Phoebe English AW17 Womenswear Show ME.YOU.THEM.US

For A/W17 Phoebe explored themes of tyranny, fear, apathy, voice, courage, unity, repair and ultimately hope. Through the instigation of this collection of characters, a narrative was spun and played out in the beautiful Fitzrovia Chapel. Phoebe wanted to present women as symbols of strength and resilience, our ‘heroines’ glorify a resistance. The models were adorned with decorative crowns and strewn with flora.

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“My collections often stem from abstract origins such as a particular type of process or a feeling; this method aims to infuse my work with a conceptual aesthetic, offering luxury through idea”

English’s previous SS17 collection was a political one representing each day leading up to Brexit – which left no guess to her views on the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Autumn Winter 17 took a similar route, using what is going in current affair around the world – Trump becoming US President, feminism etc – to create a unique and imaginative collection. This season was all about women, power and perseverance and wishing to portray and celebrate unity over division and was explored throughout colour symbolism and an accumulation of textures and textiles.

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Key fabrics in the collection included trapped golden woven sequins, velvet, silks, tulle, boucle wools and shirting cottons – within this collection Phoebe also presented pieces from her third collaboration with births knit wear heritage brand John Smedley – twisted draped knit piece were presented in both silk and felted merino. The basket weave inspired textiles for the collection which were trapped inside layers of tulle stood out to me immensely in the collection – they were incorporated within jackets and also varying sizes of bags.

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This conversation between tyranny and unity aimed to explore both the fragility and the strength of our times, though the use of sheer fabrics we implement bold silhouettes which juxtapose with the delicate forms portraying our fragility. There was no denying the strength throughout the whole collection nor the message it was trying to portray and the inspiration in which it came.

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This collection was one of many this season that held political statements about the worlds current affairs – and currently things are a bit shit at the moment lets be honest – and the designers opinion’s on this coming through heavily whether it be through the clothing, music choice or inspiration for the overall collection. I feel like this is a really important and influential time in fashion where designers are using their public profile and creative platform to the upmost – more of this please!

Tyranny Oppresses

Fear Divides

Apathy Rests

Voice Calls

Courage Braves

Unity Binds

Repair Cures

Hope Reigns

Me. You. Them. Us

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