Phoebe Pendergast-Jones is the fresh new face on the Australian fashion scene. And she’s not afraid to harness heartbreak and sentimentality.
Fashion isn’t all practicality and wearability, it can also act as rich, visual storytelling. And at its best, it can blend the two. Phoebe Pendergast-Jones’ introspective pieces take inspiration from experience and memory, immortalising abstract feelings in fabric.
Pendergast-Jones’ graduate collection Honeymoon Phase is a garment time capsule of deeply personal memories; a way to honour and memorialise a specific period in her life. Heartbreak and longing are transformed into romantic silhouettes that exude a powerful feminine energy.
Pendergast-Jones described her designs to i-D:
“I’d say my design feels like wet eyelashes and smeared lips, a dizzying head rush or a flutter in the bottom of your stomach. Walking underneath treetops that shed autumn leaves like confetti rain or running blurry-eyed through a thunderstorm.”
The pieces feel nostalgic while retaining a sense of the present moment. By translating experiences into garments, Pendergast-Jones hopes to transcend immateriality.
After graduating from Melbourne’s RMIT in 2019, the pandemic threw a spanner of sorts into the works. But she hasn’t let this slow her down, channeling her creativity into more marketable items and working from the comfort of her own living room. As she told i-D,
“things can be wearable and exciting all at the same time.”
It’s unsurprising that there is a buzz around Phoebe Pendergast-Jones. However things really started hotting up for the young designer after singer Benee appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers wearing one of Pendergast-Jones’ patterned vests, generating immediate demand.
But while fashion label Phoebe’s Angels is on the rise, Pendergast-Jones is keeping her feet firmly in the earth, viewing sustainability as her responsibility as a designer,
“I repurpose secondhand garments, selecting deadstock materials or upcycling used fabrics. I use materials that already exist in the environment around me, whether it be a scrap of fabric buried in my studio storage or a floral nightgown from the thrift store. Hopefully, by implementing strategies such as these we can shift the thinking around waste and recognise the potential in forgotten or discarded objects.”
In future, pandemic-permitting, Pendergast-Jones hopes to complete her Masters in London. Watch this space.
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