The disposition of London’s streets is a controversial subject. Scarred with graffiti and the marks of industrialisation, many would regard it to be an ugly scene, tainted by the development of our modern society. However, if we were to observe the same picture through the eyes of Anna Skodbo, then our perception would differ drastically. Anna Skodbo, the young designer behind the label ‘Phannatiq’, explores and celebrates urban decay, bringing to light the character and soul of the streets of London through her designs.
Anna pays homage to the forgotten corners of the Capital, recognising the beauty in the metropolitan landscapes that would otherwise remain overlooked. Her collection ‘abeyance’ takes clear inspiration from street art; several of her pieces decorated with spray paint prints and patterns. In keeping with the matter of controversial beauty, Anna creates an array of “fashion oxymorons”; working body-con silhouettes alongside loose, draping cuts, whilst contrasting a variety of textured fabrics such as jersey, silk, leather and wool. The distinctive textiles of Phannatiq are a bold reflection of street style (quite literally) and her unique concept makes for an edgy and exciting, yet totally wearable collection.
Huge congratulations on officially launching your label this A/W- how does it feel to have released your first collection ‘abeyance’?
It feels good. It is always scary putting something out there for scrutiny but so far it seems to have paid off.
What is the inspiration behind ‘abeyance’?
Urban landscapes, but not your obvious ones, rather the forgotten and ignored bits that are adorned with street art and are full of decay and abandonment
So, how did you and fashion first meet?
I have been making things for as long as I can remember. However it was when I was in my early teens that I realised there was such a thing as being a fashion designer. It still took a good few years before I started going about achieving that goal. I had to find myself first, but I don’t regret the years I took out after school, I learnt so many other things along the way.
Where did your brands name ‘Phannatiq’ come from?
My name. It has got ‘Anna’ in the middle, the rest is just a play on words and visuals. It’s kind of symmetrical.
When you were 18 you bought the cheapest ticket that you could with Ryanair and ended up jetting off to Oslo; what was the motivation behind this adventurous move?
I realised I didn’t want to work in a bar or night club for the rest of my life. The funny thing is I ended up working in bars there too, on the side of other things, and then again back in Britain. It’s kind of got me through school, finding my feet in a foreign country, college, university and even starting a business. Ironic really.
You studied costume design in Oslo, what did you get from this experience?
I got a lot of experience through working with other people to create something with little time to spare. It was really fun.
What made you decide to move away from costume design and enter into fashion?
I have always wanted to do fashion, but have always enjoyed costumes too.
Who do you have in mind when designing- your muse?
Favourite piece in your own wardrobe and why?
My vagina bracelet! I think it’s meant to be chunky flower beads but they look like vaginas. It was £3 in scope and I’m not sure if it was intentional, however if it had of been, I probably would have done something similar to break up the tedium of mass production. I like to think that the designer did it on purpose to take the piss, but it could have been a funny accident.
I also love my fluorescent Jenny O shoes which were a birthday present from a friend of mine a few years back. As well as a Wendy Dagworthy jacket I found in a pop up vintage shop in a pub in Walthamstow.
Favourite movie, musical act, breakfast, pin-up, place, animal?
O gawd that’s hard……. I’ve got a few. I love ‘city of lost children’, ‘delicatessen’ and ‘in china they eat dogs’ but I also love stuff like Pricilla, depends what mood I’m in.
I have a bit of an eclectic taste in music but I would say my favourites are Nick Drake, Joan Baez, Muse, Prodigy, I also love Paloma Faith and Eliza Doolittle.
I’d like to say fruit and yogurt but more often than not its coffee and a cigarette. If my guy is home he usually makes me eat a proper breakfast by getting up and making me it. Otherwise I’m bad.
My favourite place is probably our flat. We’ve spent loads of time decorating it and we’re starting to get some nice bits of furniture and pictures. It looks really cool now. I also love Hackney Wick, which is where I get a lot of my inspiration from, and London in general.
I have a kitten called Frazzle (after the crisp) she’s lovely and very talkative, just like me. I only wish I could understand what she was saying…. She even stands on her hind legs and gesticulates in a very earnest fashion.
How do you think social media will affect your commencement into the fashion industry? Do you find that it has proved beneficial thus far? What platforms do you use?
I use Twitter and Facebook. I am on linked in but so far have been bad at using it.
You will be remembered for….?
You can shop Phannatiq’s collection at www.bengtfashion.com