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Phoebe English - SS15 LFW presentation
Phoebe English SS15 presentation

Phoebe English SS15 + exclusive film

An English horror story: around a Wiccan magic circle, with a TV set playing Laroche's abstract 16mm film, the designer presents a collection which plays on unnerving dualities

Initial reaction:

The designer toyed with her dark side in an unnerving presentation of dualities, doubles and repetition. “I really wanted it to be a whole experience,” English began. In the show space, an underground Wiccan-style “magic” circle was complete with a centrepiece of dozens of different shaped glasses, which bought a purity to the set (“They’re almost like stalagmites, in a cave growing,” mused the designer). The glasses sat upon a set of white wooden circular stairs that belong to English’s mum, an ex-set designer for the feminist theatre group Burnt Bridges. To the side, a TV set played filmmaker Susu Laroche’s surreal 16mm film, which circles around the notions of the ‘4 Humours’ (also the film’s title): blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. 

In the details:

“I just wanted it to be like opening a box and seeing a whole lot of really nice things,” revealed English after the show, where she presented layers-upon-layers of light muslins, crisp cottons, delicate mesh, knotted webbed netting and finger painted prints smeared across a stark palette of black and white (courtesy of print artist Helen Bullock). “A lot of the silhouettes were made with two of the same garments. It was this idea of repetition, doubles and a duel interplay of things – the circular room and the circular stairs, a dress on a dress, a jacket in a jacket.”

An English horror story: 

Beauty rebel Inge Grognard provided clean and toned-down make-up with silver glitter smeared across temples, whilst the show's hair was created by Tina Outen, and styling was by AnOther Man magazine’s Ellie Grace Cumming. One by one the girls paced the magic circle, pausing in the center before – with our backs pushed up against the walls – glaring demonically into our eyes. The horror flick-worthy soundtrack was composed by Stanley Schtinter who ensured piano, high-pitched violins and beating drums were interspersed with heavy breathing and a spine-tingling crescendo of a man roaring.

See a teaser of 4 Humours, which played during English's presentation, below: