No man has ever looked as sharp while doing their household chores.
So I recently finished a three month studio internship at Phoebe English where I got to experience so many different sides of the fashion industry – in the studio, backstage and at both AW17 menswear, which I’m going to be writing about today, and womenswear shows at London Fashion Week which I’ll be writing another blog post on as they each one had such different atmospheres, inspirations and context. Overall it was an amazing experience for me and I think that gaining that vital experience is key to progress and succeed within the industry and putting what you have learnt throughout University and adding to these key skills is essential.
Throughout the internship I worked on lots of different areas within the studio – working on patterns, cutting toiles and final garments out – and it was great to finally see all the separate pieces come together slowly and finally at the show, as well as seeing phoebe’s design process and work closely with her and the rest of the studio team on both the AW17 collections. I also got to work on tech packs for the AW17 MAN collection, visit factories and PR, work on production pieces for shops and develop textiles for the womenswear collection. It was great to develop and apply my skills from university in an industry environment as well as gaining knowledge on how a studio runs and the business side of fashion which is extremely important.
Phoebe was inspired by all “the creative men” in her life and this inspiration also saw a union of romanticism and pragmatism. The key focus of the AW17 collection was practicality, displaying a range of utilitarian pieces with a relaxed and casual aesthetic. Soft lined bombers, loose fitting striped shirts and casually tailored trousers alongside longline shirts and outerwear pieces. The fabrics ranged from dusty velvets, waxed coated cottons and corduroy – the double layered bomber and matching jogger trouser in black corduroy was one of my favourite outfits from the whole collection. The adjustable bags and backpacks and the addition of joggers bought a comfortable sporty edge but with a luxe feel because of the use of fabrics and colour palette. The other stand out pieces for me personally in the collection were the navy waxed cotton coat, hooded tunic jacket and striped longline belted shirt.
The key colours of Phoebe English MAN AW17 ranged from charcoal and military dark green to subtle tones of navy which were all paired with elements of off white to retain aspects of versatility, crispness and break up the textures of the fabrics and tie the whole collection together. With the use of tradition colours it allowed experimentation of creative cuts and clever use of fabrics offered in layered outfits – being complex in its technique with interesting pleats and lines throughout.
The show was an amazing visual spectacle with the set and props being key to setting the mood – the models went through reptile motions of different domestic chores – sweeping pegs, ironing and folding sheets and hanging socks in an endless rotation matching the trip hop beat in the background – this brought a comic surreal reality to the presentation – the fact that all the models were in movement reflects the brand ethos whilst underlying the practicality of the garments – who knew household chores could look and be so fashionable?