Phoebe English‘s spring/summer 2013 show at London Fashion Week was an eclectic exploration of creation. Featuring sensational garments and sensual mouthpieces, the 26-year-old Central Saint Martins graduate allows the wearer to develop an intimate relationship with each of her designs. And her words are just as convincing: From “silhouettes with wings that gently wrap and encase the body” to “shivering organic accumulations of glass on geometric grid structures,” English’s collection notes read more like a love note to craftsmanship instead of a factory rundown of looks. Here, the designer gives us more on her very unique vision.
What was the theme behind your collection this season?
There were many differing themes, but overall I mainly wanted to explore volume and drape whilst simultaneously covering and exposing the female body in quite a gentle way.
Was there an image, movie or thought that triggered the aesthetic?
I think memories of epic childhood gardens played a large role at the beginning of the design process, but then as always the collection takes its own path as it develops.
What inspired the jewelry in the show? Those mouthpieces were insanely cool.
They reference medieval green man iconography—that notion of the “exhalation of spring” but with a harder edge. I wanted to use them as a visual link between the models and the rich opulent space we showed in, the vestibule of Freemasons’ Hall. They were a collaboration with jewelry designer Reid Peppard who lives and works close to the studio.
What was the haunting song playing during your show? What music did you listen to while making this collection?
Radio 6 plays all day here, but we listened to CRIM3S alot who kindly did our show music; it is a remix they did for us of two of their songs: “Breed” and “Salt.” And Public Enemy “Harder Than You Think” was pretty much on repeat!
If you could costume any movie, which one would it be?
Anything otherworldly—preferably with mermaids, unicorns or dragons.
What’s next for Phoebe English?
We are off to Paris for sales, then planning the spring/summer 2013 fashion film. We’re also making textiles for production and I’m already working on the next collection.