Photos: Lily Grant
To celebrate the last time that she will be presenting her work in the beautiful Freemason’s House, Central Saint Martins graduate Phoebe English commissioned friend and set designer Robert Storey to design a large, geometric, wooden construction. This rigid form was a continuation of the intricately patterned tiles in this unique show space. Against a soundtrack of distortion, the models wore black net visors as they stalked slowly through the wooden set.
By covering their eyes, English creates a sense of anonymity and begins to investigate the idea of ‘sightlessness’ that underpins her show. The rigid lines of the wooden cage contrasted with English’s collection. Her clothes are deconstructed practically to their utmost minimum. In fact, the garments appear to be unfinished and the frayed edges give a sense of ethereality to the strict geometric structure of the clothes. English encourages us to experience her work through touch rather than sight. This is demonstrated in the textures of the collection and the crudely hewn quality of the cotton garments.
The hair styling reflected this mood: fly away strands escaping from the models’ seemingly un-groomed, high double knot. This simplicity is continued in the make up, the models’ lips are painted with nude lipstick, which reflects the neutral palette of full nude, black and navy that colours the designer’s A/W13 range.