Phoebe English spring/summer 2017 collection presentation for LFWLondon Fashion Week SS17
Phoebe English is known for putting process at the heart of her work. The daughter of artist parents, English places utmost respect on materials and “lost, forgotten or little-used techniques.” In a highly conceptual presentation, inspired perhaps by Western astrology, English showcases a series of incredible (and incredibly delicate) pieces formed by what she calls “heroic draping”.
The planning gone into each piece is extreme. A model sits atop a white block knotting and unknotting metres and metres of canvas; presumably she is the “strangler” hinted at in the show notes. She wears a white long-sleeved top comprising infinite overlapping fabric segments, all knotted together to create the perfect fit. Similarly, an archer stands next to her wearing a segmented and knotted bralette underneath a one-sleeved dress, which knots to one side of the waist like a ballet dancer’s cardigan. The result of such precision and execution is a uniquely feminine look. Next is the “enquirer”. This paint-smeared model, all back-combed hair and ink-stained fingers, wears a sheer, asymmetric cardigan of sorts. The upper edges are ragged and unfinished – a deliberate move on English’s part, no doubt to draw a contrast with the delicately finished lower hemline that is typical of her usual attention to detail. On the other side of the room is a widow-esque figure, in an intricately gathered black empire line dress and sheer veil. On closer inspection, the dress is layered, an effect created by the number of panels fused together – as with the knotting strangler, the archer and the “enquirer”. The meaning behind the arrangement may not be clear, but English’s purpose is: her SS17 collection is a testament to fine design work and unusual methods.
Photos: Krisztian Pinter
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