The English have a sort of sensibility and understanding about how to present themselves that is both effortless and unparalleled. Perhaps that is why Phoebe English, an MA graduate from the world-renown Central Saint Martins, is creating such a name for herself among up-and-coming designers. English, who was born and raised in central England’s Warwickshire, has been the recipient of numerous awards, including like the L’Oreal Professional Creative Award and the Chloe Award, for her collection, which draws heavily on textiles, silhouette and surfaces. English’s eponymous label is part of English Easton Limited, a partnership formed in 2011 between English and Rose Easton. Easton handles the business side of the house and collaborates with English creatively, as well, while English handles the creative and design aspect of the business. Phoebe English has shown at London Fashion Week and her most recent triumph consists of installations in Rei Kawakubo's Dover Street Market locations in New York City and London, for course.
English’s DSM installations merge her strong use of structure, textile and surface with installation art, in this case in the form of a mountain of cascading white stones that appear to be avalanching off the wall. Phoebe English is built on groundwork of texture and surface after all, so an installation strong in foundation only seemed appropriate. From the very beginning of the design process, the fabrics used in each piece play a critical role in the end result of the finished garments. English’s finished pieces are always original in their silhouette and structure and seem to rely heavily on the actual article of clothing, and not embellishments or details after it’s created. How a woman moves in the garment also plays into English’s DNA, after all, her pieces may be conceptual but they are also extremely wearable and her latest collection for Fall 2014 is hardly an exception. Sheer overlays were paired with asymmetrical hemlines, resulting in sexy peek-a-boo style paneling. English’s strong suit includes tailoring ultra-soft silhouettes that manage to look nonchalant and put together at the same time. The designer even uses latex in her show to create looks with the perfect translucent matte finish to them, upping the sex appeal without appearing contrived.
English’s penchant for creating silhouettes and shapes in interesting ways while maintaining a certain subtlety that certainly is not boring. Although she may still be considered “up and coming,” if she keeps on working on the solid foundation she’s built for herself, she’ll be at the top of the rank in no time.
GABRIELA LORRAINE is a fashion blogger and writer. She is a fashion merchandising and print journalism student at the University of South Carolina. For more from Gabriela, follow her on Twitter.