I went up to Oxford on Friday to attend the Oxford University Red Dress Couture Ball. A three-part event to raise funds for both H.E.L.P. and Teach a Man To Fish. RED, the international colour of hope for those affected by HIV/AIDS was the unifying link throughout the evening’s activities.
The evening started with a dinner at the Cherwell Boathouse on the river's edge and we ate red food as people punted down the river. Then all the guests were taxied to Oxford’s beautiful Town Hall for the runway presentation of red gowns, which was followed by a live auction presided over by Hugh Edmeades, Christie's International Auctioneer. A 100% of the proceeds from the auction going directly to the charities.
Interestingly, the most highly prized items in the auction were a number of summer internships. Notably, two weeks at the London offices of Escada, the international luxury fashion group.
This item was quickly bid-up in the room by adults with eager daughters by their sides, when out of nowhere a young lady on her mobile raised her paddle offering a very high bid as the auctioneer proclaimed “we are now receiving telephone bids” to the amusement of the audience. The laughter grew when the auctioneer asked who she was on the phone to, “my daddy” she replied.
There were a few more bids in the hall but perhaps because of her look of confidence that "daddy" would win this prize for her, the other bidders quickly gave up.
Some of the designers who’s creations were sent down the runway included: Chanel, John Galliano, Vera Wang, Nicole Farhi, Marchesa, Bill Blass, Escada, Herve Leger by Max Azria, Max Azria, Temperley, NOIR, Brian Reyes, Paul Smith, Issa London, Anya Hindmarch.
The movie includes most of the runway presentation and some photos of the after party held in the famed hall of the Divinity School in the Bodleian Library, where red drinks were served….