Phelan brings dance to the New York runway for SS17

Amanda Phelan explores femininity in a presentation that fused fashion, dance and art

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Backstage at Phelan SS17
Backstage at Phelan SS17Photography Lillie Eiger

Fashion is arguably its most potent when it’s combined with other art forms, perhaps because it allows us to look at it as an art form as too. A prime example of this is Phelan’s SS17 runway show, staged yesterday at New York Fashion Week, which saw a collision fashion, dance and art.

As well as models walking down the catwalk, the show involved a contemporary dance performance choreographed by Shannon Gillen. Dressed in white nightgowns in varying cuts, the dancers performed a routine that represented “an exhibition of the female form in all its contradictions.” 

It was this that provided the backdrop for the models, who included former Dazed cover girl Lineisy Montero, as, styled by Dazed creative director Robbie Spencer, they showcased Amanda Phelan’s latest collection. And that’s where the art came in – the collection was inspired by New York-based artist Caitlin Macbride’s paintings of rumpled cloth. While the designs themselves weren’t rumpled, some were pleated, while others bore prints that expanded on Macbride’s work.

“We really wanted to focus the attention on this idea of physical labour and creative labour,” Phelan explained backstage. “A theme in some of the clothing was this stacking and unstacking, this folding and unfolding, and assembling and disassembling.”

Fashion may be about clothes but as this presentation showed, it has the potential to make us think deeper about things – in this instance, the notion of femininity – which is perhaps what all art forms have in common.

Watch a video from the show, filmed by Minnie Bennett, below.

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