Buy less, buy well, buy vintage, don’t buy at all. As ethical consumers wrestle the challenges of easing fashion footprints, we’re liking PHVLO – a sustainable, mindful life performance brand.
Headed by Hong Kong-based designer Johanna Ho and launched last autumn, the key is in the word ‘performance’. Ditch all thoughts of micro-fibre laden sportswear. PHVLO offers a beautiful versatility, based in conceptual and technical innovation. Sustainably, fairly produced multifunctional pieces are designed to take the wearer from morning yoga to high powered work meet to glam night out.
Fashion writers can’t count the number of times they’ve written from “breakfast to bar” when describing a new functional brand. PHVLO is something else. Imagine a clean-lined jersey sweat with detachable ruffle that becomes a zip pouch or a minimalist bra top with removable corset band that doubles as a hipster belt.
Jet-black draped jackets come with two sets of sleeves, one streamlined, one puffed to dramatic proportions for a conceptualist edge. Straight cut raincoats in pure navy with cowl neck hood lose the zip hem to become natty cropped jackets. The only limit? Your imagination.
PHVLO’s fabrications break boundaries. The water resistance of the Minotech raincoat, for example, derives from the way the fabric is woven. Based on a Japanese technology from the 1880s, the method renders additional, usually toxic, waterproofing unnecessary. Padded jackets replace cruel goose down with breathable, hypoallergenic 3M Thinsulate Featherless fabric.
A guiding principle to Ho’s work is collaboration, a buzz word amongst those seeking more sustainable lifestyles. Ho describes PHVLO as a “multi-disciplined creative community whose shared desire is to make ecologically sound yet high functioning products.” First up alongside the mainline collection is a showpiece down jacket, a partnership with Swarovski, studded with upcycled crystals. And of course, the collection pictured here: a stunning capsule wardrobe created with Central Saint Martins.
Five looks mutate endlessly to create a cascade of different, dramatic, looks. The aim of the CSM project was to create a learning experience for students, promoting sustainability through their work, and to act as a bridge between new talent and the commercial world.
Ecology, education, innovation, collaboration, beautiful design: every box ticked. Sustainable design takes another step into the future.
Phvlo x CSM launches exclusively in Lane Crawford, Hong Kong and China, today. Phlvo is available at Lane Crawford, Hong Kong, and online.