For spring, Feben felt particularly introspective. The designer, who has a propensity for being self-referential in her work, explored spiritual themes in the context of overcoming adversity, notably through tarot card readings. The result? An optimistic display of superbly crafted pieces that pushed his signatures forward.
“As far as tarot cards go, I’ve been thinking about how the readings can be interpreted in a way that suits the individual’s narrative,” Feben said in a preview before her first runway show. “I wanted to project ideas of perspective and that we are ultimately the masters of our own destiny – that’s my take on spirituality.” Chariot, Devil and Tower cards (each of which means something specific to the designer) have been cleverly printed on sleek, sheer dresses and biker-inspired jackets in unsold PVC and derivative leathers covered with eyelets and studs.
The idea of sexuality was fundamental in the collection: it was a refreshing novelty for Feben. Passages from Georges Bataille’s 1928 explicit short story, Histoire de l’œil, were subtly carved into prints. There were also cut miniskirts and draped asymmetrical dresses adorned with bold vertical stripes, as well as bandeau tops with matching ties.
Beaded macrame briefs and swinging skirts, created in collaboration with the same Ghanaian artisans Feben once worked with heads turned throughout the Newgen exhibition space at the Old Selfridges Hotel.
Feben’s twisted silk technique, which creates pom poms recognizable from a mile away, has been applied to new iterations, from deep-necked midi dresses that flare out at the hips to an edgy high-neck top and stripped in the brightest white. . The small handful of masculine looks were a welcome addition to the designer’s lineup. Perhaps an area for further investigation, as the coins had as much market potential as they were intriguing to behold.
For her first runway show, Feben certainly struck a chord with the fashion ensemble, as whispers of personal commands were heard as she left the venue. It will be curious to see where she takes her designs next, given her talent for fusing innovative fabrications with playful silhouettes.