By Ross Pollard – Emerging Fashion Designers Editor
Some people produce runway shows, few take it further, Edeline Lee has for the last couple of seasons rejected the convention of models walking up and down for something with a deeper sense that platforms can be so much more.
In February the Canadian born, London based designer threw away tradition and had her models stand next to women giving 3 minute vignettes of their lives or chosen specialities in a truly thought provoking, humbling and emotional 2 hours that showed fashion can only sit in a context of the real world, the world that most people live in, away from our bubble.
And so it was that the next show took on this thought and the presentation was a demanding, yet intriguing examination of the pressures of life through performances of scenes from each of the models and actresses. I’m a huge advocate of challenging audiences, and Edeline Lee has certainly moved into a space that challenges many observers to contextualise not just our industry but everything we come across, it blows away the veil of Fashion Week and becomes art, and dear reader I am here for that.
But what about the clothes, well as with any designer a message is perhaps only allowed to resonate if delivered alongside a collection that could stand on it’s own. Often we see politics and idealism as a cover, but make no mistake, this is an excellent collection.
The bright colours and floating yet form fitting looks stand up against the absorbing world Lee has built for them, this is power in fabric, each follows the presence of the last and demands it’s own space. I’d also wager that the designer has not only studied fashion, but has immersed herself in the history of fashion design, notes from across the decades can be spotted, not themes, but genuinely applied creation of fashions greatest hits from the cut of a late 50’s referencing skirt to the drapery that is both so classical and yet so modern.
I remain a fan of both the ethos of the presentations and the designs.