Front Row

PH5 SS18: In Search of Beauty in an Artificial Landscape

Established in New York in 2014, PH5 an advanced contemporary women’s knitwear brand
founded by Wei Lin, the daughter of a large knitwear manufacturer, and created by a Parsons-trained, Kering award-winning designer, Mijia Zhang. The label challenges the conventional
vision of knitwear by marrying whimsical designs with architectural dimensions of knitting

PH5’s moniker is based on the numeric pH scale, which ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. If
7 represented androgynous unisex labels and 1 represented the extreme feminine or sexy
brands, PH5 would be a brand that’s leaning more towards the edgier side while keeping a
touch of femininity.

SS18 focuses on human influence and manipulation of nature. It is inspired by the work of Marc
Quinn, Thomas Stimm and Dieter Huber.

– Marc Quinn makes art about what it is to be a person living in the world – whether it
concerns Man’s relationship with nature and how that is mediated by human desire;
or what identity and beauty mean and why people are compelled to transform theirs;
or representing current, social history in his work.
– Thomas Stimm is interested in the interplay of colors and forms and plays with the
proportions of man and nature.

– Dieter Huber is an Austrian visual artist who lives in Salzburg and Vienna. Huber is regarded
internationally as a pioneer of computer-generated images and as an advocate of an art
with socially relevant content.

With a backdrop of produce set against both real and artificial flowers, in a space scented with
Joya silken lotus leaves and blossoms enhanced by a fresh air accord and wild mint geranium
rose candles – PH5 has selected a diverse cast of body types, ages, heights and inserted a single
male model to celebrate the idea of diversity.

An array of shapes and genders mixed into an artificial landscape at the presentation back in September, seem to be fighting against the relentless human desire to control nature through fashion and beauty. The brand presented a hyper-realist garden of models, pushing the boundaries of real and manufactured. I still keep from the presentation the manually-controlled flower-shaped fan that was offered to us as reminder of the brand’s messages. A practical gift to be used in the upcoming warmer months!


Elena Sendona

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