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  • Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition at NOW gallery, London. Photo by Charlese Merson.

  • Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition at NOW gallery, London. Photo by Charlese Merson.

  • Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition at NOW gallery, London. Photo by Charlese Merson.

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Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition

London-based designer Phoebe English, known for her experimentations with construction and textile techniques, has taken over NOW Gallery in South-East London with an exhibition that casts light on the making process hidden behind her designs. Titled “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying – An Introspective of Process”, the exhibition includes a large scale installation made of 70 kg of silver glass beads that are carefully hand stitched in order to form a glossy dress that is suspended from the gallery’s ceiling. The hanging dress that becomes denser as it approaches the ground was inspired by a textile that English used in a recent collection, reinterpreting it for the occasion, and took 12 weeks to finish.

This is the designer’s most ambitious installation to date and echoes her intention to establish a dialogue with the gallery’s slick space, creating something much more unfinished and abstract. The intricate installation is accompanied by an exhibition that gives visitors the chance to discover the creative process of the designer. A series of sketchbooks, unseen photos, show images, polaroids, film stills and fabric scraps are displayed to the public, serving as a behind the scenes diary of her studied constructions and meticulous methods. The idea behind this original cabinet of curiosities was to explore all facets that form the development of a collection, serving as an antidote to the superficial image many have about fashion.

The things I display in there are a kind of reaction against how people experience fashion,” English told Wallpaper magazine. “The general public experiences it in a glossy, glamorous, overly sexualized way. I wanted to cut away through all that and expose the process of actually making it. It’s about the remnants of making. It’s about exposing things you wouldn’t come across in the fashion media,” she concluded. “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying – An Introspective of Process” will remain on view until August 9, 2015, at NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London.