Fashion
  • Text Kinza Shenn
  • Photography Ben Parks
  • 6th January 2017

Laundry day

Phoebe English has always held a tenet against transience, against decoration, against trendiness. Her menswear and womenswear collections often have a subdued pastoral quality, shaded in natural colours, gently tailored, lightly crumpled with the implication of hard work. It is this purism – especially prevalent in her newer menswear line – that makes her designs so appealing, relevant and easy to wear.

FW17 saw a union of pragmatism and romanticism, inspired by the creative men that Phoebe knows, works and lives with. During the presentation, the models folded sheets, organised heaps of socks, swept laundry pegs from the floor, shuffled around with dust pans and brushes. They wore muted corduroys, velvets, soft ticking, waxed cottons, each appropriated into some very familiar shapes to the millennial guy. Bomber jackets, jogging bottoms, backpacks. These had been adjusted with little subtleties: back vents on a jacket, convertible bags, a new mandarin collar. They were clothes to work in comfortably, showing as ever, Phoebe’s consideration for the ties between material, motion and man.