In the beautiful Fitzrovia Chapel, the intricacy of the golden ceilings and stain-glasses windows was mirrored in the precision and attention to detail throughout the PHOEBE ENGLISH Autumn/Winter 2017 presentation.
Sparking feelings of unity and hope – presenting each model as a character of the seven selected themes – the designer sent a message of reliance in a time of fragility and unease, creating an atmosphere of safety within the walls of the chapel. As set out by the show notes “Tyranny oppresses. Fear divides. Apathy rests. Voice calls. Courage braves. Unity binds. Repair cures. Hope reigns” the collection worked solely to discuss and showcase just that.
Colour connotations played a strong part in the presentation. Showcasing hope in shades of green – symbolising new life and images of spring. Tyranny in structured red. Fear in deep blacks, a representation of the dark and unknown. Apathy in neutral greys. Courage in fiery gold and voice in bold blue. With repair in striking white, a symbol of safety and unity in tones of cream and ivory.
The collection was thought out in its creation – each detail was purposeful. From the fragility of the sheer tulle materials, to the strong tailoring of suits. The clothes and their models actively represented the ideas behind each piece.
The collection featured tailored suits, in both traditional and innovated cuts, flowing tulle skirts and heavily detailed shirts and blouses, using the materials to create a sense of freedom through a relaxed fit. Details within the accessories were intricate and raw – entrapping strips of gold and black fabrics within sheer tulle which created graphic and fun designs.
Working in collaboration with Heritage knitwear brand John Smedley to create twisted and draped knit pieces in fabrics such as felted merino, and with floral arrangements by Maison de Fleurs, the team at Phoebe English created a juxtaposing narrative throughout the chapel.
Phoebe English combined elements of strong silhouettes in designs and the intense architecture of the chapel with delicate materials and flowers in a message of oneness. The designer used this to accentuate the strength and resilience of women and the power of unity in such a divided time.