Phoebe English is an established name on the London Fashion Week circuit, but yesterday at LCM she was the newcomer. Presenting her third collection of menswear, English took to the spotlight bolstered by the support of NEWGEN – the emerging designer platform that has seen some of London’s brightest talents rise up.
English is no upstart though, and the proof was in the polished presentation. Within the BFC showrooms, a cluster of boys sat together sewing, clothed in brushed cotton and crisp shirting. Their quiet activity reflected the sensibility with which English approaches her men’s collections, making simple clothes that carry an unassuming kind of beauty. Her process is firmly grounded in construction, fabrication and the physical art of making, and though this is more dramatically expressed in her now five year old womenswear line, yesterday’s collection showed that same dedication to form and fabric.
“The collection is always based around my boyfriend and he wears stripes all the time,” English said of the linear motifs that were blocked in grey across soft-looking joggers and a long, hooded smock-top. “This season is a bit softer and lighter.”
Outerwear took form as stripped back coats and bombers, minus any feeling of heaviness or effort (that’s the opposite of what Phoebe’s man is about). Bearing in mind that English herself is no newbie to the design game, it makes sense that her garments carry a subtle sense of ease. No matter how tricky they actually were to create.
GALLERYBackstage at this show
GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show