For the past years, Phoebe Ostick has been captivated about what happens to the human soul after life. This may have entered her thoughts during the COVID-19 pandemic which affected so many lives including her own. News stories from the Telegraph, New York Times, Guardian and Teen Vogue have reported an increase in ghost sightings during the lockdowns and pandemic.
“Since the world went on lockdown in March 2020, ghost hunters say they have been inundated with requests to investigate apparent ghost sightings in people’s homes, and psychics and mediums have seen a run on their services.” Teen Vogue article published October 2021.
Finding this out just before researching for her collection, Ostick shared, “I am still figuring out what I believe but this really does provoke the question – what happens after death? Some might present this as quite a morbid topic, but I am hoping to find a balance of serenity in this ghostly presence. But with death comes life which beckons the question – what is important to me in my life? And the answer was quite simple, music.”
Ostick has always had a deep fascination and metaphorical and indescribable bond with music. Ostick looked at the artists in her life who have influenced her as a designer and artist as well as her own wardrobe, including those who grew up with her through girlhood and now in her current years. Ostick linked these topics to look at feminine rage.
Ostick then researched why so many ghost stories are centred around women; how the ‘ghost’ was a way of freedom writing for women to express their experiences and trauma; and classic horror with iconic scream queens, fashion and female character tropes. She also explored how horror has inspired runways and designers. She then linked her research to her favourite female rock stars and how they have used lyrics and clothing to make statements in a male-dominated industry.