Acne Studios Morning Gabardine Dress - £363   Charlie May Leather Foil Jacket - £625
Blake LDN Foxborough Sweater - £120   Topshop Unique Pool Sliders - £55
Etre Cecile Bad Ass Paris - £70   V Simplicity Tier Ring - £75
Merchant Archive Leather Tote Bag - £430   Moxham Otto Silver - £62

London Fashion Week: Phoebe English

Of everything that we saw at London Fashion Week's Autumn/Winter 2012 collections, there was something about Phoebe English's offering that hooked us in straight away. The young British designer delivered a textural feast in her previous S/S 12 collection with tightly pleated calico / latex combos which won her the prestigious Merit Award last season as well as earning what is every designers' dream stockist, Dover Street Market.

This time, her first stand-alone show at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Phoebe continues her long term fascination with texture and the way the garment's surfaces speak against one another. Sand-washed viscose tops and dresses are draped and weighted artfully with PVC-looking silk screened gloss. The damp latex looks are a personal favourite although what can be deemed as 'bondage sexy cyber goth Camden' is somehow married harmoniously with the heavy boiled wool.

A loose broken rubber weave was laid on top of pencil skirts, tops and dresses, leaving longer strips of rubber to dangle and move unexpectedly around the arms and legs. So far, so dark, as each look is black from head to toe, including the customised bondage tape covered wedges. Everything from the minimal hair and make up, sombre soundtrack of 'Sleep Paralysis by Gabriel Bruce (watch the video below if want to listen), could not have prepared the audience for whats to come.

Bright bubblegum pink heavy knits, elasticated bands, and skirts of multilayered sheaths of latex, resembled the outfit of a Japanese anime superhero. Whatever the reference, these final three looks equally shocked and uplifted the spirits of a crowd who were already enticed.

We spoke to the lovely Phoebe English (who was more than a little emotional) after the show about the collection.

Could you tell us more about the way you explored textures?

I guess it was mostly inspired by the way I personally dress, I wear a lot of black in contrasting textures, so I'll wear a black leather skirt, a black mohair jumper and a black tweed jacket. So i guess it's about having a deeper sense of realism in the way I put a collection together and marrying all those different surfaces together. But like I said, I wear mostly black, so this of course translated into the collection.

What made you choose the bright shade of pink for the final three looks? I don't think anyone in the audience saw that coming!

Well that was the whole point, I wanted it be seem very unexpected. The last collection was very natural in it's use of material and colour, and I just wanted try something quite synthetic, and I really liked the unnatural feel of those pinks mixed together.

What were the head pieces made from?

They are woven strips of rubber, we wanted a broken, spiky surface to work with!

Is there a formula as to how you layer the different surfaces and textures?

It's very organic, we just played around with all the materials, seeing how things work and how they look. Lots of sampling and experimenting in the studio until something feels right!

Phoebe English AW 12-13 Catwalk Show from VAUXHALL FASHION SCOUT on Vimeo.

Thank you to Phoebe English for taking the time to speak to us.

Louisa Lau
15:50 - 27/02/12