Fashion Week SPACE

New York Fashion Week: SPACE Favorite Phelan’s Stirring Dance Performance

There’s so much to know about new-for-spring SPACE brand Phelan that it’s hard to know where to start.

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On one hand, it’s important to convey that designer Amanda Phelan comes from a pure art background; she is a lifelong dancer and is ardent about the form, and at Rhode Island School of Design she explored painting before turning to textiles.

But it’s equally important that you understand her design pedigree. Before breaking off on her own last year, she was responsible for the tactile, 3D knits that hallmarked so many of Alexander Wang’s collections. 

On Saturday in a small experimental theater on the Lower East Side, she quite literally wove those parts of herself together for a presentation that was as meaningful and stirringly beautiful as anything that stages like this will ever host. 

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In collaboration with New York’s Vim Vigor Dance Company, Phelan unveiled “Menami,” a performance in conversation with her fall collection. Male and female dancers took the floor first, and for several minutes held forth in a physical, visual approximation of the title’s meaning: “feminine waves.”

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Eventually the models emerged as well, walking in slow, steady lines as the dancers continued to run and glide and drift around them. The knits and separates—in metallic shades, black tones and earthy, acid greens—were likewise meant to exude a sense of ocean currents.

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Much of Amanda’s work is highly technical and the truth of these pieces won’t be revealed until we see them up-close and examine the inlay stitching, holographic patterns and wrapped, reflective, spiraling details. Stay tuned: later this week we’ll be able to get our hands on this gorgeous work.

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Until then, here’s Amanda Phelan talking backstage after the show about her collaboration with Vim Vigor and choreographer Shannon Gillen, and the intention of presenting fashion within the framework of theater, art and dance.

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See all of our Fashion Week coverage, shop the trends and get inspired on our Designer Collections Fashion Week hub 

Shop: the current season selection at SPACE

—Laura Cassidy