Having carved her path via womenswear, SS17 sees London designer Phoebe English presenting on the menswear schedule for the inaugural time. Treading the line between fashion and fine art – consider her 2015 exhibition, Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying – English looks towards a stripped back aesthetic as a blueprint for fabric innovation and manipulation, capturing transient moments in tangible, realtime interpretations.
Inspired by those around her, FW16 saw English extend her practice into menswear, creating a collection that harmonised with her overall ethos whilst exploring new avenues with subtle nuances. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, the designer’s inspiration stems from personal experience, alongside a sense of ethereal mystery that embraces deeper sensibilities.
Can you give us a little insight into your SS17 narrative?
“I think it is softer than the last two seasons, maybe more nostalgic and romantic perhaps. We have expanded the range sightly but I’ve still tried to keep it very edited and select.”
This is your first menswear show, did you approach it differently to your previous womenswear shows?
“No, it’s been very similar show preparation actually, it’s just the collections that I develop in different ways, they are aimed at different people.”
Are there any new techniques/fabrics/etc you have incorporated for this season?
“We have continued to use stripes as they are a key part of our menswear language. Sam, my boyfriend, always wears stripes and the menswear was something I originally made for him.”
What excites you the most about this season?
“We have a slightly bigger team this season so we have been able to invest more time into developing really considered finishings and small garment details which is really satisfying from a design point of view.”