Allows us to introduce you to the fantasy world of Phosbartus.

Conjured from the mind of BA (Hons) Fashion student, Jo M, Phosbartus and those who call it home began life as a story scribbled on the back of old receipts. From this, it evolved from written word to sketches, and then characters fleshed out with fabric and form. Jo presented his collection, inspired by the characters who inhabit his fantasy world, at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.

Jo M from CSVPA
Jo M, BA (Hons) Fashion student

Inspired by his love of storytelling, fantasy and his experience of the fan culture that surrounds gaming, comics and tv shows, Jo M explains: “Fashion should be playful, it should be fun, it should allow for and encourage the creative impulses of self-fabrication that we see in the world of Cosplay.”

“My collection invites you to enter the world of Phosbartus. In a world of ever-increasing crisis, we need to challenge the expectations of fashion to drive mass-consumption and the over-production of consumer products. We need to create emotional durability in our design process and our designed products. We need to re-engage people with the clothes they wear and the identities they construct.
My final collection makes my fantasy world of Phosbartus and its characters real.”

Meet the inhabitants and sartorial scavengers of Phosbartus: The Erodite; the Treasure Hunter; the Blacksmith; the Botonist; the Merchant and the Alchemist.

Each design, seen on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week 2024, exemplifies the core principles of Jo’s collection, emphasising sustainability and storytelling. Crafted from deadstock fabrics and accessories, including belts and clasps, every element of these ensembles are thoughtfully repurposed, reinforcing a commitment to reclamation. Every piece has a deliberate purpose and a story behind it. Understanding the reasoning behind each detail requires knowing the story or creating your own interpretation.

“Phosbartus is a reconceptualization of fashion” explains Jo. “Fashion is not the preserve of the designer and the manufacturer but of the wearer. The expectation is that when you enter the world of Phosbartus you join it – you become a character. Who do you want to be?”

Interested in studying Fashion at University? Learn more about our GFW multi-award winning BA (Hons) Fashion programme.