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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Hoarders Paradise – Graduate Collection

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My graduate collection consisted of 6 menswear outfits which were heavily inspired by hoarding, the everyday and the comfort that hoarders find in collecting objects and possessions.

I created vinyl prints inspired by the hoarding of household objects such as tea towels and cleaning cloths, elevating these humble items into a modern plaid which featured on shirts, wide shorts and outerwear. I also used the tea towels in their raw form to add elements of texture and comfort to the collection. I’ve always loved developing new techniques of fabrication to update fabrics and give a more modern look whilst juxtaposing this with older sewing techniques such as embroidery and patchwork.

I always do lots of development work and stand work inspired by my concept imagery – I love using collage throughout this process to try and exhaust one base idea into 10 or more highly developed and though through ideas. 

My work and concepts are highly influenced by artists and photographers as I’ve always been drawn to people who convey and capture emotions and moods – and they also provide great colour and print inspiration.

After my collection was shown at GFW I was also featured in Vogue Italia’s Emerging Designers, various blogs as well as Debut Magazine which were all amazing exposure and experience which gave me extra confidence to pursue my MA at Kingston University this September.

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You can see more of my work, other university projects and inspirations on my Instagram @sophiealiciabaileymenswear and my arts thread profile http://www.artsthread.com/profile/sophiebailey

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About Me

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Hi! I’m Sophie and I’m a menswear designer and soon to be MA student at Kingston University. I previously studied Fashion Design at De Montfort University in Leicester where I began to specialise in menswear design in my second year, my graduate collection was also featured at Graduate Fashion Week in 2016.

I recently finished internships in London at both Lou Dalton and Phoebe English, where I got to experience all sides of the fashion industry and also work both London Fashion Week Mens and LFW.

This blog focuses on fashion – such as sustainability, designer and high street collaborations and the designer shows that inspire and interest me – as well as lifestyle, my own ‘style file’ and music.

Hope you enjoy!!

Also check out my instagram and twitter pages:

Personal Insta and Twitter @sophieafbailey & @Sophie_Alicia_

Professional Insta and Twitter @sophiealiciabaileymenswear & sabmenswear

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Gender and Identity

Are Feminine Silhouettes the Future of Mens Fashion?

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Designers are increasingly morphing and blurring the lines between males and females. In the silhouettes, cut and fabrics they use. Fashion design giants including Vivienne Westwood, Burberry and Jean Paul Gaultier have all designed skirts for men in a way to push boundaries and explore ideas. The fashion industry in itself has to be exciting and constantly developing new concepts and silhouettes.

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  Men’s Fashion Week in London saw much controversy over the garments that designers chose to show on the catwalk, particularly JW Anderson. His Autumn Winter 13 collection was dominated by feminine inspired shorts, shift dresses and shell tops in colours of camel, navy and baby blue. Although the collection itself caused controversy in what the models were actually wearing the fabrics; sponge,rubberised cotton and duffel are not controversial textures. Duffle in particular is an extremely traditional and classic fabric to use within menswear. The reaction to Anderson’s collection was immense and the controversy that it caused meant it was shown around the world on news stations including CNN and BBC News.

“Examination of bourgeois kinkiness and boudoir perversity” was how Anderson summed up the collection in his show notes. The fact that sexual and revealing clothing can be shown in womenswear and not mens shows the naivety and uneasy feeling that people still have towards men being dressed in a sexual way. The idea of men wearing clothing like this is just that, ’an idea’, it is presenting a possibility for people and consumers to digest and distil in their own personal way. This ‘idea’ will be filtered down throughout the levels of fashion from designer to high street.  Another reason why people may have felt uneasy about the collection was that all the male models looked and felt like they were comfortable in what each of them where wearing.

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Personally the aspect that I focus on is the technical and precision of all the garments; with the neckline being developed through stapling and the darts being brought towards the front of the garment so the back hovered, like suspended architecture. Jacket blocks were reversed so that the shoulders sat forward creating a smooth, sculptural line. I feel that all these elements were overshadowed by the reaction to the pieces being shown in menswear. JW Anderson is known for bringing over concepts from season to season and from womenswear to mens. This collection was in the end a development and evolutional structure from his previous resort collection.

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