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Runway Rundown: Phoebe English Explores Feminine Power [LFW]

Since the international Women’s March in January, people around the world are stepping up for the rights of women more and more, using their voices to call out tyrannical oppression, to show courage and bravery in the face of apathy, and, when fear divides us, to repair bonds and re-unite us all together so hope will inevitably reign; this was exactly what Phoebe English had in mind for her fall-winter narrative – all in only eight looks.

Now, when it comes to Phoebe English, there’s not much she can’t do: she’s a top-notch designer, a talented artist, an illustrated storyteller, and her seasonal presentations look more like art installations than a fashion showcase. But, you can always rely on her to balance contemplative concepts with well-crafted clothing.

Since this season was about the exploration of the fragility and the strength of our times, she was able to portray and celebrate unity over division through a system of color codes, symbolism and an accumulation of textures and textiles, such as velvet, silk and bouclé wool; tailoring also had a major role this season – a rare first for this experimental designer.

Of all the models, each character was unique: the red-suited stature of “tyranny,” the blue-mouthed face of “voice,” the trapped golden sequins waiting to burst out of the jacket of “courage,” the white hair bindings of “unity” (a 3-in-1 deal of different looks united by a common thread), and so on and so forth with “fear,” “apathy,” “repair,” and “hope.”

The vibe of the collection was full of symbolism and pulled together with bold silhouettes, delicate forms and several ill-fitting wide-legged trousers that were somehow the strangest-yet-best-looking pieces of them all; this was feminine strength and resilience – Phoebe English-style.

Images courtesy of Neil Mason

Stay tuned to Milk for more tales of artistic resilience throughout LFW and beyond.

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