For someone who pretty much lives in Levi’s and jumpers I’m weirdly drawn to multi-textured and multi-layered dressing. Especially when it’s expertly and poetically styled. This must explain my attraction to LFW designers Toga and Phoebe English, both of whom have secured a well deserved spot on the presentation schedule in recent seasons.
Toga‘s presentations are great because they’re staged really beautifully with models on plinths so you can go up close for a proper look. The styling is always impeccable with this Japanese brand, whose bags and shoes have as much cult status as the clothes. For AW15 we get the usual wonky proportions and multi-textured approach that I love, with long dresses worn over check trousers, and tailored tactile coats belted over midi skirts over sheer gauzy trousers.
Fabrics are important for Toga’s designer, Yasuko Furuta. She develops them herself, which is why the price point is high, but the return on investment is originality and the type of pieces that you want to hang onto. My favourite element is the integral straps that let you sling a cardigan or a coat half-on-half-off across the body…
Phoebe English is another designer I admire for her clever consistency. She also produces ‘360-degree’ clothes that have as much interesting stuff going on at the back as at the front. For her AW15 presentation at Somerset House she showed her sheer fishnet skirts and trousers with plain dress shirts and simple bandeaus. Everything came in black or white apart from an explosion of flesh-coloured rubber ruffles. Styled together it looked complex and arty but look closer and you realise that these pieces stand up on their own and are surprisingly adaptable.
WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl