Phoebe English teamed with puppet-maker Judith Hope and presented her spring range through an immersive performance with live models that handled miniature marionettes at Hollybush Gardens Gallery.
English said showing in this format gave her the opportunity to change up how she presents. “Fashion is always sort of super heightened towards bigger, better, sparklier and glamorous — all these new ways of selling,” said English. “So I thought it would be interesting to come at it from an opposite perspective and just actually make everything smaller and more intimate. So the collection is in a miniature size, alongside the normal-sized pieces. This was an opportunity to play with looking at how people see things and whether you can emphasize something by actually making it smaller.”
The designer — who is celebrating the brand’s sixth anniversary in a few weeks — said the collection was made for the quintessential Phoebe English girl and noted that it is a milestone for her. “It was about solidifying everything I’ve done for the past six years in a very, hopefully, easily approachable and consumable product,” said English.
The designer sent out a well-constructed lineup filled with delicate bespoke fabrications and draping details.
English focused on handmade textiles — which were more prevalent this season — and worked muslins, cotton poplins and soft transparent tulles into her range. She played with netting that had a hectic criss-crossing pattern on a short-sleeve blouse, which was layered over oversize cotton shirting and an asymmetric skirt with a scalloped hem. The scalloped silhouette was also fashioned on the lapels of a canvas jacket and paired with roomy culottes.
Intricate draping was seen on a delicate tulle dress with an asymmetric bodice – a silhouette that she has been working with for a few seasons.
She used a clean palette of monochrome hues such as coal and paper-white as she noted that using color last season “backfired” for her and confused buyers.