Phoebe English’s fragile, delicate collection of rough-edged clothing recalled Victorian waifs or shadowy figures from an unsettling dream. The designer, who showed in a basement space at Somerset House, sent out models dressed in layered white dresses with unfinished edges that looked as if they had been cut from bed sheets — and then deftly transformed into clothing.
Some were plain, while others were daubed with bright paint in various colors — English collaborated with the illustrator and print designer Helen Bullock — and others still were styled with bustier tops.
There were white tulle dresses, too, covered in swirls of thick paint, which the designer said was meant to look like a dance across the body. Some of the pieces were challenging, as in the dark tops and skirts that looked as if they were made from wide netting or wire caging, and other silhouettes that appeared to be embellished with clumps of fabric.
While the clothing might not be for everyone, English is developing a following. During London Fashion Week, pieces of her spring collection appeared in the windows of Dover Street Market and she is stocked at DSM stores worldwide as well as stores such as IT and Twist in Hong Kong.