Chasing Rainbows: How Olivia Rubin is Brightening Up Our Wardrobe

3 min read
Olivia Rubin
Olivia Rubin wearing her Penelope resort stripe skirt

Olivia Rubin’s glorious technicolour dream clothes continue to spark joy in London, and beyond 


Yesterday, British fashion designer Olivia Rubin presented her second London Fashion Week show: a technicolour  collection brimming with bold pattern clashes, pouf power shoulders and 1980s colour blocking. 

Olivia Rubin resumed her penchant for joyous, brightly coloured clothing, first established in her SS20 line, with an autumn/winter 2020 collection that showcased candy-floss coloured coats for chilly December days, vivd silky dresses made for afterwork drinks and Granny-chic cardigans in oversized check prints. 

olivia rubin

Olivia Rubin’s AW20 collection, Instagram @oliviarubin

Just as cheerful as her LFW debut, the line was bursting with joie de vivre — offering much-needed pick-me-up in a time of global woe. It’s apparent that real life fashion fairytales don’t happen very often. But, designer Olivia Rubin  discovered her pot of career gold quite literally at the end of a rainbow. 

A graduate of Central St.Martins who has worked at Alexander McQueen, Dior and John Galliano, after creating collections for wholesale labels and taking time out to start a family, a then 36-year- old Olivia realised something was missing; not only from her wardrobe, but her daily life too.


Eveline polka dot tiered dress, OLIVIA RUBIN SS20

 “After I had my second daughter, I realised I really missed designing, and making my own clothes,” she explains. “When I looked around the shops, there was nothing grabbing my attention that wasn’t a Dhs10,000 dress, or something everyone could get on the high street. So I started making a few bits for myself.” 

Those few ‘bits’ started with a rainbow striped sequin skirt, a picture of which she posted on Instagram – and suddenly, she was inundated with hundreds of enquiries asking where people could buy one, including influencers Song of Style, Rocky Barnes and the head of fashion at Instagram itself, Eva Chen. 

olivia rubin

Olivia Rubin wearing her SS20 Mika cardigan

“There wasn’t really a plan involved,” says Olivia. “I didn’t suddenly think I wanted to start my own label. I just made clothes for myself, and posted pictures of me wearing them online. There was no real expectation. I thought I’d sell a few things on my website, and that was that.” 

Little more than two years later, Olivia sells through her website and more than 50 global outlets, including Robinsons and Etoile “La boutique” in Dubai. “I never imagined it would blow up as fast as it did,” she laughs. “Who knew my obsession with bright colours and rainbows would become the reality of my very own fashion dream?” 

Shop the Olivia Rubin SS20 collection in Dubai at Robinsons and Etoile “La boutique”

  • Words Lucy Wildman