Front Row

New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 – PH5 Sees Fashion as a Safety Blanket

Sinking Into Our Surroundings is the name of the FW21 collection the fashion brand PH5 presented for the NYFW with a lookbook. Creative Director Zoe Champion shares in her own words her touching pandemic story and how that relates to the creation of the collection.

This collection has been a deeply personal journey… After being in Sydney and away from my home in New York for six months I struggled to find the energy to create. On top of that the necessity to observe safety protocol due to Covid began to build a barrier between me and the outside world, so I avoided it. Struggling with mental health issues I became one with my bed. Slowly I embraced the comfort of my surroundings and began using my pillows to make shapes on my body which became a starting point for me and encouraged more design. It wasn’t until I connected with friends and heard about their own experiences did this notion of embracing the feeling of sinking into our surroundings feel right.

Fall utilizes quilting techniques and pillow-shaped padded pockets as a way to take our interiors with us — a sort of tactile crutch, or cozy armor. The distorted jacquards became a way to play with the draped shapes I was creating with blankets and are perhaps reminiscent of familial blankets or furniture. For this particular season I wanted to take all of the comforts of my interiors outside, but in a way that encouraged me to dress up and begin engaging with the outside world again. With the support of my partner Wei (Founder, PH5) I leaned into what I was experiencing and channeled that into this collection.

Fall is an ode to all of those who have struggled during this time in any way, and also a thank you to all of the people in the world who have communicated about their own mental health journeys.

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