Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear
October 07, 2013 London
Stay tuned for big things from Phoebe English. It's still early days for the London-based designer, who launched her label two years ago as a newly minted graduate of the master's program at Central Saint Martins. She has flown mostly under the radar since then, but this collection ought to change that. English has a distinctively subtle sense of lightness: Here, working mainly with tulle, she conjured a number of looks that, though gossamer-weight and semi-sheer, claimed force and expressiveness thanks to their sculptural shapes. There was the nude-toned skirt, for instance, draped off a dense elastic band and suspended in irregular gathers. Or the little black tulle pencil skirt, with a band of white pleated tulle inserted at an angle. The looks here were compellingly askew, and English's use of elastic gave them an aspect of real toughness. Her standout pieces, though, were the ones knotted out of a hosiery-like material; these were both versatile and aesthetically sui generis. There was lots to build on here.