Today the designer launches her window for the London hotspot, sharing its process with us
"I wanted to portray the idea of a floating hovering empty mass in the light open space of the Dover Street market window. It is unlike other shop windows as it is open at the back and does not only face forward, so I wanted to design something 'in the round' so to speak. Working on a spherical object was the perfect way to embrace this aspect of the space. I liked how the organic, shaggy irregular surface of the beaded glass grid textiles from the SS13 show could contrast to the solid round lunar orb mass of the clear acrylic globe that supports them. I also was interested in the transience of the window as a display space and the permanence of the globe as an object.
It has been much like working on another collection in the way that we have worked with a large team of people over several weeks and in several different specialisms to complete the piece. It has taken over 30,000 beads each individually stitched together into carefully geometrically calculated and measured sections so the lines on the globe run directly vertically down its surface like on a real globe. Tiny shorter 'shaping' beads were hand cut with mosaic cutters and sanded down so that the grid fitted snugly around the globe. It has taken weeks of negotiations with people that we would have never had the opportunity to work with when making a collection, it has been really exciting to learn about rigging techniques and acrylic forming technologies!
[Reflecting the vision of the Phoebe English collections] it plays on running themes of visual contrast and on communicative use of materials, but interpreted for a space rather than a body, so I took more into consideration how the light, gravity and the space would effect its surface rather than the motion and mass of the human form. I hope it proves an engaging continuation of our womenswear!
I have always been very inspired by a favourite book of my mother's that she used to show me a lot when I first started studying art. Its called 'American Windows' and is a photographic documentation of different store windows in the states during the 1950s, they are all very serene but wonderfully surrealist in their design, sort of snippets of drama which you could catch whilst walking past, I love the blatant and brazen voyeuristic qualities of shop windows."
View Phoebe English's SS13 collection film here