COLLECTION| Former Merit Award Winner Phoebe English S/S13

Autumn/ Winter Merit Award winner, Phoebe English has experienced somewhat of a media storm since winning the coveted award, so it's understandable that this was one of the most anticipated shows of the season. The Central Saint Martins MA grad consistently presents work featuring innovative textile treatments, formerly layering hair, and fraying calico.

Opening the show, two very similarly dressed models walked through the iron-grate doorway simultaneously in contrasting black and cream shifts- in keeping with English's former monochromatic signature- seemingly going to back to black for Spring/ Summer. The inspiration - 'Intimate shells and exploring the intimacy between things' and 'Organic forms complied in geometric arrangements'. This silhouettes were thoughtfully crafted and cut, but simple in terms of colour and lack of stitching but this only allowed the embellishments to be more stunning. The accessories were inspired but not overdone, sharp spike metal collars and mouthpieces, creating a sense of almost armoury. These hard, solid shapes were contrasted with the delicate bugle bead work constructed on geometric grids that, with both the light reflecting off of them and their loose construction, allowed movement as the garments made their way down the runway.

Rouching circular cut outs and globular bead embellishments gave the impression of organic accumulations and DNA which contrasted the geometric beading and straight lines of the silhouettes. These silhouettes, which are designed to work both on their own and by interlocking with other garments, made use of layering and closer examination revealed more intricate pattern cutting underneath the looser 'wing-like' silhouettes on top. The only injection of colour was a bright turquoise blue and an elegant cream, inspired by the materials used to make the garments – masking tape and tailors chalk which is a really interesting concept. As expected, Phoebe English made a statement with her bold, confident collection that did not have all the frills of others but did not need them, the simplicity spoke volumes.

Attendees of the event included buyers from Dover Street Market, The Shop at Bluebird and Selfridges, as well as Phoebe's former CSM tutor, Course Director of BA Fashion Willie Walters- "Pheobe is our ex-student on the BA and the MA. I thought it was a great show and we were looking forward to it. She's always been very good, simple and quiet. Timur Kim is another ex-student of ours."

Text by Katie Agar (@katie_agar)
Images by Kevin Chesnais, Rebecca Andrews and Asia Werbel