“Up until my late teens, I wasn’t even that interested in fashion. I was a tomboy running around in the mud and riding BMX bikes,” says Australian artist and fashion blogger Mandy Shadforth. “But as I got older I realized that fashion was a great avenue to express my individuality and creativity, so I started experimenting with clothing by playing with transfers and cutting things up.” Given the array of whimsical looks documented on her six-month-old blog, Oracle Fox, it’s hard to believe that the style trailblazer wasn’t always working in an industry she has such a natural flair for. In the short time it’s been around, the blog has become a mainline of inspiration for scores of fans, thanks to Shadforth’s futuristic-bohemian aesthetic, brilliant DIY projects, and visually-stimulating travel diaries.
While she’s new to the blogosphere, Shadforth is a veteran of the art world, having appeared in a number of exhibitions and been given several awards for her vibrant oil paintings. “My mum told me that when I was a baby, one of the best ways to settle me at night was to give me coloring pencils and paper,” notes the artist. “When I start a new piece, it’s all very organic. I begin with the central part of the piece, which is usually some sort of a figure, and then I add the elements that compliment it. Sometimes I feel like my artwork creates itself.” Heralding from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, her work is a reflection of her surroundings. “Living in Australia is wonderful for artistic inspiration, as our country’s landscapes are so diverse. Our sunlight is particularly magical—the colors and shadows from the sun are just beautiful. I also travel as much as I can to immerse myself in new cultures.” Equipped with an artist’s eye and a distinct fashion perspective, if Shadforth were to take a shot at designing, who would be her dream collaborator? “It would have to be Roberto Cavalli. The fringe detailing in his recent pieces are something that I dream of in my sleep,” she replies. “I’d also love to work with Lost Art in NYC. The way they combine crystals with leather and hardware in both accessories and wearable pieces is just amazing.” While we wait for Jordan Betten to answer the call, below are a few Oracle Fox-approved treasures.
1. ManiaMania – Immortals Rings – “I love the organic feel of this ring and the way the crystal is entombed in the brass like a treasure wrapped in golden vines. The size is great, too. If you can’t already tell, I love really big rings!”
2. Ellery – Guillotine Ankle Boot – “I love the Lucite heel. These bots aren’t available for purchase yet, but will be very soon. They also come in earthy colors.”
3. Stone Cold Fox – Hyde Blouse – “I’m a big fan of Stone Cold Fox; I love their silhouettes and the casual feminine edge to their pieces. I like that this understated blouse has a deep v-back—it makes for a nice surprise. I think the curve of the spine is really sensual.”
Selt-portrait and artwork by Mandy Shadforth.