Catching Up With Alexandra O’Neill As Markarian Makes Its Resplendent Runway Debut

by Freya Drohan

Stepping into Manhattan’s Rainbow Room on Friday afternoon felt like momentarily stepping back in time—a time where a fashion show was less about noise and chaos, and more about the type of breathtaking elegance that doesn’t need to shout, that is. And we have Alexandra O’Neill to thank for that. On the occasion of the young designer’s first-ever runway show, the ballroom had been turned into a retro salon of sorts. But between the impeccable silhouettes which offered a totally modern suggestion on how to dress like our inner regal alter egos and the impossibly pretty yet wearable accessories, there was nothing old fashioned about it. Indeed, welcome to the new area of Markarian. The Daily stole a moment of the in-demand talent’s time to get a taste of what the lead-up to this major moment was like.

What are your three main moods right now?
I feel excited, nervous, and gracious.

Theme of your upcoming collection in one sentence?
This season I wanted to focus on the warmth and intimacy of the made to order process at the Markarian salon.

Are you usually a calm person or do you get stressed easily?
I am usually outwardly calm but always freaking out internally.

Alexandra O’Neill (BFA)

How are you sleeping? Any wind-down rituals that help?
I tend not to sleep well when I am excited or stressed. I always wash my face before I go to bed and read until I fall asleep.

Any in-studio playlists/music you’re loving right now?
We have been listening to Donna Summer, Jessie Ware, and Rhye on repeat…and sometimes Spice Girls Radio!

What other energy-boosting things do you swear by?
Ginger shots, coffee, and getting up and taking a walk. All three are so helpful on keeping you going. Sometimes I get into a zone and realize I haven’t moved in hours, so it’s important to get up and walk away every now and then.

What has been the most inspiring during the last year?
Old movies and organic patterns in nature have been so inspiring over the past few months.

Any night-before-the-show traditions?
This is my first show, so I guess we will see what we come up with!

What about afterwards, what’s the first thing you’ll do to celebrate?
After every big event or shoot, I always take my team out for burgers to celebrate.

After two digital seasons, what’s the thing you’re most looking forward to about in-person events?
Being able to show everyone the clothing in person is so different than seeing it on a computer screen. The movement of the clothing, and textures and drape of the fabric is so much better in person.

What’s one thing you want everyone in the audience to feel?
A sense of fantasy and excitement when seeing the collection.

See the full collection below:

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