EXHIBITIONIST: Phoebe English showcased pieces from her fall 2019 women’s wear offering at the Morley Gallery in South London at an exhibition called “Inanimate, Animate. (Only) Half the Reflection,” a show in two parts, the second of which features 30 charming marionettes wearing to-scale pieces from her archive.
The person-sized clothes, which made their debut during the men’s shows last month in a presentation, were suspended from the ceiling on rotating mechanisms that afforded close-up inspection of the intricate techniques that have earned her a loyal following.
There was a black pinafore dress with T-shaped cuts outlined with wide satin stitch embroidery, and a delicate white mesh harness.
“We call this coat, ‘The Coat of Dreams (and of Nightmares)’,” said English, fondly nodding to a black topper made from a great many patches of recycled black fabric, each piece encased in fine silk tulle. The kind of deceptively simple, thing that a cursory glance sets the mind to thinking, “Right, black coat” but an up-close eye-ball reveals all its complexities.
The space was scented by Timothy Han, who used the aromas of birch tar and dry wheat from his “On the Road” fragrance to emphasize English’s focus on natural sustainable fabrics, and Johanna Burnheart performed
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