I really like the Phiney Pet lookbooks- the clothes themselves are full of whimsy and nostalgia but it’s the way they present their collections that captures my imagination. They seem to have the ability to magically transport the viewer to a dimension which exists outside of time and space- maybe in a parallel universe which is not too dissimilar from our own version of reality. The biggest reason for this is they seem to have elements of old and new fashion all at the same time but it’s hard to know where one element ends and another starts. Their most recent collection for Spring 2015 which I have been dying to discuss ever since London Fashion Week heavily borrows motifs from the 1970s and I cannot help but draw comparisons between their chosen model and country singer Dolly Parton.
Although their previous two lookbooks predominantly featured women of colour for which I heavily praised them for, they have since abandoned in them favour of this lone blond femme fatale figure. It is a little disappointing that a brand to see such a quirky and unique brand slowly migrate towards the path carved by the mainstream fashion industry, however; I hope that this change in tune was only for the sake of creating a dreamy and somewhat moody vibe. Don’t get me wrong, I love what model Jessica Mai Walker brings to the shoot and I am so glad they let her wear her nose piercing and even show off her snake tattoo but amidst her fabulous tousled blond locks and sultry, glittery eye shadow-laden stare I feel slightly irked and a little ripped off. Could this be the beginning of the end? I certainly hope not but one thing I know for certain: the clothes have retained all their charm and remain as colourful as ever.
Despite my ranting complaints and chastising, this lookbook will basically serve as my makeup inspiration for Summer, provided I can find a subtle glittery eye shadow which does not melt in the sun. Mom (if you're reading my blog and I strongly urge you- don't) rest assured I will not be running to the mall to get my nose pierced or whatever but I am totally looking forward to spending hours on getting ready in the mornings which includes careful application of makeup, rather than slapping on a bit of foundation before I rush out the door in order to be deemed “acceptable” as has been my habit for the last few weeks. Summer generally means I have time to experiment again, and I often look to smaller brands with ingenious ideas for inspiration and guidance. I have a feeling Phiney Pet will be leading the march of ideas quietly bubbling away in my brain.
It’s hard to go past a 70s revival without revisiting staples such as the halterneck or jumpsuit and this young London brand did not fail to deliver when it came to the goods. Alright I am a little biased to say the least when it comes to sequined embellished or statement denim pieces but the ragged hem and addition of brassy hardware is simply perfect. The cartoons on this piece as well as the puff-sleeved blouse and skirt are comical without being too kitsch or cute and just a little bit creepy. From a distance everything looks sugary and sweet but on closer inspection there is a darker twist to their humor and I love it when designs and in particular drawings have a kind of multiplicity about them. Despite their differences and variation I always love the cut and silhouette of these pieces, as well as their prints undoubtedly created by hand during their infancy.
While I don’t claim to be a leading expert on DIYs or have any know-how on replicating runway looks at a fraction of the cost I do have a sense of what people like. Marques Almeida’s collaboration with Topshop featuring trademark denim pieces and satin with raw edges hasn’t quite been the success perhaps they had hoped it would be but I can see similarities between this Phiney Pet laced top and their collaboration. Except for the fact that Phiney Pet has employed the fire power of fancy needlework, sequins and beads to create a rich tapestry of little sparkly designs, with raw armholes for a little extra edge. In many ways it’s a humble piece but it paradoxically creates a statement all at once. It’s pieces like these that keep me up at night and sometimes make me feel light-headed to the point where I should really breathe deeply into a paper bag. They’re all too much and not enough at once. They get my heart beating and blood pumping. Not many fashion collections or more specifically retail shops have the power to make me feel like I am on the cusp of something great.
If you weren’t a fan of Phiney Pet before you read this I hope I have convinced you of their talents, or at the very least inspired you to feel passionately about something very close to your heart. For me this is often clothing as an extension of personal identity or as a representation of some ideal or concept. I think more importantly to be able to have a whole-hearted discussion about a brand or collection you need to have more than one idea or perspective. Often when I write about brands which are largely independent I feel frustrated that I as a consumer cannot access their product but at the same time it cements some kind of view that they clothes they make are magical and somehow transcend all human experience. Perhaps I am just slightly delirious from too much study and should lie down and rest but I would rather feel slightly panicked and overwhelmed than blah for the rest of my life. Phiney Pet eliminates the blah and injects hope into bloggers like me that we too can be a part of their universe.