Feben drew inspiration from the entire tarot deck last season. For fall, the designer decided to focus on a single card: The Chariot. “It revolves around the idea of moving forward, but it’s also about having a strong identity and sense of self,” she said at a preview. “I was interested in seeing how armor could be portrayed both physically and emotionally, as well as how strength and fragility could be interpreted in a number of ways.”
The collection, titled Scales, explored a multitude of contradictions—both literally and figuratively. There were shimmering sequin skirts and slip dresses in gold, emerald, and turquoise that mimicked fish scales and armor simultaneously. “Sequins, as much as they have feminine connotations to most, are like armor to me—there’s a power in wearing a material that’s so bold,” said Feben, who uses her first name only. Elsewhere, protective chainmail-like pieces constructed from braided metallic plastron were placed over sensuously draped column gowns.
Floor-length Lycra dresses were emblazoned with spray-painted collages of Salvador Dali’s Gradiva painting with a print of a marble statue of the Greek goddess Psyche by sculptor William Theed. Cropped puffer boleros that appeared to protect and reveal at once and oversized padded scarves with hardware details made from Norwegian tinn-per trimmings that resembled bullet holes were invigorating standouts. With studded iterations that played on the theme of contrast, the designer elevated her signature twisted satin bobble dresses (the pronounced shoulders helped, too).
The designer once again collaborated with Accra-based artisans to create a selection of exquisite hand-beaded macramé pieces, including cylindrical holdall bags, fringed shift dresses, and bottom-baring chaps in black and cobalt blue. Menswear, which she first explored last season, looked sophisticated with sharply tailored separates and off-center silhouettes.
Feben is evidently designing with wearability in mind. With British singer Jorja Smith part of the show’s lineup, the designer is paying attention to marketing, too.