Zebra’ dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Spring/Summer ’09 ‘Shark’ shirtdress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Autumn/Winter ’09 square print tunic dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Spring/Summer ’10 ‘Opie’ dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Spring/Summer ’10 abstract print dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Autumn/Winter ’10 ‘Lily’ dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Spring/Summer ’11 ‘Teardrop’ dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Autumn/Winter ’11 ‘Kim’ dress.|
|Olivia Rubin: Autumn/Winter ’11 ‘Sophie speech bubble’ sweater, worn with Paige jeans |
and Miu Miu sandals throughout.
To see and shop Olivia Rubin's latest collections click here.