Refining Menswear with Phoebe English

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Phoebe English Man S/S16
Phoebe English Man S/S16Photography by Maxime Imbert, Styling by Ellie Grace Cumming

We present Phoebe English's refined and relaxed foray into luxury menswear for S/S16

Phoebe English has become a beloved fixture within London fashion week, the precision and beauty of her womenswear holding her in esteemed regard across the industry. For London Collections: Men, she has expanded her offerings into the realm of menswear with an aesthetic that has taken the codes of her eponymous brand and emphatically shifted them towards a masculine dynamic. Taking inspiration from her boyfriend's style, the collection is a brilliantly relaxed yet refined approach to menswear – here, we spoke to English about what it was like branching into a new domain, alongside a preview of her first ever menswear lookbook.

On her inspirations...
"I've always loved how my boyfriend dresses, so that was really a key reference and starting point for the collection and it grew from there, really. It was a combination of seeing how he dresses and wanting to reach a balance between our mainline womenswear and our Core collection. There is quite a lot of the same spirit to our womenswear, and quite a lot of our womenswear references menswear in places so we pulled those features out, expanding and developing them for a male consumer."

On keeping it honest...
"It felt totally different to me – it was really disarming in a way, doing something that I had no experience with. I worked with my good friend Peter Bailey who trained in menswear to make sure that I was pitching things in the right direction, things like the minute alterations in sleeve length and pocket size are something I definitely needed a male perspective on. I didn't want it to come across as fake; there needed to be an honesty underpinning it all."

On designing luxury...
"We were really heavily focusing on producing a beautifully finished and refined garment; I suppose that it was much more about making a fantastic, luxurious product in a traditional sense of the word rather than conveying the fantasy which imbues my womenswear designs with a sense of luxury . So, it was really different for me to start from that point."

On creating the lookbook...
"We are just about to move out of our Mare Street studios in Hackney, to a new much larger space in New Cross, so I wanted to use the lookbook to capture some of our last days here – and I liked the union of using our old space to photograph our new collection."